For winter boat shoppers, it’s a buyer’s market

From staff reportsJanuary 26, 2014 

— With the winter boat shows kicking off across America, Boat Owners Association of The United States says buyers are still in the driver’s seat when it comes to buying a boat. And if your qualifications add up – including having good credit – getting a boat loan should not be difficult.

“If you have been holding back for the past few years, now may be the time to pull the trigger,” said BoatUS Vice President of Finance Charm Addington. “Boat loan rates are still low. While there isn’t the same level of pre-owned boat inventory as there was at this time last year, there are still plenty of used boats for sale. For those looking at a new boat purchase, manufacturers have increased production and will need to move inventory. We think dealers will be interested in making some deals this winter boat season, and combined with continued low interest rates, the winter boat buying season bodes well for buyers.”

To get a boat loan, Addington said boat lenders usually require two years of federal tax returns, a paycheck stub and can also require proof of liquid assets – funds that can be easily converted into cash – for the down payment. The heady days of “no documentation” loans are largely a thing of the past.

Here’s some other boat loan tips from BoatUS:

• Unlike getting a home loan, getting a boat loan doesn’t require a preapproval. However, before you head to the boat show some boat lenders will offer preapprovals that include rate offers – just ensure the rate is verified, in writing, and not a teaser rate.

• Depending on the buyer’s credit score and down payment, some banks may be able to offer a rate that’s lower than what is initially offered, so be sure to ask your lender.

• BoatUS Boat Loans posts rates at BoatUS.com/boatloans.

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