Guide to Financing a Boat

Guide to Financing a Boat

If you are a first-time boat buyer, you likely will need to get financing for your new or used boat. The boat-buying process is largely similar to buying a car or home, so if you have previously obtained a loan for a vehicle or property, you may be familiar with many of the steps in the financing process. 

Whether you are buying a new or used boat could impact your ability to qualify for financing, and your options may vary based on your credit score and the lender you choose. This guide covers how to secure financing for a boat, regardless of your credit situation or the boat you choose to purchase. 

Should I Finance a Boat?

If you have savings, you may be wondering if you should bother financing a boat or if you can find a cheaper option to purchase with cash. While you may not have to worry about taking on a loan or making monthly payments, there aren't many advantages to buying a boat in cash over securing a loan. Even if you have money to pay for a used boat, you may not have enough for your top choice.

if you are a boat owner who wants a new model but is still making payments on a boat loan, you can trade your vessel in toward the purchase of a new one at a dealership.

Advantages of Financing a Boat

For many buyers, financing a boat is a much more affordable choice, especially if they don't have the cash on hand to pay for the vessel in a lump sum. The benefits of financing a boat may include:

  • Favorable interest rate
  • Lengthy financing terms
  • Low down payment and upfront costs
  • Professional guidance through the financing process
  • Keep your hard-earned cash

If you already have a loan for another vessel, you may need to pay off your existing loan before you can take out another, regardless of your credit score, if you choose to purchase from a private individual. However, just like with a car, if you are a boat owner who wants a new model but is still making payments on a boat loan, you can trade your vessel in toward the purchase of a new one at a dealership. Both these processes can become very complicated, so it is wise to work with a financing expert to guide you through the process.

How Does Boat Financing Work?

How Does Boat Financing Work?

When buying a boat, knowing how to finance your purchase is essential. For many boat buyers, a large, lump-sum purchase isn't feasible. Though you might have some savings for a down payment, you may want to obtain a loan to cover the remaining cost. Boat ownership can become much more affordable when you break the expense down into monthly installments. 

If you want to purchase a vessel, you need to know how to finance a boat, so we have outlined the steps below.

1. Determine Your Down Payment

Your first step is to determine how much you can afford to put down on your boat upfront. The more you can put down, the less financing you will need. Lenders tend to ask for a down payment between 10 and 15% of the total boat loan amount. How much you will need to put down depends on the type of loan you obtain and the lender.

Before you provide your down payment, ensure you understand the terms, such as whether your down payment is refundable if you cannot secure a boat loan or you change your mind about making the purchase. Make sure you get a receipt for your down payment and an outline of the terms. At My Financing USA, we also offer 100% financing on a case-by-case basis.

2. Calculate What Monthly Payment You Can Afford

Next, you should figure out how much you can afford to pay for a boat loan every month. Start by reviewing your household budget. Even if you get approved for a specific loan amount, it may not necessarily fit into your budget. Settle on an amount you are comfortable with paying every month before you start shopping for a loan. 

At My Financing USA, we offer better-than-average boat financing. Our interest rates for boat loans range between 3.49 and 17.99% depending on your location, credit history, type of boat you are financing and the amount you are financing. Use our boat loan payment calculator to determine what monthly payment you may be able to afford.

3. Check Your Credit Score

Many financial institutions and credit card companies offer the ability to check your score for free, so this step may require you to click a button on an online account or app.

Checking your credit score is the next essential step, as your credit score can significantly impact what financing options are available to you, including what terms and rates you may qualify for. Many financial institutions and credit card companies offer the ability to check your score for free, so this step may require you to click a button on an online account or app. If this option is not available to you, some online services offer consumers free credit reports.

After you apply for a boat loan, a hard inquiry is necessary. While a soft pull won't impact your credit score, a hard inquiry might. However, this impact is usually minor and temporary. Reach out to a professional credit consultant with any questions or concerns.

4. Compare Lenders and Quotes

The rates and terms you may be able to receive vary from lender to lender. Compare the lenders by discussing your options with them and carefully reading the fine print, which will contain information on the loan's length, what minimum credit score you should have and whether there are restrictions on your boat's age. 

After you have quotes from a few different lenders, examine your interest rates, loan terms and other terms and conditions side by side to determine which is right for you. Interest rates are an essential consideration, as they can substantially impact how much you pay total over the loan period. The lower the interest rate, the better. 

However, it is crucial to ensure you are comparing interest rates for the same loan types. Often, lenders offer the lowest rates for the shortest terms, which may not be the right financial choice for you.

5. Complete an Application

The actual financing process begins with completing an application. You will likely need to provide information about your employment, the boat you are looking to purchase and your financial situation, such as your assets and liabilities. At My Financing USA, we don't charge an application fee. Once we decide to approve or deny your application, we will notify you via email.

After accepting your application, the lender may require a marine survey, which is similar to a home inspection during the homebuying process. Before your loan can move to the underwriting phase, a lender wants to know that the boat is worth the asking price and in good condition. 

6. Get Pre-Approved

When you get pre-approved, you will receive an offer from the lender. Requesting pre-approval will show a dealer you are a serious buyer, and you will feel more confident making an offer knowing you have an option for financing. 

Once pre-approved by a lender, you may need to submit financial statements, your previous year's tax return and your credit report. We may also ask for an example of what boat you are looking at. You can change your mind after you get approval, and a loan officer will inform you on how to do so. 

Depending on the lender, credit pulls are good for about 30 to 90 days. We suggest you close at least 10 days before your approval's expiration, as this will allow ample time for the closing and funding process. 

7. Make an Offer and Close

The process from application to closing typically takes about four to eight business days. This period varies, based on how long it takes you to send the usable, valid documents we request. When you find a boat you want, make an offer that fits within your budget and your pre-approval amount from the lender. Once you negotiate a price with the seller and write up a purchase agreement, reach out to your lender to obtain your boat loan. 

