boat loan calculator
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How to use the boat loan calculator
Do you have dreams of gliding along the water on a boat of your own? Getting a boat loan could help bring this vision to life. But before you decide to finance a boat, it’s important to understand many of the factors that affect how much you pay to borrow money. It could mean the difference between smooth financial sailing and sinking into debt.
This calculator can help you estimate your boat loan monthly payment based on the loan amount, interest rate and loan term. It can also provide a sense of how much you’ll pay in interest on the loan as well as the amortization schedule — the amounts that go toward your loan principal and interest each month.
Keep in mind that this calculator only provides an estimate based on the information you provide. It doesn’t consider additional expenses — like sales tax and boat registration fees — that could add to your loan amount and increase your monthly payment.
Here’s the information you may need to estimate your monthly boat loan payment.
- Loan amount
- Boat price (optional)
- Down payment (if any)
- Trade-in value (if any)
- Loan term
- Interest rate
Enter the amount of money you want to borrow. If you prefer, you can enter the boat price, your down payment amount and the trade-in value of your current boat (if you have one) instead, and the calculator will automatically fill out the loan amount for you.
Boat price (optional)
If you know the price of the boat you want to buy, or if you have an idea of the amount you want to spend on a boat, enter it in the boat price field of the calculator. Note that in order for the calculator to work, you’ll need to provide either an estimated loan amount or boat price.
Down payment (if any)
Your down payment is what you pay at the time of sale — an amount that’s often expressed as a percentage of the boat’s purchase price. Boat loan lenders typically want a down payment of 10% to 20% of the boat’s purchase price, but this can vary based on the lender and the boat’s cost. Although some lenders offer loans with 0% down, keep in mind that a down payment may lower your monthly payment and reduce the total interest you pay on the loan.
Trade-in value (if any)
If you already have a boat and plan to trade it in at a boat dealership, the dealer may apply your boat’s trade-in value toward your purchase. This would reduce how much you’ll need to borrow.
NADA Guides can help you estimate your current boat’s fair market value.
The loan term is the period of time you’ll have to pay back your boat loan. It’s typically expressed in months. Depending on the type of boat loan you get, available terms will vary.
For example, you can generally get up to a 20-year loan term for a secured boat loan, which is a loan anchored by collateral (your boat). On an unsecured personal loan, terms are usually no longer than 60 to 84 months.
Choosing a longer loan term could make your monthly payments more manageable, but you’ll pay more interest on the loan. And because boats depreciate in value over time, you could end up owing more on your loan than your boat is worth. If you find yourself in this situation, selling or trading in your boat in the future could be more difficult.
The interest rate is how much you’ll pay to borrow money expressed as a percentage. The interest rate is different from the annual percentage rate, or APR, which includes the interest rate as well as any fees. Entering an estimated APR in the calculator instead of an interest rate will provide a more accurate estimate of your monthly payment.
A range of factors — including your credit scores, credit history, current debt and loan amount — can affect the interest rate you’re offered on an unsecured personal loan or secured boat loan. Typically, the lower your credit scores, the higher your interest rate. Learn more about interest on personal loans.
Average interest rates for personal loans
Interest rates and APRs can vary by lender and loan type, so be sure to shop around and compare both across your loan offers — whether you’re looking for an unsecured personal loan or a secured boat loan.
Average rates for unsecured personal loans
In the first quarter of 2021, banks charged an average interest rate of 9.98% on an unsecured personal loan with a 36-month term, according to the National Credit Union Administration. Credit unions charged a slightly lower average rate — 8.86%.
Certain factors, like a longer loan term and lower credit scores, can result in higher interest rates.
Starting APRs for secured boat loans
With secured boat loans, available interest rates may be a little lower — they’re backed by collateral, and lenders consider them less risky. You can see this when you look at some of the starting boat loan APRs available.
As of July 2021, some secured boat loan lenders offer APRs starting between 3.99% and 5.24%. But keep in mind that the APR you qualify for is based on a number of factors, including your credit, loan term, loan amount, and the age and model of the boat you choose.
This information should give you an idea of the rates some people receive on unsecured personal loans and secured boat loans. It can help you estimate an APR to enter into the boat loan calculator if you aren’t sure what rate you’ll qualify for — but it isn’t a guarantee of the rate you’ll be offered on a similar loan.
What to consider when applying for a boat loan
A boat can be a big investment. Take some time to determine your budget and shop around for boat financing.
Set your boat budget
The first step is figuring out how much boat you can afford. Tools like this boat loan calculator can help you figure out your budget. But don’t forget to account for additional boat ownership expenses — like boat insurance, fuel, storage, towing, winterizing and maintenance — as you develop your budget.
Getting a boat loan with low credit scores
Some lenders may consider lending to you even if your credit isn’t great — you can check our guide to credit score ranges to get an idea where you stand. But they might require a down payment and a low debt-to-income ratio. You’ll also likely be charged a much higher interest rate — and interest charges can add up.
Let’s say you have low credit scores and want to borrow $40,000 over a 72-month loan term. A credit union quotes an APR of 18% on a secured boat loan. You’d pay around $912 per month on the loan and almost $25,690 in total interest.
Now let’s say you have excellent credit, and the same credit union quotes an APR of 5.54% on the same loan. You’d pay about $654 per month and just over $7,100 in total interest — a huge difference from the loan with the 18% APR.
Shopping around and getting loan estimates from several lenders can help you find a boat loan that fits your budget. Marine finance companies, boat dealers and some banks and credit unions offer secured boat loans. If you want an unsecured personal loan, you can explore options from banks, credit unions and online lenders. Read more about boat loan options here.
If you apply to prequalify for a personal loan for your boat and get conditional offers from a few lenders, you’ll be able to see your estimated loan rate and terms. From there, you can compare offers and identify the best loan for your needs. Just keep in mind that prequalification isn’t a guarantee of approval. You’ll get your final approval and terms only after completing a full loan application.