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Can I Get a Boat Loan in this Economy?

Updated on August 28, 2013

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.


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    • Tom Schumacher profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Schumacher 

      5 years ago from Huntington Beach, CA

      Au fait, thanks for the comment and the "norm" is what you make it. That said, for those you enjoy open water adventures boating is perfect for adding fun and excitement to your life. Options are many including scuba diving, fishing, water skiing and wake boarding, or just cruising the coastline or pushing the boundaries by exploring far-off destinations. If you ever get an invite for a day on the water aboard any type of vessel, well except a paddle or row boat of course, I highly recommend you accept! Thanks again for sharing. - Tom ; )

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      5 years ago from North Texas

      Perhaps by getting this article into the feed fellow hubbers will see it and find it useful. I am not into water and beaches myself, which I know is not the norm, but it's me just the same. I'm sure lots of people will find this article helpful. Voted up!

    • Tom Schumacher profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Schumacher 

      5 years ago from Huntington Beach, CA

      Pamela, thanks and you raise a valid argument - our future is uncertain, we are a debt ridden society, and money is tight for many people. However, the US is still an extremely rich nation, individual wealth has never been greater, and for those with means now is a great time to invest in water craft because deals are popping up everywhere - both used and new. It really comes down to each person's unique situation and their tolerance for risk. Thanks again for sharing! ~ Tom

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      This is good news for those wishing to purchase a boat. I think many people are concerned about taking on any new debt due to the uncertainty of the future. At the same time, we all want to live our lives and enjoy the things that mean the most to us. Very useful hub.

    • Tom Schumacher profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Schumacher 

      5 years ago from Huntington Beach, CA

      Hi Rajan, I totally agree. Money is always an issue, especially in this market. But, believe it or not creative financing options exist. If owning your own boat is a serious objective, I suggest exploring the possibilities including, but not limited to, owner-financing. Good luck!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Good news but unfortunately we do not have the facilities for maintaining a boat that a common man can afford.

      Interesting info. Thanks.

    • Tom Schumacher profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Schumacher 

      5 years ago from Huntington Beach, CA

      Thanks vinayak100. There's always options to finance sooner rather than later and buying now when deals are hot is something to remember. Thanks again!

    • vinayak1000 profile image


      5 years ago from Minneapolis

      Great Hub! I've always wanted to buy a boat and will do so in the next 5-10 years.

      Voted up and useful!

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 

      8 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      With the down economy, this is good news for those boat enthusiasts.

      Now can be a great time to have that boat you've been wanting to have.


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