Boat Loan Calculator: How Much Boat Can You Afford?
If you're considering buying a boat, you have to account for it in your budget.
How much can you afford to spend for a boat?
The boat affordability calculator takes your desired monthly payment, interest rate, down payment and loan term and translates that into how much boat you can afford.
How to Use the Boat Affordability Calculator
- Determine how much you want to spend each month on a boat payment.
Understand that the cost of boat ownership includes more than just the monthly payments on your boat loan. Depending on the size and type of boat, you may pay substantial amounts for boat storage, marina fees, launch fees, boat maintenance, boat insurance and repair expenses.
Enter your desired monthly payment in the "Maximum Monthly Payment" field.
- Estimate an interest rate.
You can find boat loans from boat dealers, banks, credit unions and other finance companies. Check with several providers to see what the going rate is for applicants in your situation.
Enter your desired interest rate in the "Estimated Interest Rate" field.
- Include the amount you'll be putting in as a down payment.
Your financing options may require that you make a down payment to secure the loan.
Enter the down payment amount. (If you're not required to make a down payment, leave the amount at zero.)
- Select a loan term.
Pick a loan term - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, and 15 years - that works with your situation.
Boat Loan Interest Rates
Your boat loan interest rate depends on your credit report and credit score as well as the amount borrowed and the loan term.
Boat loans can be secured or unsecured. With a secured loan, the lender can repossess the boat if you don't make your payments as agreed. With an unsecured loan, the lender cannot repossess the boat. The lender relies entirely on your promise to repay the loan.
- Secured boat loan interest rates range between 4.5% to over 20%.
- Unsecured personal loan rates are comparable with those for secured loans - if your credit is excellent.
Applicants with bad credit do better with secured boat loans because these are less risky for lenders.
Decoding Your Results
The calculator displays the maximum boat price you can afford once you enter your budgeted boat payment amount, interest rate, down payment, and length of loan.
It's good to experiment with different numbers. For example, you'll notice that the longer your loan term, the more you'll be able to spend on a boat. Many boat loan providers offer terms of 12 to 15 years for larger loan amounts - but that may not be an advantage.
Boat Loan Payment Calculator
What if you have a boat in mind and just want to know what your monthly payment will be? The boat loan payment calculator can help you estimate your monthly payment.
Simply input the amount you wish to borrow, enter an estimated interest rate, and select a loan term.
The calculator gives you the monthly payment for terms ranging from 1, 3, 5, 7, 10 and 15 years.
The longer your term, the lower your monthly payment will be. However, the longer you finance a purchase, the more you will pay in interest charges.
Next Steps As You Consider a Boat Loan
Once you have contacted a few boat loan providers, you'll probably have several offers to compare. And these offers may come with different interest rates, loan fees and terms.
How can you tell which loan has the lowest cost - or the most affordable payment?
Try using the boat loan comparison calculator.
Input the loan amount, lender fees, loan term and interest rate for up to three boat loans.
The calculator returns the monthly payment and total financing cost - which includes lender fees and interest charges over the life of the loan.
What is APR?
The annual percentage rate is another way to express the cost of a loan.
The government requires lenders to disclose the APR so consumers can more easily compare loans with varying interest rates, terms and loan fees.
However, the loan with the lowest APR does not always have the lowest lifetime costs. That's because borrowing for a longer term, even at a lower interest rate, can cost more over the life of the loan.
How to Pay Less for a Boat Loan
There are many ways to finance personal watercraft or boats. The best one for you depends on your credit rating, resources, desired loan amount and term. Here are a few pointers:
The more expensive your boat, the more carefully you should shop for financing.
Small differences in interest rate can translate to big savings over time for larger loan amounts. Consider secured boat loans and home equity financing for high-end watercraft.
- If your boat dealer offers you low- or no-interest financing, make sure that you're not paying more for the boat than you would if you financed it independently.
- For small, less-expensive boats or personal watercraft, your best bet might be a zero-interest credit card offer with no interest for up to 24 months.
Personal loans (also called unsecured loans or signature loans) can make great boat loans, especially if you have excellent credit.
Personal loans can be used for almost any purpose, but some personal loan providers offer special loans for boats.
Some lenders also offer secured personal loans or boat loans. Secured loans can make it easier and cheaper for boat buyers with lower credit scores to get financed.
Whatever loan you choose, make sure you can afford it. Include the total cost of boat ownership in your budget in addition to your boat loan payments, and shop for the lowest cost boat loan before committing to buy. You'll enjoy your boat a lot more if you can comfortably afford it.