On your closing date, you will need to sign the paperwork. We'll finance our $495 document fee into your boat loan amount. After closing, the boat will be yours. You may be able to use the vessel for a specific period before you provide final approval, at which point the seller will receive the funds. 

What Are Financing Options for a Boat?

If you want to know how to finance a boat purchase, you should be aware of your options. Choosing the type of boat loan is an essential step in the process, so you'll want to understand the options available to you and how they compare.

A collateral loan is similar to a standard car loan. With this type of loan, you use the money you borrow from the lender to buy your boat.

Collateral Loan

A collateral loan is similar to a standard car loan. With this type of loan, you use the money you borrow from the lender to buy your boat. Your boat will then become collateral, so if you default on your loan, your lender can repossess the boat and sell it to cover the debt. My Financing USA offers recreational loans, which is a type of collateral loan.

Dealer-Financed Boat Loan

If you are buying a boat from a dealer, they may offer you a loan. The conditions and terms vary from one seller to the next, so carefully review the fine print before you decide anything. You may also want to compare the dealer's loan offer with your other loan options, as lenders tend to offer better deals.

Home Equity Loan

If you have owned a home for a few years, you may have accrued equity. In some cases, you may be able to leverage this equity to purchase a boat via a home equity loan. With this type of loan, you may take advantage of a low interest rate. Payments are also usually tax-deductible. 

Some disadvantages of a home equity loan include the need to pay for an appraisal and cover closing costs. Your home will also become collateral, which means if you default on your boat loan, your lender can foreclose on your house. Many times, a home equity loan may look very attractive on the surface, but carry a much higher risk to you.

Personal Loan

the trade-off is that you will likely need to pay a higher interest rate.

If you have an excellent credit score, you may qualify for a personal loan. One of the most notable advantages of a personal loan is that it does not have collateral, meaning you won't need to worry about your lender repossessing your vessel or home. However, the trade-off is that you will likely need to pay a higher interest rate. 

Refinancing Your Boat Loan

We also offer a refinancing program at My Financing USA for boat loan amounts over $75,000 with at least 12 months (comment 6) of payment history and a credit score of 680 or higher. In some cases, after you lock in a loan, you might discover a better interest rate. If you find yourself in this situation, you may want to refinance to take advantage of this lower rate. 

Refinancing essentially means starting over with a new loan, so review the terms carefully and ensure you are fairly comparing your options and ultimately making a sound financial decision.

Can You Finance a Used Boat?

At My Financing USA, you can finance a used or new boat. A used boat can save you money, while new boats tend to have a lower risk of mechanical problems.

At My Financing USA, you can finance a used or new boat. A used boat can save you money, while new boats tend to have a lower risk of mechanical problems. If you believe you have found a used boat that could meet your needs, we may finance your purchase and offer an extended service plan to maintain your boat. Currently, we offer financing for the following units:

  • Boats
  • Personal watercrafts
  • Jet Skis
  • RVs
  • UTVs
  • ATVs
  • Car haulers
  • Motorcycles
  • Utility trailers
  • Snowmobiles
  • Livestock trailers
  • Lawn equipment

If you want to know how to finance a bass boat, yacht or Jet Ski, we can help you through the process. However, we can't finance units with salvage titles or that have been rebuilt or flood-damaged.

How Long to Finance a Boat

At My Financing USA, we offer boat loan terms that range from 60 to 240 months, or 5 to 20 years.

At My Financing USA, we offer boat loan terms that range from 60 to 240 months, or 5 to 20 years. The loan terms you are eligible for depend on your credit history, the age of your boat and the amount you wish to finance. We offer the longest available loan term and no prepayment penalties, allowing you to pay off your loan as fast as you want with the lowest payment option. 

Use our boat payment calculator to determine how your boat loan term may affect your estimated monthly payment. The longer your loan term, the less you will have to pay each month for your loan. So if your goal is to get the lowest monthly payment possible, you may want to accept an extended loan term. If you wish to finance for a shorter term, ask your loan officer.

Can You Finance a Boat With Bad Credit?

At My Financing USA, we search the nation for boat financing programs for any credit type, so you can still finance a boat with bad credit. We have programs for you even if you have past credit issues, including past bankruptcies, late payments or collections. The minimum score we require is 550 550, and if your credit score is below that, we offer free consultation services that can help improve your credit. We will also protect your credit by reducing inquiries.

Even if you have poor credit, you can finance a boat with us at My Financing USA. We offer the following in our bad credit boat loan program:

  • Reduced credit inquiries
  • Free boat value checker
  • Terms as long as 15 years
  • Friendly, expert loan officers
  • Approval timeline of 24 hours
  • Interest rates as low as 6.95%
  • Express funding in just 72 hours
  • Buyer freedom, so you can buy from any seller like a private party or a dealer

If you want to get financed for a boat with less-than-perfect credit and participate in our program, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Price above $10,000
  • Debt ratio under 40%
  • Recreational use only
  • Minimum credit score of 550
  • 10% down payment preferred
  • Consistent income source
  • Model from 2009 or newer, though we do approve older models on a case-by-case basis

Past bankruptcy and some past late payments or collections will not disqualify you for our program.

Where to Finance a Boat

The benefits of choosing My Financing USA

My Financing USA is the best place to finance a used boat and the best place to finance a boat with bad credit. We understand that owning a boat isn't a luxury – boating is a lifestyle. Our goal is to provide our customers with the best boat loan programs, regardless of their credit score. 

If we can't approve your initial loan application, we can provide you with a free credit consultation that can help you improve your chances of securing boat financing and saving money down the road. Here are the benefits of choosing My Financing USA.

  • Easy, fast approval: Signing and submitting the documents from your phone will let us fund your application in as little as 48 to 72 hours.
  • Credit protection: We can protect your credit by reducing inquiries when we pre-qualify you and only send you a single matching lender at a time.
  • Nationwide low rates: We will conduct a nationwide search to find the best rates and terms for your boat financing.

