Getting An Accurate Boat Value for Loan Purposes

Know and understand your financial abilities and your credit rating. Check your credit with the major credit reporting bureaus and correct any inaccuracies.

Call around to local resources and look online to find out what different boat lenders can do for you. Boat financing is not like financing a car where you can walk into a dealership and leave in a few hours with a new or used car. Boat financing can take longer if the lender requires a report from a marine surveyor.

When you apply, be ready with tax returns and bank statements that show your financial ability to repay. Be prepared to submit those materials to speed up the review process.

Be aware of special use limitations. If you want to live aboard your boat, use it for commercial purposes such as charters or as a fishing guide or to cruise internationally, tell the lender. Not all lenders will loan money on a boat used for those purposes.

Forewarned is forearmed, right? You bet it is, so if you’re looking at used boats, it’s also a good idea to understand what they’re worth. Boat lenders pay attention to boat values when lending, and you can access the same information they have.

Like credit reporting agencies, there are a few sources for researching boat values and prices. These resources can also help you determine the value of your own boat, which is great for getting a fair trade-in or resale price.

The key bit of guidance for securing a boat loan is to do your research and to be as prepared as possible.

“The lenders that BoatUS works with take into consideration the age of the boat and the value of the boat,” Mann said. “There is not a significant difference in available rates or terms between a brand-new boat or a 3-year-old boat, for instance. Since these lenders are looking at the value of the boat, they will typically require a down payment of around 10 to 15 percent.”

Get a Boat Loan Quote

Boat Trader has a convenient solution called BoatsBank that provides customers competitive boat loans tailored for different financial situations. BoatsBank can help with dealer and private party purchases, boat refinancing and title and Coast Guard documentation services.

Check Boat Loan Rates

If you want to check what your boat loan rate and monthly payment should be Boat Trader’s Boat Loan Payment Calculator can help you research that as well.

How does a boat loan work?

A boat loan is a function of principle, an interest rate and the length of the loan. In general, smaller loans for shorter terms usually have higher interest rates than larger loans for longer terms. Also, higher credit scores help lower the interest rates you pay.

What information will I need to apply for boat financing?

Essentially, you will need bank statements and tax returns that demonstrate income. Banks also will consider your credit rating, your debt-to-income ratio, net worth and liquidity.

How do I know how much I can afford?

Banks can help you determine that, but you can also use our online boat loan payment calculator to find a payment you are comfortable with.

What credit score do I need for a boat loan?

The higher the better. Higher credit scores will help you secure loans at lower interest rates. There are subprime lenders out there, but by and large, major lenders want to see credit scores of 680 or above.

How long do boat loans last?

Terms vary with the size of the loan and your ability to pay, but expect to have a loan term of 24 to 48 months for trailerable boats and up to 240 months or 20 years for larger craft.