There are around 12 million boats registered in the US.
Would you like to become a proud boat owner yourself? If so, the only thing standing between you and your dream could be the money.
Can you finance a boat the same way you finance a house or a car? The good news is: Yes, you can! Keep reading to learn our best boat financing tips.
1. Know How Much Boat You Can Afford
Remember: Owning a boat is a luxury, not a necessity. Before you fall in love with that megayacht, be sure you can afford to buy it.
Take an honest look at your budget, including your current debts and financial obligations. Can you realistically take on another monthly payment without affecting your ability to cover your necessary bills?
If you have any doubts, use a boat loan calculator to figure out a boat price that fits into your budget.
2. Educate Yourself About Boat Financing
A few decades ago, it was the norm to put down at least 20%-30% when financing a boat. Lenders also capped their loan terms at 10 years, since few boats remained in good condition after a decade of use.
Thankfully, times have changed. It’s now possible to get a boat loan with a small downpayment or no downpayment at all.
And as long as you keep up with regular maintenance and avoid common boat cleaning mistakes, you can keep your boat in great condition for many years. Lenders understand this and now regularly offer loan terms of 15 years, 20 years, or even longer.
3. Know Where to Look for a Boat Loan
It’s easy enough to figure out how to get a mortgage or a car loan, but where do you go for boat financing?
You have a few different options. One option is to go directly through the dealer or seller. Another is to work with your bank for a personal loan or line of credit to finance your purchase.
Bonus tip: Try to get pre-approved for a loan so you know exactly how much boat you can afford. Your credit score will be a huge factor in your interest rates and monthly payment amounts.
4. Factor in Other Boating Expenses
Speaking of monthly payments, it’s easy to look at that number and think, “Hey, I can afford this!” First-time boat owners often fail to factor in the many other costs associated with keeping a boat.
For example, will you buy a trailer to haul your boat? Will you install safety gear, marine electronics, or other amenities?
And no matter what type of boat you buy, you’ll have to pay for storage, fuel, repairs, and other upkeep. There are also taxes, registration, insurance, and other recurring costs beyond your monthly loan payments.
Can You Finance a Boat? (Yes, You Can!)
So, can you finance a boat? Luckily for you, the answer is yes!
Use the boat financing tips above as you begin your search for the perfect boat. It’s sure to provide wonderful memories for you and your family for years to come.
Now that you know how to finance a boat, what’s next? Keep browsing our site for more interesting tips and advice!