We'll do everything we can to find the right boat loan program for you. We may be unable to finance your boat if you have temporary or unverifiable income, multiple bankruptcies, accounts in forbearance or large, outstanding collections. We also do not offer programs in Hawaii or Alaska.

Apply for a Boat Loan

Apply for a Boat Loan. The best way to finance a boat purchase or a used boat is by applying for a boat loan from My Financing USA today.

At My Financing USA, we offer financing for boat purchases. Our application process is 100% online and follows the simple steps outlined below.

  1. Apply for your boat loan online: You can submit your information via our website, which is DigiCert Norton VeriSign Secured. Because our website is secure, you can trust that your data will be safe. All the communication between us, you and our partners will stay private according to the latest encryption standards for a financial transaction. If you have a co-applicant, such as a spouse, you will need to provide their information as well.
  2. Get your loan program match: Next, we will find your match by verifying your information and conducting a nationwide search for the best boat loan program for your needs.
  3. Sign and drive your boat: With My Financing USA, you can sign your closing documents directly on your phone. The loan verification and approval process takes approximately one to three business days. Afterward, you can pick up your new boat with your check in hand.

The best way to finance a boat purchase or a used boat is by applying for a boat loan from My Financing USA today.

Guide to Refinancing Your Boat


Whether you're an avid fisher, enjoy water skiing or want to relax on the open water with your family and friends, you're glad that you bought a boat. One thing you might not be so thrilled about, though, is the loan you took out to afford to purchase the boat. Depending on your circumstances at the time of purchase, your boat loan might have a high interest rate. Alternatively, the monthly payments might not work with your current budget. 

If your current loan isn't working for you, you can refinance a boat loan to get terms that are a better fit for your current financial situation. Learn more about how a new or used boat refinance works and the numerous benefits of doing it. 

What Is a Boat Refinance?

A refinance takes place when you apply for a new loan and use the principal of that loan to pay off an existing loan.

A refinance takes place when you apply for a new loan and use the principal of that loan to pay off an existing loan. You can refinance a wide range of loans. For example, people who own homes can refinance their mortgages to take advantage of reduced interest rates or to cash out some of the equity in their property. People who have car loans might refinance to get a lower interest rate or to change the length or term of the loan. 

If you've been through the process of getting a loan for your boat, you're already somewhat familiar with the process of refinancing the loan. You'll need to go through the loan application all over again, providing information like proof of income and your credit history. The lender will make a decision about the interest rate to offer you and then you can decide whether you want to go through with the refinance or not.

A few types of refinance loans are available. The one that is right for you depends on your goals for refinancing and what you hope to get from the loan.

Boat Refinance Cash Out

One thing to keep in mind if you decide to refinance your boat loan for more than you currently owe is that you'll have to repay the full amount you borrow.

A cash-out refinance helps you pay off the existing boat loan and provides you with a little extra cash to use as you wish. For example, say you currently have $50,000 remaining on your boat loan and your boat is worth $100,000. With a cash-out refinance, you can borrow $75,000. The $50,000 will go towards paying off the principal on the first loan. You will then have $25,000 to use to make upgrades to the boat or to put toward other projects.

Since you end up borrowing more when you choose a cash-out refinance, you will most likely end up with higher monthly payments or need to make payments on the loan in the long run. For that reason, it's worth considering whether or not you can afford the higher payments or the extended repayment terms. A cash-out refinance can make sense when:

  • You have other loans with high interest rates: Let's say you have credit card debt and a personal loan, both of which have interest rates that are higher than the rate on your boat loan. If you refinance your boat loan for more than you owe on the current loan but less than the total value of the boat, you can use some of the extra cash to pay off your high-interest debt. You'll end up with one monthly payment and will save money over time.
  • You have expensive projects to complete: You might have renovation projects that you want to do around your home. On the other hand, you might want to do some work on your boat. With a cash-out refinance, you can use the additional loan amount to pay for those projects.
  • You want to build up an emergency fund: It's a good idea to have some money, usually about three to six months' worth of expenses, set aside in an emergency fund. If you don't have an emergency fund and want the peace of mind that comes with having some money set aside for a rainy day, getting a cash-out refinance will give you the money to stash in a savings account. 

One thing to keep in mind if you decide to refinance your boat loan for more than you currently owe is that you'll have to repay the full amount you borrow. The extra cash isn't "free" money — you'll need to pay it back over time with interest. 

Boat Refinance Rate and Term

If rates have dropped or your credit has improved since you got the first loan, a rate and term refinance allows you to take advantage of lower rates.

If you don't need access to extra cash when you refinance your boat loan, a rate and term loan might be a better option for you. With a rate and term refinance, you change the interest rate on the loan or the term of the loan, or in some cases, on both. For example, say your current loan has a remaining balance of $50,000 and an interest rate of 10%. The original term was 10 years. When you refinance the loan, you borrow $50,000 to pay off the balance on the first loan. The new loan has an interest rate of 8% and a term of eight years.

Some of the reasons you might choose a rate and term refinance include:

  • You want to pay less interest: If rates have dropped or your credit has improved since you got the first loan, a rate and term refinance allows you to take advantage of lower rates. 
  • You want more or less time to pay off the loan: Your financial priorities might have shifted since you first took out the loan. You might now want to focus on saving for retirement or paying down your mortgage. Refinancing lets you change the term of the loan, allowing you to spread out your payments. Conversely, you can shrink the repayment period if you want to be free of your loan faster.
  • You want a different monthly payment: Changing the rate or term of your loan, or both, means your monthly payment can increase, reducing the time it takes to pay off the loan. Alternatively, it can decrease, meaning you can focus on other financial commitments. 

Is Refinancing Right for Every Boat Owner?

Prepayment penalties aren't very common on loans anymore, but if your current loan has one, you'll have to pay a fee to pay it off early.

