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Choices of Loans
Much like real estate loans, several types of loans are also available to those who finance their boat. Lenders are required to explain the complete details of any type of loan provided. Ask questions about the different types and choose the one that best suits your financial profile.
- The most common, simplest, and generally considered most favorable, is a fixed-rate and fixed term simple interest loan. This type maintains the same monthly payment for the life of the loan. At the end of the loan, the borrower has paid off all interest and principal obligations. At that point, as in real estate, borrowers "burn the mortgage."
- Variable rate loans have interest rates that float based on different interest rate indexes, such as the "prime" rate, or LIBOR rate. They often offer low introductory rates. Rates can change daily, or at some preset point in the future, usually months or years. Borrowers should look at the adjustable period and other details to clearly understand how payments could change and anticipate how to manage them.
- Balloon payment loans require borrowers to pay the entire balance at the end of a stated term. Some borrowers choose "balloons" since they know they will only own a boat for a certain period, say three years, and prepare to pay off the loan at that time.
Content courtesy of National Marine Bankers Association