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LendingTree Review

Thursday, October 21st

2021 Boat Loan Reviews

LendingTree Review 3.5 Star Rating


3.5 Star Rating
  • Boat loans up to $1,000,000
  • Funds available for new and used boats, plus refinancing
  • Referral service pairs you with up to 5 lending partners
  • APRs vary widely
  • Repayment terms between 61 days and 180 months
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • 24+ years in business

LendingTree is part of a group of companies that offer financial services, such as Ovation Credit and Student Loan Hero. LendingTree is an all-in-one source of borrowing options across a wide spectrum, from credit cards to marine loans.

Boat loans up to $1 million

What can you expect from boat loans through LendingTree with respect to amounts and interest rates? That heavily depends on your individual credit profile, income level, and the total you're looking to borrow. Generally speaking, LendingTree has partners that can fund up to $1 million in boat loans. Your interest rate will be determined by the individual lenders; LendingTree only discloses that no loans through their service will have an APR higher than 35.99%. You definitely don't want to pay that much in interest on your boat, but you'll need to apply to get the better offers specific to you.

Extensive, informative lender database

A big plus with using LendingTree to get a boat loan is their impressive lender database. Where some boat loan services only give you access to one or two financial institutions, LendingTree has hundreds. We love the transparency available here too: any partner presented to you by LendingTree comes with detailed information about their company history and numerous client reviews. Because this referral service often utilizes lesser-known lenders, that's a great way to be reassured that your boat loan is in good hands - even if the funding comes from a company you've never heard of.

No surprises in the online application

To get started, click on the type of boat loan you need: New Purchase, Used Purchase, or Refinance. Assuming you're buying a new or used boat, you'll enter the purchase price, intended down payment amount, desired monthly payment, intended boat use (pleasure, part-time charter, or full-time charter; live-aboard use isn't available through LendingTree), birthdate, and whether or not you already have a boat in mind. If you already know the boat you want to purchase, you'll select the make, model, and model year from the dropdown boxes on the form. Then, indicate how soon you want to complete your purchase, whether or not you've had a bankruptcy within the last seven years, and other personal details required to give you a preliminary match with a boat loan. Be aware that those details include your Social Security Number, but until you complete an application with the lender of your choice, only a soft pull will be done on your credit report.

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Credit monitoring included if desired

At the final step of the process, you'll be creating an account with LendingTree to receive your boat loan offers. There's one checkbox on the final page you may want to unselect: it enrolls you into a free service with credit monitoring and monthly score reports. It's optional, and it may be more than you need if you already have that coverage elsewhere.

Get up to five boat loan offers immediately

If LendingTree is able to verify your information and credit history, the next screen will show you up to five loan offers from their financial partners. All you have to do is select the boat loan that best meets your needs, submit any paperwork required specifically by the lender to finalize your application, and you'll be on your way to getting the money for your watercraft! On the other hand, if you don't get matched with any boat loans, don't be surprised if LendingTree makes recommendations for budgeting tools and other "related" services.

Great reputation, minus the spam

How does LendingTree measure up with other lenders offering boat loans? While it's not possible to see customer feedback solely related to watercraft purchases, the service has earned thousands of perfect five-star ratings from happy clients across the spectrum of loans and other products offered here. The Better Business Bureau agrees with their assessment, giving LendingTree accreditation and an "A+" rating as well. On the other hand, we found many people who complain that they've gotten too many spam calls, emails and texts after providing their contact information to LendingTree - some even weeks or months after their application. We wish LendingTree did a better job of controlling their partner's communications with their customers. Keep that in mind if you use this service to find a boat loan.

Great option for getting multiple boat loan quotes

There are a few services that specialize in providing boat loan offers from multiple lenders, and among them LendingTree is a great choice. Direct boat loan lenders may give you more loan rate transparency upfront, but LendingTree does everything it can to give you as much information as possible during the application process. For anyone who likes the idea of having more than one boat loan presented to them before making a decision, LendingTree is a solid choice.

Where Can You Get the Best Boat Loans?

No matter what kind of watercraft you have in mind - from a simple fishing boat to a luxury yacht - you want financing that allows you to make it happen. While you could turn to your local bank for a loan, you might find a better offer elsewhere. There are a number of lenders who specialize in marine loans, and they might give you more competitive interest rates and terms.

What are the requirements for qualifying for a boat loan? That varies widely. Of course, it helps to have good-to-excellent credit. For high-end boats of $200,000 or more, expect lenders to have minimum credit score requirements of at least 700 along with the income and assets to support such a purchase. Also, for bigger boats, your loan approval process is likely to require a marine survey: just like buying a home, an inspection shows both you and the lender that it's a sound vessel.

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Boat Loan FAQ

Boat loans range from $1,000 to as much as $50,000,000. Your ability to qualify for a marine loan is heavily dependent on your financial situation, including your credit history, income and savings/investments, and the age and price of the watercraft you hope to buy.
On luxury watercraft, yes. If you're obtaining a boat loan of $100,000 or more, expect a down payment requirement of 10-20%, depending on the lender you choose. If you're buying a lower-priced boat, your funding will probably be structured as an unsecured personal loan and won't need a down payment.
What do you have in mind? If you're purchasing a million-dollar yacht, your boat loan will require a considerable amount of documentation, including a marine survey, prior to being approved. On the other hand, if you're taking out a loan to buy an inexpensive, used fishing boat, it'll likely be a personal loan that can be used for any purchase.
As long as you've entered your information accurately and you pass a credit check, your loan approval can happen almost instantaneously, though for higher loan amounts it may take a day or two. But, getting the funds for your loan won't necessarily be same-day, especially for more expensive boats that require a marine survey and other paperwork prior to funding.
On some boat loans under $100,000, you could be approved and have the money deposited to your account on the day you apply! On larger loans, expect the entire process to take at least a week or two, because your lender will likely request a marine survey that can take some time to arrange (similar to a home inspection when buying a house and applying for a mortgage).
It always helps. There are a few lenders who will approve you for a boat loan with poor to average credit, but you'll pay much higher interest rates. And, for luxury boats with price tags of $100,000 or more, you typically need a credit score of at least 700 to be eligible for a boat loan.
All boat loans will require a credit check, and further verification may require basic financial documents such as tax returns, bank statements, and proof of income. When buying a bigger boat - in price, size, or both! - your process is likely to include much more extensive paperwork, like a marine survey and a personal financial statement.
The most obvious fee is interest. Depending on the size of your loan, the lender you choose, and your credit history, you could pay as little as 3% or as much as 36% APR. Your boat loan may also come with a one-time origination fee, costs for a marine survey or other paperwork necessary before your loan is approved, and so forth. Be sure to get a fee breakdown before you sign on the dotted line with any provider of boat loans.
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Continued from above...

On the other hand, for smaller watercraft, you may not need a boat-specific loan. These loans are usually structured as a traditional personal loan and are based solely on your creditworthiness, not on what you're buying. That's good news if you have less-than-perfect credit too: you'll pay more in interest on your marine loan, but at least you can still qualify as a borrower.

There are quite a few options out there for boat loans, and it can be challenging to determine which financial institution or lending service is the right one for your unique situation. To simplify your search for a marine loan, here are several factors to consider:

  • Loan amount. How much do you need to borrow to buy the boat? Some lenders only provide up to $50,000, while others have a minimum loan amount of $25,000 and go all the way up to $50 million. Make sure the provider you're considering is appropriate for the loan size you need.
  • Funding timeframe. If you already have a boat in mind and you live in a hot market, it'll be important to get your loan proceeds quickly. A few boat loan companies can have the funds deposited on the same day you apply.
  • Loan information. Does the company tell you upfront what you can expect in terms of interest rates, loan amounts, and any fees associated with the loan? Is it easy to get a preliminary quote?
  • Reputation. What do other boat owners say about their experience getting a boat loan from the service you're considering? Has the Better Business Bureau given the company a strong rating?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best providers of boat loans available today. We're confident that this information will help you get the financing you need to purchase the boat of your dreams!

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