U.S. Bank Boat Loans
If you’ve found your next dream watercraft, your next move is figuring out how to afford it and the other costs of boat ownership. By financing with a boat loan, you can hit the water today and pay off your purchase later.
While there are plenty of boat loans available, the key is finding the right offer because you want as much money as possible going toward paying off your new watercraft, not interest and fees. U.S. Bank is one of your options and we’ve broken down what it offers in detail.
About U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank traces its history all the way back to 1863. Today, it is the fifth-largest bank in the country, offering everything from checking and savings accounts to home mortgages. Parent company U.S. Bancorp was under the scrutiny of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency through the end of 2018 and fined at least $528 million. Thanks to shoddy controls, federal prosecutors said, a former U.S. Bank customer and race-car driver Scott Tucker was able to launder money from an illegal payday-lending scheme. The bank said it has since implemented new controls.
Their branches are primarily on the West Coast and the Midwest. Even though U.S. Bank offers an online application for boat loans, you can only apply from states where they have a bank branch. U.S. Bank makes same-day decisions for its boat loans so you’ll discover quickly whether you qualify. It is worth the effort?
U.S. Bank boat loans: At a glance
- Loan amounts between $5,000 and $150,000.
- Terms between 12 months and 20 years.
- APRs as low as 5.74%, as of publication.
You can use a loan from U.S. Bank to buy a new or used boat. The bank also offers refinancing for existing boat loans if you think you may qualify for a better deal on an existing debt.
All types of new and used sailboats, motorboats, yachts as well as large U.S. Coast Guard documented vehicles and boat trailers are eligible for a boat loan from U.S. Bank. However, you cannot use its boat loans for smaller watercrafts like Jet Skis.
To qualify for the best rate on a boat loan, you need to meet several conditions:
- Buy a new boat.
- Have a loan term of 48 months or less.
- Take out a loan for at least $25,000.
- The loan must be 100% or less of the boat’s value.
- Make automatic payments from a U.S. Bank checking account.
U.S. Bank does not publicly list a minimum credit score for your loan, though it will consider this as a factor during your application. Credit score, income, your overall ability to repay the loan and whether you have an existing relationship with U.S. Bank are all factors in the underwriting process.
Qualifying for U.S. Bank’s lowest rate takes some effort and even if you do qualify, it’s still not the lowest offer on the market. Before making any decision, it’s worth comparing boat loans at a few other companies to find the very best deal. You could fill out a single form at LendingTree, where you may be matched with up to five different loan offers from lenders based on your creditworthiness.
If you’d like to estimate how much your boat loan will cost before moving forward, this boat loan calculator shows how much you’d pay per month based on the size of your loan, term and APR.
How to apply for financing
You can apply for a U.S. Bank boat loan online, by phone or at one of its branches. The bank estimates it takes five minutes or less to complete its online application. If you are already a U.S. Bank customer, you can use your Online Banking account to log in and save time on the application but it’s not required.
The U.S. Bank boat loan application will ask for your Social Security number, address, contact information, employment status and income. You will also need to provide a form of government identification like a driver’s license or state ID. U.S. Bank will use this information to make a hard pull on your credit report, which could lower your credit score.
Finally, it will ask you to list the year and estimated value of the boat you are trying to buy with the loan. If you are unsure about the value, U.S. Bank provides a link to JDPower’s website for researching the price of boats. You could also research boat values at NADAGuides.
If you need help with the online application, you can contact U.S. Bank by phone or live chat. After you submit the information, U.S. Bank makes a same-day credit decision so you’ll quickly know whether you qualify. To close your loan, you’ll need to sign the final paperwork in person at a bank branch.
The fine print
If you have a U.S. Bank personal checking account and use it to make automatic payments on your boat loan, U.S. Bank will give you a 0.50% discount on your APR. You need this discount to receive its lowest possible APR advertised on its website, though you don’t need a checking account to qualify for the loan. You can also open a U.S. Bank checking account after you’ve taken out the boat loan, so you can then set up automatic payments and qualify for the discount.
All U.S. Bank checking accounts come with a monthly fee ($6.95), which is waived if you keep an average balance of $1,500 or make a monthly direct deposit of at least $1,000 into its Easy Checking account.
U.S. Bank does not charge an application fee for its boat loans. After you take out a loan, U.S. Bank charges a penalty if you close (pay off) that loan in less than one year. The prepayment penalty is 1% of the loan amount or $100, whichever is smaller.
Pros and cons of financing through U.S. Bank
With U.S. Bank, you get a fast, same-day decision for your boat loan, which is convenient for your research. Applying may be the only way to find out what a U.S. Bank boat loan will cost you — its website lists the lowest possible APR, not a range.
Here are some other pros and cons to financing your boat through U.S. Bank:
Highlights of U.S. Bank boat financing
No down payment needed — While other boat loans may require a down payment for about 10-20% of the purchase, with U.S. Bank, you can borrow up to the entire value of a boat.
Discount for checking account customers – If you set up automatic payments on your boat loan from a U.S, Bank checking account, you’ll receive a 0.5% discount on the APR.
Short and long-term boat loans – Boat loans range from as short as 1 year to 12 years.
A quick, simple and free application – It takes roughly five minutes to complete the U.S. Bank online application. You’ll receive a same-day decision with no fee to apply.
Lowlights of U.S. Bank boat financing
Prepayment penalty – If you pay off the loan in less than one year, U.S, Bank charges a 1% penalty on your loan amount, or $100, whichever is smaller.
Low loan maximum – U.S. Bank boat loans only go up to $150,000, which might not be enough if you’re looking at a high-end boat.
Strict conditions to qualify for lowest APR – To get U.S. Bank’s best deal, you must take out at least a 48-month loan for at least $25,000 on a new boat and make automatic payments through a U.S. Bank checking account.
The bottom line: Who is U.S. Bank best for?
If you’d like to buy a boat with no money down, U.S. Bank is worth a look. Though other lenders offer 100% financing for those who meet their credit requirements, many require a down payment. With U.S. Bank, you may be able to borrow up to the full value of the boat.
U.S. Bank boat loans may be a good fit for someone who wants face-to-face customer service when planning their boat financing. If you live near a U.S. Bank branch, you can stop by one of the locations to set up your loan. U.S. Bank also offers phone and live chat support.
Existing U.S. Bank customers would be eligible for a 0.5% discount on their APR by setting up automatic payments through their bank account. Not to mention, you can speed up the application because U.S. Bank already has your information on file.
That discount may be enough to put U.S. Bank in contention for the best rate, assuming you meet its other conditions. If you’re not an existing customer or aren’t interested in establishing a checking account at U.S. Bank, it may not be the best option, especially if you have good credit. In addition, U.S. Bank boat loans only go up to $150,000, so if you want a more expensive boat, it might not offer enough financing.
The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing.