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Can I Get a Boat Loan in this Economy?
Current Boat Financing Market
With the current dark cloud hanging over our economy, many things have changed in the world of lending. The past days of easy credit have evolved into more conservative underwriting and a reduction in available source. Consequently, it has been more difficult to get home loans, credit cards, business loans and……..boat loans.
Boat loans ARE still available however. There have been changes to the types of loan products and the underwriting criterion but you can get boat financing as long as your expectations are in line with current industry trends.
Great Market to Buy a Boat
The good news is that there are many great deals on boats today. So even though the financing may be less favorable than it was a couple of years ago, the pricing on the boats are much better. With most loans offered without prepayment penalties, you can always improve the financing later but take advantage of the rock bottom pricing now.
Boat Loan Approval Process
There have been several noteworthy changes to both underwriting and programs for marine lending. Be prepared for a longer approval process and a more documentation requirements. Specifically, most boat loans require income verification and more scrutiny of the proposed boat to finance. In addition, many lenders have placed restrictions on the type and age of the boat. High performance boats, old boats and custom or limited production boats are some of the more difficult to get financed.
Boat Loan Rates - Not As Bad As You Might Think
Surprisingly, there are still good rates and terms available for well qualified applicants. Also, there are still programs available for people with previous credit challenges. Region will also play a role in determining what programs will be available. Those areas that have been effected less by adversity in the real estate market tend to have more programs available.
If you’ve been waiting for a great time to buy the boat, now is your time. It may take a bit more time and effort but it will be worth it. Get out your pay stubs and your W2, call a marine lender and be prepared to brag to your friends on how you took advantage of the down economy to buy the boat of your dreams.