If you're wondering, "Can I refinance a boat loan?" then another question you might ask yourself is, "Should I refinance?" While there are many benefits of refinancing, it's not always the best option. If the following apply to you, refinancing might not be the right choice:

  • You make less now than when you bought your boat.
  • Your credit score has dropped.
  • Interest rates are the same or even higher than when you purchased your boat.
  • The cost of refinancing is more than you would save.
  • Your boat loan has a prepayment penalty.

Prepayment penalties aren't very common on loans anymore, but if your current loan has one, you'll have to pay a fee to pay it off early. The fee can be high enough that it eliminates any financial benefit of refinancing. 

If your boat loan is nearly paid in full, refinancing also might not make sense. You might be better off paying down the remaining loan and owning the boat free and clear. 

What Are the Benefits of Refinancing Your Boat Loan?

You might set more money aside for savings each month or pay more towards loans that have higher interest rates.

If refinancing seems like the best option for you and your boat, here are a few benefits of doing it:

  • Saves you money each month: If you refinance and end up with a lower monthly payment, you can adjust your budget accordingly. You might set more money aside for savings each month or pay more towards loans that have higher interest rates. If you've been having trouble making ends meet, a lower monthly payment can give you more room to breathe.
  • Lets you focus on other financial goals: Refinancing a boat loan can help you shift your financial priorities. For example, you might want to focus on building up your retirement fund. When you reduce your monthly boat payment, you have that option. Refinancing to consolidate your debts also helps you prioritize and shift your financial goals.
  • Can give you cash: If you go the cash out route when you refinance, you get a financial cushion, which you can use however you wish. You can deposit the cash in a rainy day fund, use it to pay for repairs or improvements on the boat or use it to pay down other debts.
  • Can help you get out of debt faster: Should you decide to change the term of your boat loan when you refinance, you have the option of speeding up the repayment process, meaning you'll be on the path to being debt-free sooner.

What Are the Drawbacks of Refinancing Your Boat Loan? 

Since there are many potential benefits and drawbacks of refinancing, it's a good idea to carefully weigh your options before you decide to move forward.

While there are benefits of refinancing a boat loan, there are also some potential disadvantages to consider: 

  • Closing costs can be high: You need to pay certain fees when you take out a loan, including when you refinance. Usually, you pay closing costs when you finalize the loan, which means you'll need to have the cash on hand to pay upfront. Depending on the situation, the closing costs can make it so that you don't save money when you refinance.
  • You can pay more over time: Extending the term of your boat loan by refinancing can mean that you have more breathing room when it comes to monthly payments. But lowering your monthly payment and taking more time to pay usually means that you end up paying more in the long run. You can use a boat refinance calculator to get an idea of your new monthly payment and to see how it compares to your current loan. 
  • You can get in over your head: Going the cash-out refinance route can seem appealing, as it gives you cash to spend as you wish. But it is possible to borrow more than you can comfortably afford to repay. Alternatively, if your income situation changes, you might have trouble repaying the new, more expensive loan.
  • It can interfere with your other financial goals: Depending on what you want from life, refinancing your boat loan might make it difficult to focus on your other financial goals. You might end up repaying your boat loan for longer than you had anticipated when you purchased the boat or you might find that the monthly payments make it challenging to save for other accomplishments, such as retirement, paying for your children's education or buying a new home.

Since there are many potential benefits and drawbacks of refinancing, it's a good idea to carefully weigh your options before you decide to move forward.

How Soon to Refinance a Boat Loan

Your credit score might need months or years to improve enough to allow you to qualify for a "good credit" boat loan.

Is there a right time to refinance your boat loan? It all depends on what's going on, both with your personal credit and financial situation and with the world in general. It could be the case that interest rates drop substantially a few months after you took out your first loan. If the drop is substantial enough, refinancing can help you get a lower monthly payment and reduce your total out-of-pocket costs. 

It might also be the case that refinancing doesn't make sense until you've made several years' worth of payments on your loan. Your credit score might need months or years to improve enough to allow you to qualify for a "good credit" boat loan

The best thing to do is keep an eye on the market, your finances and your current loan. That way, you'll get a sense of when rates are low enough that refinancing makes the most sense for you. 

Can You Refinance a Loan on a Boat With Bad Credit?

It's possible to get a boat loan when you have bad credit. But will you be able to refinance a boat loan if you have bad credit? It depends — if you took out your first boat loan and then struggled to make payments on it, you might have trouble refinancing it. But if your credit score is a little less than ideal and you've been making regular payments on your current boat loan, a lender might consider working with you on a refinance.

If you don't have the best credit, be prepared to pay slightly higher interest rates when you refinance your loan. 

How to Refinance a Boat Loan

Boat Refinancing Tips

You can do several things to make the refinancing process go as smoothly as possible. Here's how you can best prepare to refinance your boat loan:

  • Crunch the numbers: It's a good idea to look at how much you still owe on your loan, its interest rate and how much time remains in the repayment period before you start shopping around for new loans. Knowing what you're paying now and how much your current loan will cost you overall means you can compare its costs to the cost of the refinance. In some cases, paying more over time might work for you.
  • Know your numbers: Along with knowing how much you still owe and how much a refinance will cost, it's important to know your credit score before you refinance. Knowing your score gives you an idea of whether you're likely to get a lower interest rate on the loan or not. 
  • Know your boat: A lender might not let you refinance a loan on a boat that's more than 10 years old, so have the basic details about your boat down before you start the process. Your boat's market value also plays a part in refinancing. You usually can't borrow more than the boat is worth. If your boat has lost value since you purchased it and you haven't paid off much of your debt, you might not be able to refinance.
  • Know your other debts: Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio matters when you want to refinance. If you've taken on more debts since you got your first boat loan, your DTI ratio might be too high to refinance. If that's the case, you can focus on paying down other debts before you try to refinance.
Find or Refinance Your Boat Loan With My Financing USA

How Hard Is It to Finance a Boat?

Many people wonder if it is hard to finance a boat and easy to get boat financing. The answer depends on many variables, and My Financing USA can help you through the different options.  

