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Many people don't have the cash on hand to buy a new boat, so are forced to finance their boat. There are many institutions happy to lend money - banks and credit unions, building societies and finance companies, even family and friends.

Your best bet is to go the institution route, and you'll find it doesn't matter if the bike is new or used.

Experts suggest applying for pre-approved finance. this way you know the money you can afford, so you don't waste time looking at boats that are out of your reach. And it gives you the buying power of a cash buyer. The dealer doesn't care where the money comes from - as long as it comes.

Other tips are:

  • Don't over commit
  • Gather information
  • Check out the small print (especially if you are in the risk category of borrower)
  • Don't put a boat on the mortgage
  • Get pre-approved finance but let the dealer think you will be paying cash
  • Pay on time
  • Don't impulse buy

Questions to ask your finance supplier:

  1. Is the financing via a standard fixed installment loan?
  2. Can the interest rate on this boat loan change?
  3. What is the lowest interest rate I can get approved for?
  4. If you need bad credit boat financing, does the lender specialise in bad credit approvals?
  5. What are the late fees if my payment is 30 days late? Can late payments cause the interest rate to increase?
  6. How long is the term on the boat loan? Will the loan be paid off at the end of the term?
  7. Can the lender call the loan due in full at anytime?
  8. What happens if a payment is 60 days late? How does this affect my credit?
  9. Does the loan use simple interest or penalise you if the loan is paid off early?
  10. Is there a down payment requirement? Does the lender require more full coverage boat insurance?
  11. Are there any additional document fees that may be charged?
  12. What is the best installment loan option for me?