How to Finance a Boat With Bad Credit

Uncover the ways you can finance a boat purchase.

Bad credit and boat financing do not seem to go hand-in-hand, but when you delve deeper into the world of financing, however, you will find that even people with bad credit have available options for financing a boat purchase. Options include dealer financing, original equipment manufacturer's financing, financing it on a credit card, a personal loan or getting a friend or family member with good credit to co-sign on the loan for you.

Step 1

Identify the financing options available to you. Not all of the financing options for buying a boat may be available, so narrow down the options for financing the boat. For example, if you do not have a credit card with a large enough line of credit or someone with good credit that can co-sign on a loan for you then these are not options for you to consider.

Step 2

Apply for the loan with a dealer, the manufacturer or a personal loan lender. Complete the financing application and submit it to the lender, along with any supporting documents the lender requires. For example, a bank extending a personal loan to you, may require a copy of the last two years of your tax returns and the last two months of your paycheck stubs to prove income. If you have a co-signor for the loan, the co-signor needs to complete their portion of the application and submit copies of their documents as well.

Step 3

Purchase the boat. Once you receive the financing, identify the credit card you are going to make the purchase on or provide the lending information to the dealer or manufacturer from which you are buying the boat.


Since you have bad credit, a dealer, manufacturer or bank may require that you put a larger cash down payment on the boat purchase and then it will loan you the difference in order to complete the purchase. Since you put a larger cash down payment on the boat, it lowers the loan amount you need, which also reduces the risk to the lender. Bad credit borrowers tend to pay higher interest rates than good credit borrowers because the risk to the lender is higher.

Even though you have bad credit, you should still shop and compare your financing options. Lenders exist that will lend to bad credit borrowers, but the terms and conditions of the loan vary from lender to lender. Shopping and comparing your options allows you to identify the best loan for your situation.