Is It Easy or Hard to Get Financed for a Boat With Good Credit? 

When you have good credit, boat financing can be easy to find. Good credit tells lenders that you are a responsible candidate for a loan. It indicates you will pay on your loan regularly until it is paid off. When a lender sees a steady repayment history on credit cards, utility bills and mortgages paid on time, you become a reasonable risk. 

How quickly your loan process is depends on who you work with. My Financing USA offers fast turnarounds, connecting you to lenders in just a few days. You could have the money to buy your boat quickly. While the loan process may be easier when you have good credit, you can still finance a new or used boat when you have a low credit score. Working with My Financing USA will make the process quicker. 

How Hard Is It to Get Financed for a Boat With Low Credit? 

You can finance a new or used boat with a poor credit score, even if it is challenging. Some lenders work with people who have low credit to help them finance boats, and My Financing USA can connect you with those lenders. Boat financing is ready to get when you contact appropriate lenders. 

A low credit score reflects a history of missed or late payments. For many people, poor credit reflects a short period when they struggled before getting back on track. It takes a while for that time to be wiped from your credit history. Some lenders understand that your past isn't an indicator of what will happen later, and they will lend to you despite that risk. 

It can be more challenging to connect with these lenders. If you go through a dealership, your interest rate will be high with a low credit score. You may find it hard to finance a boat, but when you take the right approach, you can find a loan that's right for you. 

It Is Easy to Get Boat Financing With My Financing USA

The most significant factor in your search for financing is how easy it is to work with a lender. When you use My Financing USA, you can search multiple lenders with just one application. We connect you and help the process go faster. Even if you have a low credit score, you can find financing through us. 

Fill out our application today in five minutes, and you can see how easy it is to get financing for a new or used boat. You can also learn more about our boat loan process on our site.  

Financing a New Boat vs. Used Boat

Buying a new boat offers you a fantastic opportunity to do something for yourself. You work hard and want to enjoy your downtime. Time on the water lets you connect with family and friends, turning your leisure moments into something special. 

You should consider whether it's easier to finance a new or used boat when you begin financing. The answer may not be what you think. 

New vs. Used Boat Financing

The main difference between applying for boat loans for new vs. used boats is the amount you borrow. New boats are more expensive than used ones, often by a large margin. Your likelihood of securing a loan depends on how much money a lender is willing to offer. 

You can apply for a personal loan for a boat, though you may have difficulty securing one if you have low credit. Banks look at your credit score as an indicator of how likely you are to repay the loan. They want to incur low risk when they give you money. According to lenders' perspective, the higher your credit, the less likely you will default on the loan. 

Who You Work With Affects Your Loan

When you purchase a new or used boat, you may apply at a dealership, though they do not always offer the best pricing, whether you buy new or used. People with a low credit score may have trouble getting a loan through a dealership, or the loan may carry a huge interest rate. Going through a third party can make it easier to get the loan approved. 

My Financing USA can match you with lenders that want to help you finance your boat, even if you have low credit. So if you buy a new or used boat, you can avoid going the dealership route and work directly with the seller to finance your loan. This approach can simplify new and used boat financing. 

Apply for a Boat Loan Through My Financing USA

It is equally easy to finance a new or used boat when you use My Financing USA. What matters the most is your ability to repay the loan and how you demonstrate loan worthiness. You should consider what size of monthly payment you can afford and see how that lines up with the offers you receive. It will be more expensive to buy a new boat, which is the main difference for financing. 

Whether you are financing a new vs. used boat, you can use My Financing USA. We provide services for people looking for all types of boat loans, and our unique process can match you with the right lender quickly. Apply for a boat loan today — it only takes five minutes to complete our application. Read more about loans for new and used boats and find out about the boat loan financing process. 

How Long to Finance a Boat

For many people, recreational boating is a popular form of entertainment. Whether you're looking to fish, tube with friends or relax on the water, owning a boat can give you the flexibility to get out on the water anytime you wish. However, it's no secret owning a boat is an investment, which is why most boat owners choose to finance.

Before purchasing your boat, it's beneficial to know how many years boat financing is and how much you can expect to spend over the term of your loan. How many years you finance a boat can impact your monthly payment and interest rate, so you'll want to learn everything you can before you pick a loan. Here's our guide on boat financing to help.

How Long Does It Take to Finance a Boat?

If you've ever purchased a home or car, the process of financing a boat may be familiar to you, though there are some key differences. How many years you can finance a new or used boat is affected by the following factors:

The Boat's Age and Condition

The age of the boat you're looking to buy can have a significant effect on the term a lender is willing to offer you. In most cases, the newer the boat, the longer the term. Many lenders place a cap on the age of boats they consider for financing, and others will only finance new boats. However, even if you want to buy an older boat, you still have financing options. 

Many lenders may be willing to fund older boats as long as they're high quality. While a lender may not finance an older boat that costs $30,000 and is worth $30,000, they may finance an older boat that costs $30,000 but is ultimately valued at $40,000.Keep your future boat's age and condition in mind.

The Boat's Price

The purchase price of your boat can significantly impact how long a lender is willing to let you repay your loan.

The purchase price of your boat can significantly impact how long a lender is willing to let you repay your loan. Typically, larger loans can be financed longer than smaller loans because they'll likely take more time to pay. Many lenders have requirements for minimum loan amounts to be eligible for certain term periods.

The Interest Rate

The interest rate you qualify for may also impact how long you want to finance your boat. If lenders are only willing to offer higher interest rates because you have lower credit, you may not want to finance your boat for a long period of time because you'll pay more for the total cost of your loan. On the other hand, you may actually want a longer loan term if you have a higher interest rate, as that can make your monthly payment more affordable. 

With standard boat loans, interest rates are either fixed or adjustable.

