9 Best Bad Credit Boat Loans (Dec. 2023)

Best Bad Credit Boat Loans

If you’re looking for bad credit boat loans, there may be an option that’s right for you. Owning a boat isn’t exclusive to borrowers with good credit.

Boats are one of the earliest modes of transportation spanning thousands of years into the past. Today, there are more than 11 million registered vessels in the United States alone.

Although boats are generally considered luxury items, they’re a necessity for some people, whether as a place of work or even their home.

For people who need boats for more practical reasons, particularly those with poor credit and not enough funds in their savings accounts, getting a boat loan is not an easy endeavor. You may not qualify for the best boat loan rates if you have bad credit, but obtaining financing is still possible. 

Whether through a bank, credit union, or home equity loan, there are a number of ways to gain bad credit loans for boat financing.

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Personal Loans You Can Use to Buy a Boat

Getting a personal loan to buy a boat has its pros and cons. But it is one of the most versatile financing options if you have bad credit and may be your best choice, depending on your needs. 

 A personal loan will typically have higher APRs than those for boat-specific loans. And it’s unlikely borrowers with bad credit will receive a personal boat loan amount large enough for high-priced vessels. But the following lending networks can help you see which loan options you qualify for, including the loan amount and interest rate, so you can easily compare offers before applying.



Overall Rating

Loan Amount Interest Rate Loan Term Loan Example
$500 to $10,000 5.99% – 35.99% 3 to 72 Months

See representative example

One of the advantages of CashUSA.com is that personal loan requests can be approved in a matter of minutes, and bad credit loan funds can be deposited in as little as one business day. Basic eligibility requirements include having a checking account and being employed for at least 90 days, which for most borrowers shouldn’t be a problem.



Overall Rating

Loan Amount Interest Rate Loan Term Loan Example
$500 to $10,000 5.99% – 35.99% 3 to 60 Months

See representative example

BadCreditLoans.com is a good option for those with low credit scores. Loan repayment terms can stretch to six years, which is great for anyone who needs a long time to repay their boat loan.

Bad Credit Loans is not a direct lender. It shares your loan request information to the lending partners within its network which then decide whether to offer you a loan.



Overall Rating

Loan Amount Interest Rate Loan Term Loan Example
$500 to $35,000 5.99% – 35.99% 3 to 72 Months

See representative example

PersonalLoans.com works with its network of lenders to provide loans of up to $35,000, which may help take a hefty cut out of your boat purchase depending on the price tag. Personal Loans works with several direct lenders, and if it is unable to find the best lender for your needs, customer service will send your request to the site’s extended network of third-party, non-lender lender networks.

  • Personal loans from $500 to $35,000
  • All credit types are considered and welcome
  • Simple, no credit impact form
  • Helping consumers since 2001
  • 4.7 out of 5 Trustpilot rating with 2,000+ reviews!
  • See official site, terms, and details.


Overall Rating

Loan Amount Interest Rate Loan Term Loan Example
$500 to $35,000 5.99% – 35.99% 60 Days to 72 Months

See representative example

As the name implies, 24/7 Lending Group can receive loan applications 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year-round. Lenders on the site provide cash in less than 24 hours, and the site works with lenders to approve almost any type of bad credit. Those who apply may receive a free, no-obligation quote for a loan as small as $500 or as big as $35,000.

Direct Boat Financing

Another option worth considering is direct boat financing. While that option may be more selective of a borrower’s credit rating, those with bad credit can still apply with direct boat loan lenders and potentially receive finance offers that other lenders cannot provide.

It may take some research to find the right boat dealer, but there is always an opportunity to be approved. Given the wide array of vessels and their prices, direct boat financing lenders can provide 15- or even 20-year loans.

5. Southeast Financial

Southeast Financial is a direct lender that supports loan options for a wide variety of recreational vehicles, including boats. The repayment term can be extended up to 15 years, depending on the size of your personal watercraft.

6. SeaDream Finance & Insurance

SeaDream Finance & Insurance specializes in helping borrowers with midtier credit scores receive approval for subprime marine financing programs. With a minimum down payment of 10%, borrowers can enjoy simple interest financing with no prepayment penalty.

7. LightStream

LightStream.com offers unsecured loan options with no fees or prepayment penalties, and there are no appraisals or home equity requirements for boat loans. The loan term can vary between two and 12 years, depending on the vessel type.

Home Equity Loans

With a home equity loan (HEL), borrowers can use the value of their homes as collateral for obtaining a boat loan. HELs typically have low interest rates but require more time to process.

