Best Boat Loans in 2024

Boats can cost thousands but a loan can spread your payments for as long as 20 years

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LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.
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Written by Lauren Nicholson | Edited by Amanda Push | Updated June 27, 2024 Best for low APRs


84 to 252 months

$10,000 - $9,900,000



  • Offers refinancing
  • Can use a co-applicant
  • Can borrow up to $9,900,000


  • Doesn’t directly fund your loan
  • Must have debt-to-income ratio under 45%
  • Minimum loan term of 84 months

What to know

+ is a lending platform that works with 20 banks to offer boat loans as large as $9,900,000. However, since it has minimum repayment terms of 84 months, it could cost you more in interest over the life of your loan than the shorter terms offered by other lenders.

With, you can refinance your current boat loan or use a co-applicant to receive better rates.

Eligibility requirements


To get a boat loan through, you’ll need to meet the following credit, income and debt requirements:

  • Credit score of at least 580
  • Debt-to-income (DTI) ratio under 45%

LightStream: Best for no fees

6.99% (with autopay)

24 - 144 months

Loan Term Disclosure

Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. Excellent credit is required to qualify for lowest rates. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50% points higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $25,000 loan at 7.49% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $777.54. © 2024 Truist Financial Corporation. Truist, LightStream and the LightStream logo are service marks of Truist Financial Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by Truist Bank.

$5,000 to $100,000

Good credit score


  • Offers same-day funding
  • Doesn’t charge any fees
  • Loans don’t require collateral


  • No option to prequalify
  • Smaller loan amounts than other boat lenders
  • Shorter loan terms than competitors

What to know


Fees can add up fast when you’re financing a boat, but LightStream doesn’t charge its customers any fees. Aside from that, LightStream doesn’t require collateral, whereas most boat loan lenders do.

However, LightStream doesn’t allow you to prequalify for a loan, so you can’t view potential rates and terms without impacting your credit. You may also find longer loan terms and larger loan amounts with other lenders.

Eligibility requirements


LightStream doesn’t offer specifics when it comes to its eligibility requirements. Its website states that it looks for consumers with “good-to-excellent credit profiles,” as well as the following:

  • Several years of credit history with mixed accounts
  • Proof of assets
  • Good DTI ratio
  • History of on-time payments

Southeast Financial : Best for same-day credit approval


Up to 240 months

$10,000 - $4,000,000



  • Offers same-day credit decisions in some cases
  • Repayment terms up to 240 months
  • 575 credit score requirement


  • No financing if your boat is your primary residence
  • Doesn’t offer financing in Alaska or Hawaii
  • Only offers loans to U.S. citizens

What to know


Southeast Financial is an online marketplace with a minimum credit requirement of just 575 and the ability to approve your loan application the same day you apply in some cases. This company also offers flexible loan amounts from $10,000 to $4,000,000, so you can access both large and small boat loans.

Unfortunately, you won’t qualify for a Southeast Financial loan if you live in Alaska or Hawaii. Southeast Financial also doesn’t offer financing if you live on your boat full time or aren’t a U.S. citizen.

Eligibility requirements


Southeast Financial offers clear guidance on how potential borrowers can qualify for a boat loan:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Minimum income of $25,000
  • Can’t live in Alaska or Hawaii
  • Boat model must be no older than 2009

Boatzon: Best for large boat loans


Up to 240 months

Up to $25,000,000



  • Potential 24-hour funding
  • Large loan amounts
  • Offers secured and unsecured loans


  • Doesn’t directly fund your loan
  • Doesn’t offer eligibility criteria
  • May require a 10%-20% down payment

What to know


Boatzon is a lending platform that connects consumers with lending partners within its network. To do this, you can prequalify with Boatzon and see which lenders may be interested in you. Boatzon’s large loan amounts and long repayment terms may make it a good option for those looking to finance a luxury boat.

Keep in mind, you may have to provide a 10% to 20% down payment on your boat loan, depending on the lender. Boatzon also isn’t clear about its eligibility requirements.

Eligibility requirements


Boatzon doesn’t offer many details as to how consumers can qualify for a boat loan. However, boat loan lenders typically take into account the following factors:

  • Credit score
  • Credit history
  • Income
  • Employment status
  • DTI ratio
  • Type of boat
  • Model year
  • Condition of the boat

See how much you can afford using our boat loan calculator

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Boat financing: How to qualify

It’s not hard to finance a boat, but you’ll receive more favorable rates and terms if your credit score is 600 or higher. Those with very good credit are more likely to qualify for a lender’s introductory rates. If your credit isn’t where you want it to be, don’t worry: There are bad-credit boat loans available for borrowers with scores in the mid-500 range.

Most lenders will check your credit and ask for certain information:

  • Personal information: Name, address, phone, Social Security number, date of birth
  • Financial information: Income, monthly housing cost, employer
  • Boat information: Used or new, age, estimated value

If you aren’t sure what your score is, you can get your free credit score below and move forward with applying for your loan.

How to apply for a boat loan

Before financing a boat, you’ll need to do some legwork to find the loan that best fits your budget and financial position.

  1. Determine your budget. You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew with a new loan, so be sure to examine your monthly income and expenses to estimate what you can afford. A boat loan calculator can help you estimate your monthly loan payments.
  2. Check your credit score. A bad credit score can make it difficult to qualify for a boat loan, and even if you do qualify, you may be stuck with high interest rates. If you don’t have good credit, take some time to improve your credit score.
  3. Get preapproved or prequalified for a loan. This can give you an idea of what lenders are willing to offer. While a boat loan preapproval isn’t a firm offer, it outlines the rates, fees, terms and amounts similar to what a lender will likely offer you. Preapprovals tend to come with hard credit pulls, which can impact your credit. Prequalification also isn’t a firm offer but can give you a rough idea of what to expect without any impact to your credit.
  4. Compare offers. Don’t take the first offer you receive. Compare boat loan offers from at least three lenders, and pay close attention to each of their features and fine print before deciding which is best.
  5. Sign your loan agreement. Once you decide to move forward with a lender, you’ll need to supply documentation to verify information such as your identity and income. You’ll also likely need to submit to a hard credit pull. Once your lender verifies everything, you’ll sign your loan agreement and start making payments.

