Best Boat Loan Lenders

Some of the top boat loan lenders on the market

If you are looking to finance your boat and do not wish to use a local bank or creditor for the loan, there are other options available to you. Specifically, a number of institutions are available online which have a reputation for marine loans on various vessels. However, you should not just type boat financing into a search engine and hope to get a reputable lender. While some may be, there are a growing number of scams and non-professional institutions who would be more than happy to take your money and your boat title. To help you shift through the mess, we offer you a few of the best boat lenders.

National Marine Lenders Association

The National Marine Lenders association was founded in 1979 and has been working to educate and promote credit to purchasers and lenders since that time. The Association, commonly referred to as the NMLA, is a national organization focusing only on boat loans. Different from the “traditional” bank, the loans from the NMLA have lower down payments of 10% to 20% (rather than the 25% or more from banks), also longer financing options are available for those who need lower monthly payments spanned out over a longer period of time. NMLA works with various banks, including Bank of America, Boat Finance LLC, Community First Bank, Elite Recreational Finance, Lenders Risk Services, and Luxury Financial Group, to give competitive rates under loans that are (through the financial institutions represented) FDIC insured.

Lending Tree

Lending Tree offers another venue for boat buyers to have banks compete for the best rate. Albeit that the site is not specifically for boat loans, it does have a division which caters to such. When filling out the form for your loan, you should have the down payment desired, the duration of the loan that you wish to have, the desired monthly payment, and other such information. Note that this is not what you will receive from the lenders who are offering to finance your boat, but it tells the lenders what you can afford so that they can offer you their best deal. As with any multiple lender platform, you should consider the professionalism of the lender, read carefully the terms and conditions, and take your privacy information disclosures at your own risk.


This option is for those who do not have the most ideal credit scores but wish to finance a boat. Sea Dream is a finance as well as an insurance option for boat financing, allowing individuals loans up to 12 years with a no pre-payment penalty loan. The loans are fixed rate (not ballooned which may occur when dealing with some banks and other institutions depending upon your credit score). There are stipulations to the loans, as the company wishes to finance only those who can pay off the loan not those who have bad credit and cannot. Credit Scores must be 550 or higher, the boat cannot be more than 15 years old, and a minimum of 10% must be paid when receiving the loan. This company does not deal with higher priced boats, but sets its cap-off at 60k.

Other options

Of course, these are only a few of the options which are available. Florida has a number of independent financial organizations which are FDIC insured and will work with you to get a payment and interest rate that you can manage. Shop around and use due diligence when seeking a lender. Note that the above institutions are suggestions only and should only be used if you are comfortable with the terms and conditions of the lender and the lending site. Never give out your personal information if you are not comfortable with the security of a site.

Where can I find an affordable boat for sale?

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Should you need more information about financing one of the many boats for sale on Vessel Vendor, if you have general inquiries about our services, or if you wish to list your boat for sale please fill out the appropriate form on the site and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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