The Average Interest Rates on Boat Loans

Compared to vehicle loans, boat loans tend to have higher interest rates, according to personal finance website Financial Web. This is due to the latter's relatively higher rate of default. While boat loan interest rates vary depending on your credit standing, boat financing companies do post "ballpark" rates and ranges on their websites.

Post-Recession Rates

According to yacht brokerage Marotta Yachts of Sausalito, marine financing companies typically finance a 15-year boat loan for 20 percent down at the 7.5 percent rate.

As of June 2015, the Sea Dream Financing company quotes an annual percentage rate of 4.75 percent for boat loans on its website.

Boat loan financing company eBoatLoans quotes yacht and boat loan rates based on the price of the boat. As of June 2015 the interest rate on a boat that costs $100,000 or more would range between 4.12 and 4.99 percent, while a boat between $25,000 and $49,999 would have rates between 6.25 and 6.74 percent.

These rates are in line with the historically low rates that followed the Great Recession of 2007-2009. According to an article on the Cruising World website, in 2012 "rock bottom rates" were 4.5 to 5 percent on a 20-year boat loan.

Factors Affecting Interest Rates

Boat financing companies such as eBoatLoans emphasize that interest rates are an individual matter, so to get a tailored quote from a boat financing company, you'll need to furnish information such as:

  • Your credit score. The higher the score, the lower your rates.
  • The make and model of your desired boat.
  • The state where you reside.

Additional factors that can impact the interest rate are:

  • Whether the boat is new or used
  • The size of the down payment
  • Your debt-to-income ratio
  • Employment history
  • Length of the loan term

Lowering a Boat Loan Interest Rate

As Financial Web notes, you can take several steps to reduce the interest rate you pay on a boat. Once you have different lender-possibilities lined up, discuss different loan scenarios with them to see how that affects your rate.

You might find that these options help decrease your interest rate:

  • Offer the boat and/or other vehicles as collateral
  • Put down a large down payment
  • Choose a short loan with large monthly payments