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Jet Ski Financing: What’s the Best Option for You?

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There’s no better place to be in the summer than riding on your own personal watercraft, also known as a Jet Ski, that combines the carving riding style of a motorcycle with the fun of swimming.

With prices that range from $5,500 to $18,200, few people can afford to buy a Jet Ski with their cash on hand. Don’t forget to include things like a trailer and accessories, too. You’ll likely need a loan — but if you’ve financed a car before, the process will feel familiar. Here are a few  of the Jet Ski Financing options that might be available for you.

Financing through a manufacturer

A manufacturer’s finance companies often have competitive rates because they use the financing as a tool to sell the product, whether it’s a Jet Ski or a car. Some manufacturers have their own in-house jet ski financing companies, while others partner with lenders. Dealer financing may offer limited-time incentives such as 0% down, or a low introductory rate. Krash, a Jet Ski manufacturer,  offers an online application directly with a lender.

Loan offers range from 0.00% APR for 12 months to 7.95% APR for 72 months. For example, Yamaha offered a deal on two WaveRunners for 5.99% APR for 96 months. Depending on your credit history, you may be able to find competitive rates with terms to suit your situation.

Manufacturer loans for jet ski financing
PROS CONS
A better loan offer than what you could probably find elsewhere Excellent credit required for the best offers
The dealer may throw in extras or incentives Incentives may apply only to certain models at certain times of the year

Financing with a credit card

You can finance a Jet Ski with a credit card, should you need to. If you’re signed up for rewards like airline miles or cash back, it could be a windfall. Keep the purchase and rewards limits in mind before you buy. Check with your dealer to make sure that they will accept a credit card for the full amount, or perhaps just for a down payment. Merchants pay a fee on credit card transactions so they may prefer that you pay a different way. Also consider whether it makes sense to tie up your credit until you pay it down significantly.

If you’re considering opening a new credit card to finance your Jet Ski, look for a credit card with 0% APR intro offers and those with long intro periods so you have more time to pay.

Here are few cards with long introductory rate periods:

  • U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card: 20-month 0% APR intro period, no annual fee
  • Citi Simplicity® Card: 18-month 0% APR intro period, no annual fee
  • Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card: 18-month 0% intro period, no annual fee
Credit cards for Jet Ski financing
PROS CONS
Convenience — no additional application or credit check if you already have the card Tying up a large portion of available credit on your card
Significant rewards, depending on your credit card Higher APRs than those through the manufacturer or on a PWC loan (more on that below)
Low introductory rates for a limited time

Financing with a personal watercraft (PWC) loan

A personal watercraft loan, typically from a bank, credit union or online lender, is similar to a car loan. It is tied to the specific vehicle, which could be repossessed if you fall behind on payments. You’ll have to fill out an application with the lender, who will check your credit score and verify income. Get preapproved before you go shopping to find out how much you can qualify for.

Personal watercraft loans typically have a lower APR than a personal loan.

Depending on your credit history, credit rating and manufacturer’s incentive programs, you may find better rates and terms than the dealers offer.

PWC loans for Jet Ski financing
PROS CONS
Generally lower APRs than a personal loan or a credit card paid off over multiple years Generally higher APRs than a manufacturer loan

Financing with a personal loan

A personal loan is based on your credit history and income. There’s not a lien on the vehicle’s title. Shop around for personal loans, as rates vary based on your credit history and the loan term as well as other factors. A personal loan may be the best route if you’re buying used personal watercraft from a private seller.

  • Upgrade personal loans APR starting at 5.94%. Borrow up to $50,000, no prepayment penalty.
  • Payoff personal loans APR starting at 5.99%. You must, however, have a FICO credit score of 640 or higher. You can borrow up to $40,000.
  • Best Egg personal loans APR starting at 5.99%. You must have a 700 FICO Score to qualify for best APRs. You can borrow up to $50,000.
Personal loans for Jet Ski financing
PROS CONS
Preserving available credit on your credit card. If you have excellent credit, you could probably get a better APR elsewhere.

Finding the best way to finance a Jet Ski for you

The best Jet Ski financing options depend on your personal situation. A Jet Ski purchase is what Greg James, a partner with Parsec Financial Wealth Management in Winston-Salem, N.C., calls “fun debt.” He recommends not only thinking about the cost of the purchase, but also the opportunity cost. In other words, what else could you do with this money? Pay off other debt? Save it for retirement or a rainy day? But it’s hard to put a price on enjoying your passions, James said, so it may be worth it to you.

Financing type Manufacturer Credit card PWC loan Personal loan
APR Generally lower than other options Low intro rates, higher rates afterward Lower rates than a personal loan or credit cards Higher than other options
Credit Requirement Excellent credit required for best offers Excellent credit required for best offers Less than excellent credit pays higher APR Excellent credit required for best rates
Best for People with excellent credit who plan to pay off faster Those with discipline to pay off in the intro period Those who want a fixed rate and term The loan can be used for any  purpose

Benefits of comparison shopping for Jet Ski financing

It’s smart to comparison shop to find the best deal for your financial situation. While dealer financing may seem attractive, make sure you understand the introductory rates and what the rate will climb to when the intro period is over. Because the rates can vary during the loan, if you get a low introductory rate from the manufacturer or a credit card, look at the overall cost of financing when you compare Jet Ski financing options. Make sure any financing covers the cost of the trailer and any accessories you might need like a cover for your new Jet Ski.

If it’s summertime and you’d love to hit the water in a new Jet Ski, you might make a hasty financing decision you’ll regret. You can save money for a larger down payment to make the monthly payments lower. Or you can buy a used Jet Ski for cash or use a smaller loan. Paying with cash will eliminate interest, but it might not be smart to deplete your funds.

You can apply for multiple loan offers within a 14-day period without hurting your credit rating. If you have multiple loan options, you’ll know if the dealer’s offer is competitive.

 

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