Get Pre-Qualified Without Dinging Your Credit

The Best Way to Get a Boat Loan Fast

Start with a no-obligation “soft pull” of your credit.

You will be able to benefit from knowing your buying power before you head to the dealership or better negotiate a purchase price with a private party.

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Start by filling out our application below. In under 3 minutes or less you will be on your way to financing your new Boat!

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Worry Free Loans Process

Qualify For A Boat Loan

Securing boat financing is not difficult, but individuals with a credit score of 600 or higher will be eligible for more advantageous rates and terms. Those with excellent credit are more likely to meet the requirements for a lender’s special introductory rates. If your credit score is not up to par, there are loans available for individuals with scores in the mid-500 range.

Most lenders will review your credit and request specific details, including:

Personal Info:
Name, address, phone number, social Security number, date of birth

Financial Info:
Income, monthly housing expenses, employer

Boat Info:
Whether it is used or new, age, and estimated value

A boat Loan Has Never Been Easier

Boat Loan Requirements

Applying for financing for a boat is similar to applying for financing for a car, a truck, or an RV, where the purchased item serves as collateral for the loan. First, you will look for a boat that meets your needs and fits your budget, and then you will submit an application. Usually, you will need to make a down payment—possibly around 10% or 20%—although this may vary.

Moreover, you will have to meet the criteria established by the financial establishment for boat financing, with the lender usually examining your income, liabilities, and credit score. They might also evaluate your employment stability and other factors.

Typically, you will need to make a down payment, which can range from 10% to 20%, although there are some cases where this may not apply. Additionally, you must meet the bank’s requirements for obtaining a loan to purchase a boat, which typically involves evaluating your earnings, obligations, and credit background. They may also take into account your employment stability and other pertinent aspects.



Rate and Terms


Fees and Charges


Repayment Options


Eligibility Criteria

Loan Amounts

Your credit score and history, income, and the value of your boat will determine the maximum loan amount offered by a boat lender. If you require a substantial loan, certain lenders may stipulate higher income and credit score criteria. Additionally, lenders consider factors such as debt-to-income ratio and employment stability when determining eligibility.

Annual Percentage Rate

The annual percentage rate (APR) of a loan indicates the total cost of borrowing money, including the interest rate and any additional fees. A higher credit score generally results in a lower APR. Boat loan fees may comprise of taxes, title fees, registration fees, and loan processing fees.

Repayment Terms

The duration of your loan repayment dictates the time you have to pay off your boat loan. A longer term results in a reduced monthly payment, but it entails higher interest payments. Conversely, a shorter term translates to higher monthly payments, but it leads to savings on interest.

Qualification Process

Every lender will have their own specific criteria for eligibility, but the majority take into account elements like your credit score, income, payment history, and debt-to-income ratio. Making efforts to enhance your credit score and reduce existing debt can enhance your creditworthiness from the perspective of lenders.

What is DTI?

Boat Loan Income and Debt Requirements

Lenders frequently utilize a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) to assess an individual’s eligibility for a loan. This is because a person may have a substantial income but also carry a significant amount of debt, whereas another individual may have a lower income but a much lower level of debt. The ratio is generally what holds significance for a lender.

To calculate your DTI, you’ll need two pieces of information:

  • your gross monthly income
  • your total monthly debt payments (such as house/rent payments, car payments, personal loans, student loans, and credit cards)

Suppose your monthly income is $7,500, and your monthly debt, including the new boat payment of $245, totals $2,745. Divide the debt by your income, resulting in a DTI of 36.6%. Although close to the 36% guideline, it still falls within an acceptable range. Congratulations, you’ve passed the DTI test!

Here are a couple other examples to illustrate possibilities:

how Much does your credit score matter?

Credit Score When Applying for a Boat Loan

Your credit score is a combined figure that gives a quick look at your overall credit when you request a loan, and the higher your credit score, the better.

This number can assist a lender in determining whether to authorize a loan, and if so, at what interest rate and duration. This is because when determining which loans to authorize, a lender is assessing the amount of risk for their financial institution. Since previous behavior can help forecast future actions, individuals with high credit scores are generally seen as more likely to make timely payments on their new boat loans.

Factors that play a role in your score in the general order of their importance include:

  • your payment history (how well you pay your debts on time)
  • your outstanding balances, especially in relation to the amount of credit you have available on credit cards and other revolving sources of credit (your “credit utilization” with a score of 30% or less being more favorable)
  • the length of your credit history (having a more established period of good credit is helpful; brand new credit applicants may need to create one)
  • recent applications for credit (too many applications in a short amount of time can be a red flag)
  • the types of credit accounts you have, such as a mortgage, car loan, personal loan, credit cards, and so forth (your “credit mix” with a variety of types being a good sign)

Even though we have been talking about a single credit score, consumers actually have three different credit scores. Lenders use different scores when deciding on boat loans and other types of loans. Each score is likely to be similar, but not always the same.

Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion are the top three agencies responsible for overseeing a consumer’s credit and supplying lenders with scores. You have the opportunity to review your credit reports from these three agencies once a year at no cost, although only is sanctioned by the government to do so.

As far as what’s considered a good score, here’s the rubric for Experian’s credit score (FICO®):

  • Exceptional: 800-850
  • Very good: 740-799
  • Good: 670-739
  • Fair: 580-669
  • Poor: 300-579

Just like with any other part of the loan approval process, each lender will have their own criteria for what credit score is acceptable. If you want to increase your credit score in order to qualify for a boat loan, some tactics to consider are:

  • Making all debt payments on time (at least the minimum amount due)
  • Maintaining a low credit utilization by using no more than 30% of your available credit can be beneficial
  • Only applying for credit when necessary
  • Inquire with the lender about the possibility of conducting a soft credit inquiry rather than a hard one to avoid it appearing as an official application, particularly if you are still in the process of considering your options and not yet prepared to apply.

Additionally, it is important to review your credit reports to ensure that there are no inaccuracies that could negatively impact your credit scores. Contact the agencies to address any errors and take the opportunity to look for indications of identity theft. If you notice anything suspicious or incorrect, taking action to rectify the issue can improve your credit scores.

How to budget for your boat

Personal Budget When Applying for a Boat Loan

The previous topics have centered on the potential amount a lender may be open to lending for the purchase of a boat. It is important to also take into account your personal financial situation and how this investment will align with your budget.

When deciding on a boat to purchase, evaluate the size of the down payment you can feasibly make while still leaving room for savings. Additionally, factor in the continual expenses associated with owning a boat.

  • fuel costs
  • marina fees
  • regular maintenance costs
  • repairs
  • monthly insurance costs
  • docking fees

This information can help you make a purchase of a boat within the appropriate price range.


Don’t Just take our word for it

Real Customers. Great Reviews.

Explore the real stories behind our boat and RV loan success. At Elite, our commitment is simple: delivering top-notch service. Read our genuine 5-star reviews from clients who’ve experienced firsthand what sets us apart. These testimonials aren’t just words; they’re proof of our reliable service. Join the satisfied customers who’ve turned their dreams into reality with Elite Direct Finance.


Phil and the gang worked a miracle to get me in this boat. Easy, and enjoyable transaction. Highly recommend.

Martin Mason – New Boat Owner


Great people to work with and very knowledgeable about the RV purchasing process. Highly recommend Elite.

Thomas McCarthy – New RV Owner