How to Triumph and Stay Afloat to Get a Boat Loan With Not-So-Perfect Credit

How To Get A Boat Loan With Bad Credit

You’ve made the decision. There’s no turning back now. You want to get a boat. That was the easy part. Now you have to figure out how to make it happen if you need to finance your purchase with lackluster credit.

The first thing you need to do is determine what boat ownership costs. Buying is likely the cheapest part of the process.

You also have to consider the research you need to do to pull the trigger and routine costs like maintenance and insurance. All can affect what you need to do to get a boat loan.

The other point to bear in mind that a boat isn’t like buying a house or even a car. It is a luxury purchase. Your options going into it are limited. The only sure thing is that you’ll pay more if you have bad credit. That’s why you need to go into the process with facts.

What Do Boats Cost?

You need to go into this process informed. It’s easy to get caught up with all the frills you’ll see in newer models. To minimize your costs, you need to home in on what you want to get out of your boat. That will help you avoid extra bells and whistles that you won’t use and can add to the cost of your loan.

Stick to the basics.

You’ll get the best bang for your buck if you consider used instead of new boat prices. They aren’t unlike cars where the value clock starts clicking down as soon as you drive it off the lot. It just means you’ll have to be more careful before signing the dotted line.

Costs also vary with the type. You can get a decent john boat with a trolling motor for around $500. You can expect to pay five figures for a pontoon, depending on the length and features. The thing you need to consider with these types of boats is operating cost. You’ll pay less for fuel, which can justify a higher price tag.

If you like speed, it’ll cost you too. Generally, the more you want out of a boat, the more it will cost. And if credit is an issue for you, you’ll have fewer choices.

Options for Bad Credit

All isn’t lost if you want to be on the water and don’t have the cred to match. Think about the elephant in the room first. You’ll likely get the best price if you go to sites like Sailboat Trader, Craigslist, and eBay to negotiate directly with the owner. They don’t want to finance. They want the greenbacks.

Skip the bad credit and cut to the cash.

Another option is using a credit card. You can get pre-paid so that you can build up your poor credit score in the process. Otherwise, high-interest options are available too. They aren’t a bad choice if you can pay them off quickly. And again, you’ll benefit in the long run. That’s the key, or else there aren’t any advantages.

If you still have a few cards, you can play the numbers game and transfer balances so that you have enough to finance your purchase.

Other Loan Options

You can apply for a loan if you belong to a credit union. They’ll likely be more lenient and offer better interest rates than a bank. On the positive side, they max out at 18 percent. It’s not great, but at least it gives you a way to finance a boat.

You have other options if that doesn’t work. Several companies target this market. Bear in mind that it will come at a price. You can get your loan to buy the boat at a higher interest rate than those with better credit scores. Expect to pay double-digits which can drive up the cost significantly.

The fact remains that your bad credit isn’t a barrier. You can get a loan even if it cost more because of a higher interest rate. Remember that it adds up the longer you keep a balance.

You can also opt for payday loans if you are buying a less expensive boat. However, you’ll likely pay much more in the long run than other alternatives.

Final Thoughts

You can realize your dream of owning a boat even if you don’t have the stellar credit to make it happen. You’ll pay more in the long run if you don’t pay it off promptly. That’s the price you pay. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get on the water.

On the positive side, you have all to gain with fixing your credit score so that your next purchase doesn’t pose similar obstacles. And you’ll have the bonus of making the process less painful with getting something that will make you happy and satisfied with your buy.