How to Get a Boat Loan & How to Use a Boat Loan Calculator

You might be in need of a loan for the purchase of a used or new boat. However, a loan calculator can help you determine what size or type of vessel you can afford.

How to Get a Boat Loan

This calculator is intended solely for general informational purposes and to provide a rough estimate based on the information you have provided.

You should not base your decision on this estimate alone.

If you already know your monthly budget amount, enter it in the total loan amount window and work backward to determine what size loan you can afford.

If you know the cost of the boat or PWC you want, put that amount in the monthly payment window to determine your monthly payment.

How to Get a Boat Loan

If you are sure of the type of boat best suits your needs, and now it’s time to pull the trigger and make your boating dreams a reality—all that’s left to do is figure out how to get a boat loan.

Don’t worry, this is every bit as easy as getting a car loan or similar financing.

There are three basic steps to follow to get a boat loan:

  1. Identify and price the exact boat you want.
  2. Identify and price the boat insurance you need.
  3. Initiate the purchase.

Boat Loans: Options, Interest Rates, and Lenders

If it sounds simple, well, that’s because it is. Most new boats are purchased with a how-to-get boat loan, so well-established procedures are in place. As for who to take out the loan from, you’ll have three basic options to choose from:

  1. Arranging financing through your boat dealer – This is usually the best bet. Boat dealers set up boat loans every day, so you’ll be working with someone who knows the ropes, has established relationships with lenders, and also wants to make the entire transaction happen as quickly and seamlessly as possible. They can usually help with some recommendations for setting up insurance, too.
  2. Get a loan from your bank – Some buyers who have a lot of equity in their home find it advantageous to take out a home equity loan or a second mortgage, either because they may get a lower interest rate or for tax purposes. Remember, however, that this will add some time and complexity to the transaction.
  3. Take out a loan with a lender specializing in marine financing – Since financing a boat is a bit different than financing other things, there are some lenders who specialize in it. In fact, there’s even an organization, the National Marine Lenders Association, made up of lenders who are familiar with all the ins and outs of making boat loans.

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Use a Boat Loan Calculator

When you get your boat loan, just what will the payments be? To get a good idea of how the monthly expense for different loans will shake out, use our Boat Loan Calculator.

Of course, there are some other variables that can come into play. The lender may consider credit scores, boat loan basics debt ratios, and net worth, more or less depending on your personal circumstances and the size and term of the loan.

However, there are a few generalities that hold true for the vast majority of boat loans:

  • Interest rates generally go down as the loan amount goes up.
  • Interest rates generally go down as the term of the loan goes down.
  • Higher loan amounts can usually be stretched over longer periods of time. In most cases, boat loans range from four to 20 years.
  • Usually, the lender will be basing a boat loan on a 10- to 20-percent down payment. That said, there are some no-money-down deals out there.
  • Often, you can roll the expenses of accessories like electronics, trailers, and even extended warranties into a boat loan. Just be sure to pick out the complete package you want, ahead of time.
  • Most lenders will be looking for credit scores of about 700 or higher. You can get a boat loan with a lower credit score, but expect that you may have to pay a penalty in the form of a higher interest rate or a larger down payment.

Boat Loan Calculator

This calculator computes monthly boat loan payments.

Description Amount
Boat price $
Down payment $
Trade-in allowance $
Owed on trade-in $
Interest Rate % See Rates
Sales Tax %
Loan amount $
Monthly payment $
Sales Tax:
Total Interest:
Note: Personal circumstances may have a significant effect on interest rates for which an individual might qualify. 

Boat Payment and Affordability Calculator Help

Boat Payment and Affordability Calculator Help

Boat Price

This figure represents the boat’s sticker price or negotiated price, this is the price that the seller and buyer have agreed upon for the purchase of the boat. This figure does not include sales tax or the cost of financing the loan.

Monthly Payment

This figure represents the amount the borrower is responsible for on a monthly basis. When allocating a budget for a monthly auto loan payment, a purchaser should also consider auto insurance, repairs, maintenance, and fuel costs.

Down Payment

This figure represents the amount a purchaser is going to pay at the time of purchase. The higher the down payment amount, the lower the amount of interest the purchaser will pay over time.

Trade-In Value

This figure represents the value of your current vehicle, minus the amount you still owe on its loan if any. To find your vehicle’s Trade-In Value simply selects your vehicle from this page and subtract any outstanding loan balances from that value.

Interest Rate

This is the rate at which you will have to pay back additional funds for the use of money lent to you. Interest Rates are calculated based off of the borrower’s credit scores, and the amount of money being lent.

To minimize the amount of interest paid, increase the amount of your down payment and increase your monthly payments when possible.

Loan Term

This is the amount of time a loan repayment is scheduled over. Typically a longer loan term means a buyer will have a lower monthly payment but will pay more in interest over time.

Sales Tax

Depending on the state you are buying a new boat or a used boat in or even leasing it, you may have to pay state sales tax. Keep in mind trading in your existing boat may reduce the taxable amount as well.

Also, some states compute your sales tax before a rebate or incentive is applied to the purchase price and other states figure it afterward.

FICO Score

FICO® scores can impact the interest you pay on a loan. Below is an example set of FICO scores and the respective APR.

You can see that working to get your score in the higher ranges can mean more savings! Use the below FICO score table to better estimate the APR you will qualify for.

760-850 3.442 %
700-759 3.664 %
680-699 3.841 %
660-679 4.055 %
640-659 4.485 %
620-639 5.031 %

Actual prices and payments may be different due to local rebates, specials, fees, and credit qualifications. Consult your dealer for the actual price, payments, and complete details.

Final Say

Accordingly, we cannot and do not guarantee the accuracy or applicability of the estimates produced by this calculation. The results from its use should be viewed as hypothetical, for illustrative purposes.

At the appropriate time, we recommend you rely upon the actual interest rate and payment information provided to you by your dealer or lender.

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