  • Fixed-rate loans: The most common type of financing for boats is a fixed-rate loan. This type of loan means your interest rate won't change throughout the duration of your boat loan, and your payment will be consistent each month, making budgeting much easier.
  • Adjustable-rate loans: With an adjustable-rate boat loan, your interest rate can change based on the market. As a result, your interest rate may change while you're paying off your loan, and your monthly payment may increase. The positive to this type of loan is it can be considerably low at times.

While most buyers prefer fixed-rate boat loans so their payments will be predictable, some buyers may not qualify for reasonable fixed rates because of their credit history, and an adjustable rate may offer a low introductory rate. For our customers' peace of mind, My Financing USA only offers fixed-rate loans with no prepayment penalties.

The Down Payment 

Many lenders require a down payment for a boat purchase. The amount you'll need to put down on your boat depends on the lender and the price. Some lenders will finance a boat loan without a down payment, but taking that route can put you in a poor financial position depending on the vessel's depreciation.

A down payment can also reduce your monthly payment and the total interest you'll pay for your boat loan, as it'll decrease the amount of financing you need. If your main concern is an affordable monthly payment, you may want to have a down payment.

Your Credit Score

Your credit history can also impact which boat loan terms you can select. While some lenders are willing to offer boat financing to borrowers who have subprime credit, they may have requirements for a low debt-to-income ratio and a down payment. Others may not be willing to offer financing to borrowers with low credit scores. If you have good or excellent credit, you may be offered better rates and terms.

The Type of Boat

Many of today's powerboats are lumped together and financed for similar amounts of time. Therefore, if you're purchasing a powerboat, you likely won't find much variation in the financing options available to you. However, there are some outliers lenders may treat differently, such as:

  • Sailboats
  • Liveaboard boats
  • Pontoon boats
  • Multi-hull boats
  • High-performance boats or boats with wood hulls

If you're looking to purchase one of these vessels, lenders may be less flexible with the terms they offer or not offer options for financing at all. For example, financing a liveaboard boat can be complicated due to the laws surrounding residences and homeownership. If a boat is riskier to finance for any reason, you may find fewer ways to finance.

Fortunately, when you choose My Financing USA, we search across the nation to find you the best rate and lender for various types of boats.

How Many Years Can I Finance a Boat?

If you're wondering how long you can get a boat loan for, you'll be happy to know you can finance a boat for many years. While lenders used to offer shorter boat loan terms, boats are now built better than ever, so lenders can use them as collateral for longer periods of time. As a result, lenders are willing to finance boats for more years, making boat ownership affordable for more borrowers.

How Many Years Can I Finance a New Boat?

When it comes to financing a new boat, you usually do so for as long as 20 years, which is longer than terms for auto loans and even some home mortgages.

Though often compared to auto loans, boat loans greatly differ in the terms offered. When it comes to financing a new boat, you usually do so for as long as 20 years, which is longer than terms for auto loans and even some home mortgages. Essentially, you can finance a new boat for a long time.

Whether you should accept a lengthy loan term depends on several factors, such as what you can afford for a monthly payment and what interest rates you qualify for. Ensure you can truly afford your loan on top of the other costs of boat ownership, such as storage and maintenance. The cost to upkeep your boat will likely be about 10% of your boat's price each year.

If you double your loan term, a lender may only be willing to offer a slightly higher rate or require a larger down payment. Additionally, the longer your loan term, the more you'll pay in total interest, so if you want to keep the long-term costs of your loan down, you may want to select a shorter term. Since My Financing USA doesn't offer any loans with prepayment penalties, you may choose to split the difference and finance for a longer term to keep your payments low while paying the loan off early to save on the interest.

How Many Years Can I Finance a Used Boat?

Like a new boat, you can finance a used boat for as long as 20 years. The financing options for used boats may differ from options for new boats. If a model is old, a lender may not be willing to offer financing whatsoever, as a lender typically needs collateral for a secure loan. While you may see a boat that's cost-effective and ready for a makeover, your lender could see an unreliable asset.

Fortunately, if you find a used boat that suits your needs and preferences, My Financing USA can help you find the financing option that's right for you.

How Long to Finance a Bass Boat

If you intend to use your boat for fishing, a bass boat may be a great option. These vessels feature a flat deck, a powerful outboard engine and aerated livewells to provide the best fishing experience possible. When fishing on a bass boat, you have more control of your boat in shallow water and during periods of high wind.

As with other types of boats, financing for a bass boat will differ based on the vessel's age, location, condition and make and model. For a bass boat, a lender may base the loan terms on the total amount you borrow rather than on the boat's current value. Some factors that impact your interest rate for a bass boat include:

  • Your down payment
  • Your debt-to-income ratio
  • Your creditworthiness

How Long to Finance a Pontoon Boat

If you're looking for a recreational boat to float on the water with your family and friends, a pontoon boat may be the best choice for you. Historically, pontoon boats have been slow-moving, making them great for outdoor activities like fishing, sunbathing and swimming. Today, pontoon boats are a bit faster, and because of their simplicity in design, manufacturers can create high-end interiors that offer a luxury experience.

The financing for a pontoon boat is similar to that of other boats. Like all vessels, new pontoon boats don't hold their value and may depreciate quickly in the first few years, similar to a new car. Typically, the rate of depreciation slows over time, but it's still something to keep in mind. Similar to a bass boat, your financing will be based on the pontoon's characteristics and your financial history.

If you want to know how a loan term can affect your monthly boat loan payment, use our boat payment calculator. Simply input your loan amount and interest rate and try different loan terms to see how the number of years you finance your boat may affect your payment. This calculator works for all boat types.

How Many Years Do Lenders Finance Boats For?

How Many Years Do Lenders Finance Boats For? At My Financing USA, you can finance a boat loan for many years — anywhere from 60 months to 240 months.