How to get a used boat loan

Like cars, the value of a new boat depreciates the minute it leaves the showroom — as much as 15% in the first year. Buying a used boat can cut down on that drop in value and save you money.

As with any new loan, you’ll need to determine your budget and make sure your credit score is in tip-top shape.

You can find used boat loans with banks, credit unions and online lenders and through your boat dealer. If a boat loan isn’t the right choice for your financial situation, you can also pay for a boat using a personal loan, home equity loan or home equity line of credit.

How to compare boat loans

When exploring loan options, there are a number of important factors to take into consideration, including annual percentage rates, terms, amounts and eligibility requirements. By comparing boat loan offers, you can select a lender that best fits your financial goals and budget.

Annual percentage rates

A loan’s annual percentage rate (APR) measures how much it will cost you to borrow money. This number includes both the interest rate and fees. The better your credit score, the lower your APR is likely to be.

Repayment terms

Your repayment terms specify how long you have to repay your boat loan. The longer your term is, the lower your monthly payment will likely be. However, you may pay more in interest with a longer loan. The shorter your loan term is, the higher your monthly payment may be, but you may save money on interest.

Loan amounts

The amount of money a boat lender is willing to offer you depends on your credit score and history, your income and the value of your boat. If you need a large loan amount, some lenders may require that you meet higher income and credit score thresholds.

Eligibility requirements

Each lender will have its own set of eligibility requirements, but most consider factors such as your credit score, income, payment history and DTI ratio. Taking steps to improve your credit score and pay down current debt can improve your creditworthiness in the eyes of lenders.

Pros and cons of boat loans

 Interest rates tend to be lower when a loan is secured with collateral like a boat

 Boat loan terms are often longer than terms for personal or even car loans, giving you time to pay off the loan

 Lenders offer large loans for boat financing
 Risk losing your boat if you default on your loan

 Boat must meet lender requirements in terms of age and mileage in order to qualify for financing

 Boat values depreciate quickly, so you may owe more on your boat loan than it’s worth in a few years

 Boat loans often require a down payment, while personal loans and home equity loans do not

Alternatives to boat loans

If you don’t qualify for a boat loan for bad credit, or if you’re looking for a loan that doesn’t require you to put up your boat as collateral, you may still have options to finance your boat. Here are a few alternative boat financing solutions:

 Personal loans

Using an unsecured personal loan to cover your boat purchase comes with one major upside: you won’t risk losing your boat (or your house) if you fall behind on payments.

That said, securing a loan with your boat will likely help you to qualify for lower interest rates, saving you money in the long run. Also note that personal loans often come with origination fees, which may make taking out a loan more expensive.

While you won’t lose your boat if you default on an unsecured loan, you will face consequences like late fees, garnished wages and damaged credit.

 Home equity loans

You can use a home equity loan, or second mortgage, to exchange the equity in your home for cash that you can use to pay for your boat. Home equity loans could come with lower rates than you’d pay with a personal or boat loan, but there’s a huge catch: if you default on your payments, your home is on the line.

 Home equity line of credit

Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) come with similar benefits to home equity loans: you’ll likely pay lower interest rates, but your home will be at risk of foreclosure if you can’t make payments on your boat. The main difference between a HELOC and a home equity loan is that HELOCs function like credit cards: You can take out money, pay it off and withdraw funds again.

How we chose the best boat loans

We reviewed our LendingTree boat loan partners to determine the overall best four lenders. To make our list, lenders must offer boat loans with competitive APRs. From there, we prioritize lenders based on the following factors:

  • Accessibility: Lenders are ranked higher if their boat loans are available to more people and require fewer conditions. This may include lower credit requirements, wider geographic availability, faster funding and easier and more transparent prequalification and application processes.
  • Rates and terms: We prioritize lenders with more competitive fixed rates, fewer fees and greater options for repayment terms, loan amounts and APR discounts.
  • Repayment experience: For starters, we consider each lender’s reputation and business practices. We also favor lenders that report to all major credit bureaus and offer reliable customer service.

Frequently asked questions

The average boat costs between $60,000 and $75,000, but the price really depends on the type of boat you buy. For example, a large luxury yacht can cost $15 million or more, while a base-model outboard speedboat may only cost about $20,000. If you want something basic for fishing, the average jon boat is $5,400.

Borrowers with strong credit may find boat loan rates as low as 6.25% APR, but many lenders’ rates start around 7%.

Yes — you can lease a boat, but leasing may be more expensive than boat ownership. Renting a boat for a short period of time may be the most cost-effective option.

You may be able to get a mortgage loan on a boat if it qualifies as your main home or second home. The IRS defines a home as a property with sleeping, cooking and toilet facilities.

Yes, you could qualify for a boat loan with a 600 FICO Score. There are boat loans for bad credit available, but you’ll save money by improving your credit before applying. To qualify for the lowest rates, you usually need a credit score of 700 or above.

Boat loan terms can be as long as 20 years, and some lenders allow you to pay off your loan early, without charging a prepayment penalty. If you want to buy an inexpensive boat for a shorter term, consider using a small personal loan that can be repaid over six months or more.