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LightStream Review

Sunday, April 14th

2024 Boat Loan Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award LightStream Review 5 Star Rating


5 Star Rating
  • Unsecured boat loans from $5,000 to $100,000
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Loan terms from 24 to 144 months
  • No fees, no appraisals, no home equity requirements
  • Interest rate discounts when payments are made automatically
  • Low rate guarantee
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Navigating the waters of boat loans can be challenging, but if you're in the market for marine financing, LightStream emerges as a top-tier choice. Operating under the umbrella of parent bank Truist, LightStream stands out for its inclusive approach to credit evaluation.

More lenient in lending

Unlike some lenders, LightStream acknowledges that there's no one-size-fits-all definition for "good credit." While a solid credit history across various account types is beneficial, the lender considers factors beyond the conventional credit score. A history of timely payments, experience with saving, and the stability of your income and assets all play a role in determining your eligibility for a boat loan.

Very competitive interest rates

One of the standout features of LightStream is the diverse range of options it offers for marine loans. Whether you're eyeing a modest AB Inflatables Lammina or a luxury Scarab, LightStream accommodates your needs. The interest rates, surprisingly, remain competitive across different loan amounts and terms from 2 to 12 years. Of course, your credit profile influences where you fall within their range.

Easy-breezy process from application to funding

Applying for a boat loan with LightStream is a breeze, setting it apart from other providers. The online application process is hassle-free - check your rate, apply from your computer or mobile device, and enjoy a loan with no fees or prepayment penalties. And fortunately, you won't be burdened with providing extensive documentation on the boat you're purchasing, and there's no need for a marine survey or collateral to secure funding. Some loans can even be funded on the same day you apply.

Best Boat Loans

Perks make their loans even more attractive

LightStream sweetens the deal with client-friendly perks that go beyond the loan terms. Opting for automatic deductions from your bank account grants you a half-percent discount on the interest for your monthly payments. Additionally, their Rate Beat Program promises you a rate 0.10 percentage points lower if you're approved for a comparable loan by a competitor. While this doesn't extend to secured or collateralized loans from other financial institutions, it adds an extra layer of competitiveness when you compare apples-to-apples boat loans.

Long history, positive reputation

What truly sets LightStream apart is its stellar reputation. The company boasts an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, backed by nearly 150 years of experience under the Truist umbrella. Positive reviews from boat owners who have experienced seamless transactions with LightStream further emphasize the lender's reliability and customer satisfaction.

Still the first place to look for a boat loan

For those dreaming of owning a boat, especially those priced at $100,000 or less, LightStream continues to rank as the best choice. Their boat loans offer not just affordable interest rates and a broad range of repayment terms but also a commitment to quality customer service and transparency. With a reputation for excellence, LightStream deserves its place as our top pick for boat loans under $100,000, making it easy for your journey to boat ownership to be nothing but smooth sailing.

Where Can You Get the Best Boat Loans?

For many, nothing compares to the feel of a boat on the open lake or ocean waters. Boating embodies a deep-seated connection with the elements, a sense of adventure, and a unique lifestyle that captivates people around the world. Boats offer a retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, whether you like to escape to serene waters and relax, or explore hidden coves and coastlines.

To help people achieve owning the boat of their dreams, many companies now offer boat loans through online applications. The surge in popularity of online boat loans is dur to a number of factors. All of these can work together to help you qualify for a boat loan sooner and easier than ever before.

The Best Boat Loans Compare Boat Loans Compare Boat Loan Reviews What are the best Boat Loans Best Boat Loan Reviews

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...

One key driver why online boat loans are so popular is the unparalleled convenience they offer. Today's consumer value efficiency and simplicity in their lives. Online boat loans provide a streamlined application process, allowing borrowers to complete the entire transaction from the comfort of their homes. Gone are the days of cumbersome paperwork and time-consuming visits to brick-and-mortar banks or other lending institutions.

Another thing that sets online boat loans apart is the speed of approval and disbursement of funds. Traditional lending often involved lengthy approval processes, causing delays that could hinder the timely purchase of a boat. Online lenders leverage technology to expedite the approval process, letting you receive a quick decision on your loan - and get quick access to your funds.

Securing a boat loan involves navigating through various financial waters, understanding the intricacies of marine financing, and ensuring a smooth sail towards ownership. Whether you're dreaming of a luxurious yacht or a modest fishing boat, here's what you need to know as you explore the world of boat loans.

Boat loans are specialized loans designed to finance the purchase of a boat. They function similarly to auto loans, with the boat itself often serving as collateral to get you a lower interest rate (a secured boat loan). Lenders assess your credit score, income, debt-to-income ratio, and the type of boat you're purchasing when determining your eligibility. A higher credit score usually results in better loan terms, including lower interest rates.

Lenders offer fixed or variable interest rates, and the loan term can range from a few years to more extended periods. Longer loan terms can result in lower monthly payments but may lead to higher overall interest payments. Shorter terms may mean higher monthly payments but lower overall costs. Also, many lenders may require a down payment, usually ranging from 10% to 20% of the boat's purchase price. A larger down payment can lead to better loan terms and increased chances of loan approval.

Beyond the loan amount, you should consider other costs associated with boat ownership, such as insurance, maintenance, storage, and docking fees. These should be factored into your budget to ensure a realistic financial plan.

The boat loan application process involves submitting personal and financial information, including proof of income and credit history. Be prepared to provide details about the boat you intend to purchase, including its make, model, and purchase price. And, if your boat is in the $200K+ range, you'll likely need a boat inspection called a "marine survey" : similar to the inspection that's required on a home prior to qualifying for a mortgage, your lender will want to know that the vessel is seaworthy before approving the purchase.

The good news is that most of this can be done online. You've got an ocean of opportunities out there as you work to get the seafaring vessel of your dreams, and all it takes is a few clicks to find your financing.

What should you look for as you decide where to apply for a boat loan? Keep these things in mind:

  • Loan structure. Is the boat loan set up specifically for boats (which is often more like a traditional auto loan), or is it a personal loan? Personal loans tend to have much higher interest rates. Also, be sure to note whether it's an unstructured (not secured by collateral) or structured (secured by collateral) loan: if you default on your payments, you will lose whatever you used to secure that loan (like the boat itself). Do you need to make a down payment?
  • Rates and fees. How much will your monthly payments be? How long is the loan term? What fees are charged beyond interest (like origination fees, processing fees, and so on)?
  • Available loan amount. How much does the lender let applicants borrow? Is it enough to cover the full amount for the boat you're hoping to buy? How long will it take to get the funds if you're approved?
  • Reputation. What have other boat owners said about the lender? Were there any (unpleasant) surprises at any point of the application process or after the loan was funded? Has the Better Business Bureau given the lender a favorable rating?

Securing a boat loan requires careful consideration of your financial situation, the type of boat you want, and the terms offered by lenders. To help you on your quest, the experts at Top Consumer Reviews have evaluated and ranked some of today's most popular sources of boat loans. By navigating these waters thoughtfully, you can set sail on your maritime adventure with confidence and financial peace of mind.

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