Financing Your Boat

Financing Options

There are many options when financing a boat but your best bet is to finance with an NMLA Marine Lender or a boat dealer.

Financing with a Dealer

If you're in the market for a boat, boat dealers are a great resource. They have plenty of useful advice, can show you the latest technology and help you find financing tailored to your budget. Many dealers employ financial specialists, whose job is to help you with everything from completing a loan application to closing and licensing your new boat. Others rely on outside agencies to perform these tasks just as seamlessly, or they may refer you to a qualified marine broker.

Purchasing a boat from a dealer offers a number of advantages, including

  • access to multiple finance sources and/or special manufacturer and dealer finance programs
  • year-round service departments
  • extended warranty programs
  • manufacturer and dealer incentive programs

Most dealers offer special programs designed to make it easier for you to buy and pay for your boat. Be sure to ask your dealer about the availability of special finance options such as 90 days same as cash, low or no interest introductory rates, or incentive rates on specific boat models.

Financing with an NMLA Lender

Boat buyers have choices when it comes to paying for their purchase, and financing is both an affordable and sensible option. But it's just as important to know where to go for a boat loan. The National Marine Lenders Association is a national organization of marine lending specialists who understand the boat business. National Marine Lenders Association members -- national and local banks, financial service firms and some credit unions -- offer competitive financing simply because they have made boat loans an important part of their business.

Realistic Down Payments - The down payment is based on the age, type and price of the boat you are buying, as well as your own credit profile. In today's market, National Marine Lenders Association marine lenders offer financing with down payments typically in the 10 percent to 20 percent range. A number of National Marine Lenders Association members have created special programs available through various manufacturers and dealers that could allow you to qualify for less on new boat specials.

Help with Used Boat Loans - Many National Marine Lenders Association lenders work with used boat dealers and boat brokers, so getting help with a loan for a pre-owned craft can be taken care of quickly and knowledgeably.

Faster Credit Decisions - Because you are working with professionals in the marine industry, National Marine Lenders Association lenders understand boats and their buyers. You can apply for a loan and be approved often in a few hours.

Longer Financing Terms - National Marine Lenders Association marine finance specialists recognize the value of a well-maintained boat, so terms generally will be more attractive than those offered by lenders not actively making boat loans.

Lower Monthly Payments - Because National MarineLenders Association marine lenders understand that boats have longer life cycles than cars, they tend to extend longer terms on boat loans. That means monthly payments are likely to be much lower than you had expected.

More Electronics and Extras - National Marine Lenders Association marine lending specialists will allow you to finance optional equipment, electronics, extended service plans and life/disability insurance coverage with your purchase. By financing your boat purchase you can usually afford a newer, larger, or more powerful boat and all the gear that it takes to make boating safer and more enjoyable!

Sales and personal property taxes - Although this varies by state, most new boat sales are subject to sales and or property taxes; used boat sales may also be taxed in entirety or by varying methods. Lenders will require proof of payment of sales tax to finalize any loan process.

You can find National Marine Lenders Association marine lenders at boat shows, through ads in boating magazines and on the web, including a member listing on this site. Ask your dealer or broker to help you gain the financing benefits offered by National Marine Lenders Association marine lenders.

Here's where you learn about financing your boat purchase - how it's done, who can help you, and why you should be working with a member of the National Marine Lenders Association.

To find a lender in your area, please go to the NATIONAL MARINE LENDERS ASSOCIATION MEMBER LIST and choose your region and boat size. You will then have access to those members that can meet your needs.