Note that loan terms vary from lender to lender and by loan type. A personal loan, also known as an unsecured loan, often comes with shorter loan terms, while lenders who specialize in boat loans may offer longer loan terms. There are two main avenues you can pursue for financing your boat:

  • Credit unions, banks and online lenders: Many borrowers go directly to lenders like credit unions and banks to get financing for a boat. These financial institutions tend to offer some of the best interest rates on the market. If you're a bank or credit union member, you may even qualify for discounts when you finance your boat with them.My Financing USA works with banks and credit unions across the nation to find the best boat loan for you.
  • Dealer financing:The majority of financing for new boats happens through dealerships. These businesses draw in customers, as they're the ones with a wide selection of boats to sell and have relationships with financial institutions that can offer customers boat loans. When a customer expresses interest in a boat at a dealership, they may pursue financing through the dealership or be referred to a bank.

At My Financing USA, you can finance a boat loan for many years — anywhere from 60 months to 240 months. This flexibility means you can pay off your boat as quickly as five years or take up to 20 years to repay your loan. How long you can finance your boat with My Financing USA depends on your loan size:

  • 10 years: You can finance a boat loan of $10,000 to $19,000 for up to 10 years.
  • 12 years: You can finance a boat loan of $20,000 to $24,000 for up to 12 years.
  • 15 years: You can finance a boat loan of $25,000 to $74,000 for up to 15 years.
  • 20 years: You can finance a boat loan of $75,000 or more for up to 20 years.

Along with your loan size, the term you're eligible for depends on your boat's age, your credit history and your down payment. Typically, we require a down payment between 10% and 15%, though we do offer 100% financing as determined on a case-to-case basis. We also require a credit score of at least 550 550 and limit the age of boats to 20 years or newer.

Learn About Boat Financing at My Financing USA

Learn About Boat Financing at My Financing USA

With our high customer satisfaction ratings and our A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, My Financing USA stands apart from other boat financing companies. We pride ourselves on the sterling reputation we've developed. The advantages our customers enjoy when they work with us include:

  • The ability to get pre-approved for boat loans
  • Offers of great rates and terms from trusted lenders
  • Closing documents you can sign right on your phone
  • A website secured by Norton VeriSign, which keeps private information safe
  • A friendly team that will respond immediately to your questions

You can learn more about the boat financing we offer at My Financing USA or apply for a boat loan today.

Enjoying a Boat After Retirement

After a lifetime of working, retiring means focusing on your own happiness. With more free time to pursue your interests, now is the time to relax and fully enjoy life. One way you can do that is to purchase a boat and find a new way to see the world. 

Whether you want to take peaceful solo trips or invite the whole family on board, boating will bring joy to your life and give you a social outlet to enjoy with friends and family.

Boating will bring joy to your life and give you a social outlet to enjoy with friends and family.

What Can You Do on a Boat After Retirement

Your imagination is the only limit to what you can do on a boat after you retire. You can visit different lakes, go fishing, help with humanitarian missions or host your grandchildren on a cruise. When you buy a boat, you can find many new hobbies, too, such as watching the stars on the water at night or going birdwatching. You may also enjoy learning to fix the boat or making improvements to the outside.

What Kind of Boat to Buy After Retirement

The type of boat you buy will depend on what you want to do. Your choices include: Monohull sailboat: A classic sailboat that generally costs less than other types. Multihull sailboat: A multihull is a bigger sailboat with lots of amenities, often a catamaran. Powerboat: These durable vessels are perfect for retirees who like a little speed. Fishing boats: With many models to choose from, fishing boats are a great excuse to get on the water and cast a line. Yachts: These luxury boats have spaciousness and comforts including dining, kitchen and bathroom areas.

The Best Boat for Retired Couples

If you and your spouse want to get a boat when you retire, your choice may depend on your age. If you want a boat you can take on adventures, but you don't have much experience with boats, a smaller option such as a powerboat may be all you need. If you have luxurious taste or a large family to take on the water, consider a yacht. The key is to find a boat that has enough space for you and your guests.

Buy a Boat After Retirement With My Financing USA

Buy a Boat After Retirement With My Financing USA. We connect you with companies offering boat loans that can work within your budget. Apply Now!

Buying a boat after retirement sounds like a dream — it can easily become a reality with the right financing options. Buying a boat is attainable, even for those who haven't saved.

You can purchase a boat without having perfect credit or a substantial down payment. There are plenty of options for your boat purchase after retirement — the key is to find the exact right boat for your needs and preferences. We connect you with companies offering boat loans that can work within your budget. It only takes a few minutes to fill out an application, and we help you find the best match for your loan. Even if you have a lower credit score, you have options. Apply for a boat loan from My Financing USA today.

Can I Still Go Boating During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

In the days of the current pandemic, many may be wondering if it is safe to go on a boating trip. With the proper safety precautions put in place, boating may actually be one of the safest ways to spend time with your family while safely social distancing. Many Americans are looking for ways to buy boats in an effort to take boating trips with their families. Boating is the safe getaway you didn’t know you needed during this unique time.

Why Boating Makes Sense

After months of staying indoors, taking a trip on a boat could be exactly what you need. In addition to the freedom it allows, the fresh air, wind, and sunshine will feel great! Sunshine gives us Vitamin D, which is an essential component for strengthening the immune system. What better way to get your vitamins than through nature?

Aside from getting to your boat, a boating trip itself does not require travel and will not put you at risk of exposing yourself to many other people. Stay close to just your friends or family on the boat and trust that there are miles of open water between you and anyone else.

Here are some tips for you to keep in mind when planning a boating trip with friends or family.

Boating is Great for Small Groups

Depending on the state in which you live, there may be a are a number of limits for how many people constitute a “small gathering.” Small gathering rules apply to boats as well but keeping the number of people in your group small on a boat is easier than one might think. Add to that the ability to maintain a safe distance, and you’ll easily see how being on a boat is the perfect way to socialize safely.

Test Passengers Before They Get Onboard

Now more than ever, it is important to take the necessary safety precautions to ensure health and safety. Before you set off on a boat trip, conduct a thorough assessment of everyone’s health condition. If you have reason to suspect that a family member or friend may have been exposed to COVID-19 or is showing symptoms, speak with them individually. Having a well thought out plan in place for everyone who will be on the boat is essential for ensuring trust, comfort, and safety.

