Houseboats are increasingly becoming popular—the reasons range from affordability to the ability to move with your home.
Like owning any other home, buying a houseboat also requires a considerable investment. Not everyone can indeed straight up afford a houseboat. Luckily there are many financing options available to people. These are credible lending institutions with track records of providing some of the industry's best houseboat financing loan packages.
The best houseboat financing providers are:
- Bank of the West
- Trident Funding
- Southeast Financial
Getting the right houseboat financing option for your needs might be challenging. One reason for this is that houseboats mean different things to various lenders. While finding the best houseboat financing for you might be more complicated than getting a home or boat financing, it is still possible.
With so many different lenders available on the market, one needs to be a little more careful about what option they choose. Doing so will enable you to pick the best option, making the repayment process easier to cope with and maintain. Here are the best houseboat financing options to start your journey to owning your houseboat.
5 Best Houseboat Financing Lenders
Many banking and lending institutions give out boat loans to those who need them. Boat loans are the best houseboat financing option since they have better repayment plans. Furthermore, the repayment period can be as long as 25 years.
These institutions look at factors like your credit history, the amount you can afford to repay, and your credit score. However, there are some dissimilarities in some factors, such as the maximum amount they can lend you, the interest rates on the loans, and the repayment period.
Each lending institution or platform is different in what loan services it offers its customers. Also, the requirements and terms of these loans vary from one lender to the next. Choose the other that fits your budget and needs in terms of repayment and requirements. That way, you can get a houseboat and pay the loan comfortably.
Let’s look at some of the best houseboat financing options from some of the best lending institutions and banks.
1. Bank of the West
In our opinion, it is the best houseboat financing provider. It has been in business since 1874, and Essex Credit is the division of the bank that offers these houseboat financing services. Over the years, the bank has built a solid reputation. It has a track record for providing a variety of financing and loans to individuals in 50 states in the US.
Bank of the West offers loans and financing options for custom and standard sailboats, pontoon boats, houseboats, and many other water crafts. Unlike some institutions that only give loans to liveaboard owners, this bank does offer loans even to recreational boat owners. The loans and refinancing options apply to both new and used houseboats.
One of the things making the bank the best option for individuals seeking houseboat financing is their willingness to give borrowers loans of up to 5 million. On top of this, they offer flexible repayment terms for as long as 20 years. The APR for houseboat loans can be as little as 3.74%, one of the lowest you can get in the industry.
These loans' repayment period depends on the amount the borrower is asking. One ability to pay and the amounts of each premium payment also affect the length. Those who can afford a more significant premium and are willing can repay the loan they receive in a shorter time and thus pay lower interest rates.
There are a few qualifications that the borer has to meet to receive a houseboat loan from the bank. One of these is that the boat has to be capable of a speed of 99 miles per hour or more. Also, to qualify for the best rates from the bank, the borrower has to have a good credit score; above 700.
Additionally, to get bigger loans, the bank will require the borrower to have an 85% LTV (loan-to-value) ratio and make a down payment of anywhere between 10-30% depending on the amount needed. There is also a processing fee for the loan.
The bank also allows borrowers to roll additional expenses into their houseboat loans as long as they do not exceed the set LVT limit.
One of the main downsides is the more extended approval and funding duration. In most cases, people get their loan amount 7-14 days after approval.
2. Southeast Financial
Since opening its doors to customers in 1936, Southeast Financial has been offering loans and various other financial products and services to people across the US. However, it does not provide services to people from Alaska and Hawaii looking for new and used houseboat loans.
The main thing that makes this lender stand out from many is the ability to give loans to people with bad credit and also those with discharged bankruptcies. However, it is essential to note that individuals with bad credit scores get smaller amounts of loans than those with good ratings. Furthermore, the interest rates charged on their loans are higher, and repayment periods are shorter.
Anyone looking for the best houseboat financing loan can apply for a loan with the lender. Southeast Financial offers loans ranging from $20 thousand to $4 million. Of course, to qualify for a loan on the upper side of the scale, the borrower should have a good FICO score and demonstrate their ability to repay the loan.
The lender offers a flexible payment period. Depending on the loan you require, this lender may give you a repayment term of up to 15 years. The APR for loans can be as low as 3.99%; this rate is mainly given to people with good credit records. If you have a bad credit record, you should expect a higher rate than this, as with most lenders.
This institution is the to-go-to option for people looking not only for the best houseboat financing packages but also for quick approvals. In most cases, Southeast Financial will approve a loan in under 24 hours, sometimes less than 3 hours after application. The lender funds the approved loan amount in 3 days; in some cases, it may take up to 5 days.
