If you’ve been dreaming about buying a boat or pontoon, but have put it off due to not knowing where to start with financing, this blog is for you. Purchasing a new or used boat isn’t nearly as painful as you might think, and you can hit the open water for considerably less than a new car payment. Here are six must-knows about financing a boat.
1. Flexibility With Down Payments
Boat buyers have plenty of options when paying for their purchase. Financing through the boat dealer itself has many advantages including working with a high number of the industry’s best lenders, at both local and national levels. There isn’t a standard or hard and fast rule when it comes to the down payments like there is in the auto industry. Typically, down payments range from 10 – 20 percent, but each dealership will have plenty of flexibility on what’s acceptable for financing based on their terms or terms of the manufacturers they sell.
2. A Quicker Credit Application
Again, financing a boat is different than financing a car. Boats and other recreation vehicles aren’t perceived as necessary as the transportation people need for normal daily activity, which makes sense. The credit application process follows that logic, and is often conducted online even before the interested party visits the dealership. Marine lenders offer competitive terms and fast credit decisions.
3. Longer Financing Terms
Unlike cars that depreciate the moment they leave the dealer’s lot, boats hold their value much better. It’s not unheard of to finance a boat or pontoon loan for 8 to 15 year terms because of the unique value and scaled back depreciation model boats and pontoons offer.
4. Owning a Boat is Accessible
According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, 72 percent of American boat owners have household incomes of less than $100,000. Recreational boat ownership continues to climb, and financing options are supporting the data making owning a boat or pontoon less of a dream and more of a reality for people.
5. Lower Monthly Payments
Due to the extended loan terms, the monthly payments for most boats or pontoons are much lower than you might imagine. This also allows boat owners the flexibility to pay off the loan how they choose. Since boating – especially in the Midwest – is so seasonal, it’s oftentimes easier to make the standard monthly payment in the offseason as scheduled. Then as the docks and boats go back in the water and people are using their boat or pontoon with regularity again, it might make sense to increase that monthly payment.
6. More Room for the Extras
By financing your boat purchase, you can usually afford a newer or more powerful boat, a better trailer, and all the extra gear that makes boating safer and more enjoyable. Marine lending specialists often allow boat owners to finance optional or additional equipment, like electronics, extended warranty or service plans, and insurance as well.
Boating is a recreational activity intended to be fun and focused on quality time. Financing a boat or pontoon shouldn't add stress or worry to that intention. Trust a marine dealership with a great customer service focus and who will dedicate time to getting you in the boat of your dreams.