How to Compare Boat Loan Rates

A boat loan can help you finance a new or used boat, and interest rates may vary by lender. A variety of factors influence the rate you’ll pay, including your credit score and the age of the boat. You can compare rates for boat loans from a number of lenders, and you can prequalify to see what you’d be eligible for before submitting an application. It’s important to know how much you can afford before applying for a loan, as it could be easy to overborrow and end up paying more in interest than the value of the boat.

You can apply for a boat loan rates from banks, credit unions, and online lenders. Banks typically offer unsecured personal loans for boats, and they can also be more flexible than other lenders. For example, the Bank of the West offers loans up to $5 million, and it has rates starting at 8.99% and loan terms ranging from five to 20 years. Credit unions are nonprofit, member-owned institutions, and they often provide a variety of financing options, including boat loans. Mountain America Credit Union, for instance, has boat loans with rates as low as 8.74% and loan terms up to 15 years.

Online lenders like LightStream specialize in providing unsecured personal loans, and they may offer lower rates than other providers. If you have excellent credit and agree to autopay, you may qualify for a rate as low as 8.49% with this lender.

The minimum credit requirements for a boat loan will vary by lender, but generally you’ll need to have at least a good credit score to qualify. If your score is too low, you may want to try to raise it before applying for a loan to save on interest payments. Many lenders allow you to add a cosigner or coborrower, and this can boost your chances of qualifying.

Besides traditional lenders, you can also find boat financing through dealerships, manufacturers, and other organizations. For instance, some marine dealers and manufacturers offer their own financing, and they may have special deals or discounts available. Other organizations, such as the military, may offer financing for boats and jet skis.

If you’re a homeowner, you might be able to use your home equity as collateral for a boat loan. You can use the funds from a home equity loan to finance the purchase of a new or used boat, and you’ll usually get better rates than with a personal loan.

Keep in mind that a home equity loan uses your house as collateral, so you’ll risk losing your home if you fail to make your payments. As a result, these loans are considered a higher-risk financing option. If you’re unable to obtain a loan, you can still buy a boat by putting down a large down payment or buying a less expensive model.