You’ve had your eye on that new boat for a while. You’ve picked out the exact model, maybe you have even found a good deal. Now you’re ready to talk financing. For most people, this will mean taking out a loan.
Boat loans are not much different from loans you would get for other consumer products, like cars or recreational vehicles. Still, you need to be familiar with your options so you will get the best terms. It also helps speed things along if you know a little about what to expect during the application process.
Boat Loan Options
When searching for a boat loan, it’s often best to start with your own bank or credit union. Find out if they are members of the National Marine Bankers Association (NMBA). Member companies specialize in offering boat loans, and will help you through the application process.
If your own bank or credit union is not an NMBA member, there are other lenders you can do business with. A number of finance companies specialize in offering boat loans. You may have seen their advertisements in boating magazines or other boating publications.
To get the best interest rates and loan terms, always comparison shop. If you apply for more than one loan during a single 14-day period, you can save yourself some damage to your credit score, as all inquiries within that timeframe will be consolidated and counted as one.
You may have to fill out your loan application in person, but many lenders offer online applications or allow you to apply over the phone. Either way, you’ll want to have some basic information handy.
Once you’ve completed your application, your boat loan will be processed. This includes checking your credit history to determine your creditworthiness, as well as research into the market value of the boat you intend to buy. You will then be notified of your approval status, and be ready to buy that new boat.