Here are two HEL options worth considering.

  • Get today’s mortgage rates from the top mortgage lenders and banks
  • Easily compare and choose mortgage lenders with no obligations or fees
  • Review current mortgage rates side by side
  • Pick mortgage lenders that meet your specific needs
  • Compare rates from pre-qualified and approved mortgage lenders — 100% online, 100% free
  • See application, terms, and details.


Overall Rating

Interest Rate In Business Since Application Length Reputation Score
Varies 1979 4 minutes 8.5/10

eMortgage provides a helpful tool that allows you to compare quotes from various mortgage lenders. If you have a home you can leverage, you can still get a good loan even with bad credit. But, of course, you’ll have to assume the risk and ensure the loan can be paid off over time.

  • Easy to OwnSM programs give options for those with lower income, limited credit history, and low down payment needs.
  • Provides the potential for minimal out-of-pocket expenses with seller contributions.
  • Offers loans that don’t require monthly mortgage insurance.
  • Requires less cash upfront for your down payment and closing costs.
  • See application, terms, and details.


Overall Rating

Interest Rate In Business Since Application Length Reputation Score
Varies 1852 6 Minutes 8.0/10

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage lets borrowers calculate the cost and determine what type of home equity loan rates are right for them. And if you need more information, you can go to Wells Fargo’s Mortgage Learning Center or call to speak with a consultant about using your home’s equity to purchase a boat. 

What Is a Boat Loan?

A boat loan is money lent to you that can be used to purchase a boat. Depending on the lender, a boat loan can be a secured loan or an unsecured loan

A secured boat loan means the boat is usually the collateral that can be repossessed if the borrower cannot make the boat payments. But in the case of a home equity loan, the home is the collateral. The home would be reclaimed by the lender if the borrower defaults on the loan. 

A boat loan is not the same as an auto loan, so it’s important to remember there are higher financial risks for those with bad credit.

Unlike a secured loan, a personal loan is unsecured, meaning your assets can’t be repossessed if you stop making payments on the loan. But the loan amount is generally smaller than a loan backed by collateral.

How Do I Apply For a Boat Loan?

The application process differs depending on whether you apply through a dealer, a bank, a credit union, or a home lender. 

Typical prerequisites include you have a debt-to-income ratio of 43% or below and the minimum credit score to qualify for financing. This ensures you can comfortably manage your payments.

Example DTI Ratio Calculation

You’ll have to fill out essential information, including your personal details, employment history, and income sources. Home equity loans require much more information and time to process.

While dealers and banks can issue boat loans in as little as 24 hours in some cases, home equity loans may require up to 30 days to process and receive.

Carefully review each boat loan option and see what type of interest rates and monthly payment options are available to you.

Several of the companies suggested above have tools on their websites that allow you to plug in the potential costs of a boat loan, including the amount you need to finance, the interest rate, and loan term, so you can estimate how much your monthly payment may be. And don’t forget to factor in other costs, such as fuel boat insurance.

What Credit Score Do I Need to Finance a Boat?

One thing to keep in mind is that there is no set minimum credit score requirement for boat loans. It will depend entirely on the boat dealer and the type of boat you intend to buy. 

FICO Score Range
Minimum credit score requirements vary by lender.

Using a boat loan calculator can help you see available rates based on your credit score. But, obviously, the lower your credit score, the fewer financing options you’ll have available.

Your credit score directly affects your interest rate and monthly payments. So it is important to note that finding a way to build good credit history would help tremendously before taking out a loan for a boat.

How Much Boat Can I Afford Based On My Income?

If you plan on applying for a boat loan, make sure you can afford the monthly payment. The lender will look at your DTI ratio to ensure you have enough income to comfortably pay any new debt obligations.

A general rule of thumb is that your boat loan payment should be less than 5% to 10% of your monthly income. 

Apply For Bad Credit Boat Loans Online

There is an undeniable appeal to boat ownership, and for those with a love of the water, that appeal has an almost mystical quality not found with other recreational vehicles. 

While purchasing a boat adds a whole new layer of commitment and responsibility for the owner, if properly maintained and put to good use, a boat’s emotional value can far exceed the cost. 

As mentioned before, the loan amounts, rates, and terms boat loan lenders offer can vary dramatically based on the type of boat being purchased, whether it’s a fishing boat, a speed boat, or even a yacht. 

But if you have a bad credit history and choose the appropriate finance option, there’s bound to be a sea vessel that’s right for you.

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