If you love nothing more than getting out on open water and sailing, chances are you either own a boat, or you’re thinking about it. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to upgrade your current boat or you’re a first-time boat owner and can’t wait to get one.
Buying a boat isn’t always an easy process though. It’s easy enough to find your ideal dream boat, but what if you don’t have all the money up front?
Financing a boat you want helps you get one step closer to securing the right vehicle for you before anyone else gets it. Learn more on sailboat financing and what to be aware of before making a final decision.
Figure Out Why You Are Buying a Boat
Think about why you’re wanting a new boat. Figuring out why you want to get a boat helps you determine if you need to do so quickly or can afford to shop around.
Is your old one in a state of disrepair? Do you not have a boat, but want to get out on the water before summer ends?
Perhaps you made plans to go out boating with your family for a special event but discovered there was damage, and now you don’t have an alternative. If you’re needing a boat soon, know there’s always the option to get one through financing, without a wait to save up for a large down payment.
While many people criticize and say that buying a boat is a waste of money, it depends on your unique situation. If you and your family have plans to make use of a boat during the warmer weather, you live in a lakefront community, or you don’t make many large purchases, don’t be quick to judge.
Getting out on the water and enjoying quality time with those you care about is as good a reason as any to get a boat and make the most of your time in the water. As long as you take care of it, your boat can last for many years to come.
Check Out Your Current Financial Situation
Before purchasing, get a clear understanding of what your financial situation is first. This sounds daunting, but when you break down each task, it isn’t difficult.
Get a copy of your credit report and see what your score is. Make sure you can account for everything it shows you liable for since credit reports can turn up something you didn’t know about, like a line of credit opened in your name.
Figure out what your monthly expenses are and how much disposable income you have to work with. This involves making a budget of your expenses that you incur each month, and figuring out how much income you and any other members of your family bring in.
If you want to finance a boat, understand this is just like any other loan. Ask yourself the same questions you would take into consideration if you were taking out a loan.
Knowing how much money you can put aside every month for payment on the financing of your boat helps you decide how much of a loan you’ll need. This is important in determining what kind of boat you’ll end up buying that meets your needs while staying within budget.
Understand the Benefits of Financing a Boat
If you’re looking into how to finance a boat, understand that it’s not all doom and gloom and there are benefits to doing so. Before you become put off by other’s telling you financing on credit is a mistake, here’s why many other people in the same situation choose a boat loan over paying cash.
Financing your boat allows you to get it right away. That means if someone else has an offer on the boat, you don’t have to worry about them snatching it up while you’re trying to come up with the rest of the cash.
If you have the means to pay off your new purchase but don’t have all the money available right away, financing makes sense and allows you to secure your boat quickly.
Many dealers offer finance help at the dealership. That means you don’t have to run around trying to get a loan and go back to the dealership; everything is taken care of in the same place, saving you time and effort.
Boat loans operate similarly to a car loan. That means you have the chance to trade in an older boat and get credit for a new one.
Many lenders also offer fast credit decisions, simplifying the process. Getting a boat financed can be easy and painless if you know where to go and how to go through the steps to get the help you need.
Get more info on how to tell if this is the best option for you.
Pick a Boat and Shop Around for Offers
Once you’ve determined you’ll take advantage of the choice to get boat financing, you can look around and decide what type of boat you need.
Perhaps you already have a boat but your family size increased, and you need something with additional room. Or maybe you’ve never had a boat before, and you’re not sure what would meet your needs best.
Now is the time to look around and determine the different types of boats on the market. Make sure you’re taking into account factors such as:
- The number of people going on the boat
- If you plan on taking the boat to different places via driving
- How big is the lake or other bodies of water you’ll boat in
- The number of times per year you plan on using the boat
Think about storage on the boat, and if you’ll need a below-deck area to put things, such as life jackets or fishing supplies. Once you’ve figured out the best boat for you, start shopping around.
You can either go to different dealerships and see what prices they’re selling boats at. Or, you can select your favorite dealership or place you feel most comfortable purchasing from, and negotiate the price down from there.
Above all, it’s important you feel confident about where you’re buying your new boat from. A dealership that strives to work with you and help you own the boat of your dreams goes a long way in establishing this confidence.
Once you know where you’re purchasing from, you can return again when you’re ready to trade in, upgrade, and get a new boat altogether.
Gather What You’ll Need to Finance and Put in an Application
Once you’re ready to buy your ideal boat, you’ll need to start the application process so you can secure financing. This takes a little involvement, but once you have everything together, putting in your application isn’t that difficult.
Get together your personal financial statements, tax returns, and a credit report. If you go to a dealership with pre approval this works in your favor, both speeding up the process and showing the dealership you’re looking to buy right now.
Know that even if you can afford to make the monthly payments on your loan, that doesn’t mean you’ll get approved right away. Keep this in mind as you’re applying.
Know that with taking out a loan for a boat, you’ll still get subjected to late fees, monthly payments, and interest rates. Plan accordingly and keep these factors in mind.
Find out how long approval of the application takes. Many times the process is quick, but you’ll want to know if the financing you’re getting takes longer than other options.
Once you’re approved, you’ll need to consider where you plan to store your boat and if there’s any fees associated with that. Even if there aren’t, boat insurance is important in case of any accidents while you’re out on the water.
After you’ve got all these issues solved, you can enjoy getting on your boat and spending quality time on the water.
When financing a boat, understand that this is a helpful option for folks who have a boat in mind, but don’t have all the cash up front. If you’re looking to quickly secure the boat you want, getting it financed is a quick solution rather than trying to gather all the cash up front.
If travel and getting out are your idea of fun, you don’t have to limit yourself to just boating. Check out our article on living in a camper, and see how you can save money and have fun while traveling around the country.