Boating Education: Understand Loan Information Before Buying a Boat

Click on a topic to view information

Boat Loan Sources - Find a Specialist

Not too long ago, finding a lender that made boat loans was a difficult task. Today the more difficult task may be to decide which lender to use from many to choose. When lenders discovered that most boat buyers were excellent clients for loans, many added boat loans to their more traditional auto and real estate offerings. Some of these lenders decided to specialize in the boat loan business, devoting funding and staff for the purpose. Many of these lender specialists are members of the National Marine Bankers Association. In any active boating market, there will be several sources for boat loans. It's a good idea to compare rates and terms offered by several loan sources to determine the financing best suited for the intended purchase. Lenders include:


  • Banks - Many local, regional, and national banks are members of National Marine Bankers Association and offer boat loans directly to their customers. Start with your own bank and call them or check their Website to see if they finance boat purchases. Inquire about rates and how long a loan term is available for the boat you are considering. Some banks advertise in boating magazines and publications. They seek your business and will have boat-savvy people available to address your needs.
  • Financial Service Companies - Financial service companies maintain relationships with local, regional, and national lenders, giving them broad access to finance programs. They are experts in the marine lending field, and many are members of the National Marine Bankers Association. You will see their advertisements in boating publications, so call for rates and terms and get an idea of anticipated application turn around and funding time.
  • Credit Unions - If you are a member of a credit union that makes boat loans, be sure to contact them. They usually have attractive rates for their members, and many are interested in making boat loans. If they have marine lending specialists on staff, they should be able to offer a competitive loan.

See Also


Content courtesy of National Marine Bankers Association