Research the Location

If you have a particular destination in mind, ensure that you know exactly what to expect. Rules may vary depending on your location, research your destination regarding the number of people allowed in a single location, restrictions on movement, and so on.

Wear Masks and Use Sanitizer

Just as you would in any outdoor setting, remember to maintain a strict level of sanitation. This means constantly washing hands, sanitizing, and using a mask to protect others around you. This is particularly important if you are going to interact with other boaters as part of your experience. If possible, minimize interactions with those outside of your social circle. This will lower the risk of transmitting the virus and ensure that everyone stays safe.

If you are considering buying a boat and want the best terms for boat financing, speak to us today at My Financing USA. We search nationwide to get you the best rates, making sure you get the boat of your dreams.

Costs Of Boat Ownership


Recreational boating is recognized as a constructive outlet for entertainment. It provides boat owners plenty of enriching opportunities for self-discovery and to bond with their loved ones. From waterskiing to fishing to snorkeling, boat ownership gives you the freedom to go on a vacation, anytime you wish. Before diving into the deep end, it is beneficial to be aware of the various costs so that you can better plan your finances and make the process of securing a boat loan smooth and easy as possible.

Upfront Costs of Boat Ownership

Man in sunglasses sitting in a boat

A brand new 22-foot boat that can easily be found on rivers and lakes across America has an average cost of at least $35,000.

There are other varieties as well which may range around $20,000 to $50,000.

There might be a down payment or upfront payments on the loan that should be taken into consideration even if you do plan on financing your boat.

Maintenance Costs

Shot of calculator, notepad, pen, and coffee on a wooden table

Maintenance costs per annum are estimated to make up at least 10% of the price of the boat. Maintenance includes deck cleaning, hull painting, and sail replacement which can fetch up to $3,000 each year for a $30,000 boat.

Marina Fees

When your boat is not out on the water, it needs to be docked. Thus, harbor space makes up part of your full boat ownership costs. Different boats incur different marina fees which can range from about $3,000 to $15,000 per annum.

Boat Insurance

Every public water spot requires licensing before a boat can be operated. An average boat insurance plan costs roughly several hundred dollars annually which may stretch up to beyond $1,000 for some policies. It all depends on the boat type and accident history of its owner as well as the number of insured within a single policy.

Storage Costs

Boat storage costs an average of $8.25 for every square foot of space and $7.25 for a boat that comes attached with a trailer. Outdoor storage space costs roughly $7.50 for every linear foot that covers a trailer as well.

Costs of Additional Accessories and Equipment

The main accessory of a boat is a trailer which comes with a price range of $2,000 to $5,000. It provides a cheaper alternative to haul your boat to and from the marina. Other related equipment may include entertainment gadgets and cosmetic add-ons which vary in prices.

Ask My Financing USA About the Costs of Boat Ownership Today!

Always be precise when it comes to working out the budget for your next boat. Do not hesitate to consult with our experienced team at My Financing USA to factor out all the costs involved in owning a boat.

We make it our objective to help our clients realize their dream of being a boat owner. Our past success has shown just how much we value the community and our way of showing appreciation is to provide quality and trusted services. We stay true to our motto of being keen learners who are always on the lookout for great opportunities to help our staff and company grow. We believe in delivering comprehensive expertise at its best.

Visit our Rates & Terms for Boat Loans.

Visit our Boat Loan Calculator.

If you have questions regarding the costs of boat ownership, do not hesitate to contact our expert boat loan specialists today. Simply call us toll free at 855.978.5626 or send an email to

Disclaimer: All figures reported above are rough estimates. The cost of purchasing and maintaining a boat varies on a case-by-case basis.

Boat Dealer Before You Buy

5 Questions To Ask Your Boat Dealer/Seller Before You Buy

What are the things you should know before purchasing a boat? Buying a boat is a major commitment and it requires a certain amount of knowledge before committing to one. Careful planning such as choosing the right boat, storing your boat, maintenance and warranty are just a few things to ask your boat dealer before you make the purchase. Here are the 5 questions you can ask your boat dealer before deciding to buy one.

Which Boat Fits You?

There are tons of features a boat can have and finding the right boat that fits your lifestyle can be a challenge. Will you be spending time on your boat with your family or fishing with a couple of buddies? A boat dealer would recommend a boat with larger floor space for fishing trips, or a multi-purpose watercraft that is well-equipped with necessities and is big enough to fit a family of five or larger. Finding a boat that fits your lifestyle is essential in the long run.

New or Used Boat?

Weighing the pros and cons of purchasing new vs used is always a good idea when looking for a boat. Used boats could save money or new boats run a lower risk of mechanical problems. If you find a used boat that fits your needs. My Financing USA can offer extended services plans to help take care of your boat whether it is new or used.

What Are the Available Boat Financing Programs?

Purchasing a new or used boat can be expensive, so potential owners may require boat loans and financing programs. Inquire about the best financing options that boat dealers can offer as well as the lowest interest rates before securing the boat loan. My Financing USA matches you with the best boat loan rates available. Visit our boat loan calculator to consider various payment amounts.

How Long Does It Take to Service a Boat?

When boat owners bring their boats for regular servicing, they would normally expect the boat to be ready in time for the weekend. A reputable boat dealer, Finding a reputable boat repair and service company is very important when it comes to being prepared for owning a boat. Many dealerships or sellers can usually recommend. It is always advisable to do your own research before deciding.

How will you handle winter maintenance and storage?

When boat owners bring their boats for regular servicing, they would normally expect the boat to be ready in time for the weekend. A reputable boat dealer would usually have a short servicing time period where you can have your boat back within a couple of days. Custom added features or performance upgrades can also be done at certain dealerships however, parts on the backorder might take some time to arrive. For that reason, it always advisable to know about the servicing time period before deciding which boat dealer to purchase from.