This online lending platform started in 2014 and is a division of the Truist. Although it started small, LightStream has quickly become one of the most innovative and reputable online lending platforms for people searching for the best houseboat financing options. They offer various loans and banking services to their customers.
One of the most popular loan products by the lender is their boat loans. These loans have a simple and quick application process and are done online like most other companies. The platform is innovative, and this has helped them give their customers a seamless loan process that not many lenders can compete with.
Furthermore, the approval and funding of loans are rapid. In most cases, customer loan applications are processed and approved on the same day. In some cases, some customers received their loan fund the same day. However, most of the time, funding may take a few days after approval.
LightStream offers both financing and refinancing loans for new and used houseboats. It services customers from all over America. One of the factors appealing to customers of the platform is that the lender does not charge loan processing, prepayment, or appraisal fees for any of their loans.
The platform has a reputation for providing its customers with unsecured loans ranging from $25 thousand to $100 thousand. Although their repayment terms are not as flexible as others in the industry, they are still acceptable. Most of their loans have a repayment duration of between 2 and 7 years.
Rates for houseboat financing loans by the lender begin from as low as 4.49% and up. On top of this, LightStream offers its loyal customers a Rate Beat program. This is where the lender provides customers a loan interest rate of 0.10% less than what its main competitors offer their customers for a similar loan.
This is another division of the recently created Truist, which is a financial services company. SunTrust has been offering customers its financial services and packages since it started in 1891. They provide boat loans and refinancing, investment, banking services, small business loans, and retirement services.
On the boat loans side of the lender, they offer loans for preowned and new boats and refinancing houseboat loans. Customers can get a houseboat loan anywhere from $5 thousand to $100 thousand. The loan attracts a fixed interest rate between 4.29% and 11.89%.
Even though the lender does not offer the most extended repayment terms, loan repayment periods can go up to 7 years, which is still good. Applying for a loan is simple, and one can complete the process in around 15 minutes. A customer who wants to apply for a houseboat loan can do so via the phone or by visiting a bank branch closest to them.
One of the great things about SunTrust is that they do not charge any processing or appraisal fees for their houseboat financing and refinancing loans. Furthermore, they do not look at your credit score to determine whether or not to give you a boat loan but rather your ability to repay it.
Service delivery is at the forefront of this lender’s priority. This is something most customers appreciate. SunTrust has a team of some of the best marine loan experts to help customers pick the best loans and address any of their questions and concerns.
The marine loans specialist helps each customer find a good houseboat loan that is right for them and will be able to afford it. Even though the approval process is not long, the loan amount funding is slower than many other lending institutions.
5. Trident Funding
Trident funding has been around since 1996. The lender is not just a loan provider but specializes in offering the best marine lending services and packages. Most of the loans this lender offers are customizable and have very competitive interest rates.
The company has an excellent reputation and has grown over the years to become the biggest independently owned company dealing with yacht and boat loans in the United States. It connects its customers to a network of best houseboat financing banks and lending institutions ready to make their dreams come true.
Trident Funding is dedicated to educating its customers about their financing and refinancing decisions. This is why first-time loan seekers get specialized advice from the lender's team of marine loan experts.
Since the company works with a network of different lenders, the customer is assured of getting several options and selecting the one that best meets their requirements. However, because of these other lenders, there are no specific requirements for loans as each lender has its own. Additionally, the rates vary, starting from 3.99% and going up.
The lenders in Trident’s network offer both short-term and long-term loans. The repayment period of these loans can be as long as 25 years. This is one of the most extended repayment terms any houseboat financing and loans providers can offer in the industry. Most of the time, applications for loans are approved within two days.
Like most major houseboat financing companies on our list, this lender offers loans for both new and preowned houseboats. However, they provide loans to finance the purchase of any vessel older than 25 years. Also, their loan will require the customer to put a down payment of 10% to 20% of the value of the houseboat they want to buy.
The marine industry knowledge is something most borrowers love about the lender. In addition, the fact that the loans can be customized for each applicant’s houseboat financing needs makes the company stand out even more.
All these, coupled with an excellent track record for delivering the best houseboat options from different lending institutions, is why the company has been around for more than two decades.
About THE AUTHOR
I have a deep love of houseboating and the life-changing experiences houseboating has brought into my life. I’ve been going to Lake Powell on our family’s houseboat for over 30 years and have made many great memories, first as a child and now as a parent. My family has a passion for helping others have similar fun, safe experiences on their houseboat.Read More About Brian Samson