Boat Loan Personal Loans

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Boat loans can help you finance the purchase or part-purchase of the boat you’ve always wanted. If you’re looking to get out on the water this summer and enjoy one of New Zealand’s favourite pastimes, a boat loan can help you get there.

What is a boat loan?

Boat loans are a type of personal loan used when you want to purchase a boat or other type of vessel. Some lenders do offer specialist boat loans in New Zealand, although a personal loan from any lender can also be used to finance your purchase as well.

Just like most personal loans, a lender will approve you for a certain amount, which you can then use to purchase your boat. You can apply for a boat loan with your bank or specialist lenders, directly at a boat dealership, or by using a broker.

You can qualify for a boat loan in New Zealand if you are:

  • 18 years or over
  • A permanent NZ resident or hold a work permit or visa allowing you to reside in New Zealand
  • Currently employed with a sufficiently stable income to repay the loan amount

If you meet the standard qualifying criteria for a personal loan, you can calculate how much you can borrow to purchase your boat and compare lenders to find the best loan offers available in New Zealand before applying for a loan.


Are a popular option for financing boat purchases. However, most banks don’t have loans designed specifically for boat purchases, only secured or unsecured loans. 

Non-bank lenders

Offer very fast approval, specialised loan products, and easy, online applications. Many offer loans designed for purchasing boats, while others offer unsecured loans that can be used to purchase a vessel and personal equipment.

Boat dealerships

Many boat dealerships will offer finance, similar to car dealerships. These generally offer convenience above all else and are often not the best deal or rate you could get if you compared your options first. If you’re unsure where to start, you can speak with a broker to learn more about personal loan options.

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How to choose a boat loan

Choosing a boat loan should be an exciting decision. You can avoid disappointment by understanding the limits and conditions of your loan options.

Boat loans usually have loan limits of up to $200,000 and an average amount of $75,000 to $100,000, while boat loan minimums tend to be higher than other finance options and may start from $2,000 to $5,000.

Secured boat loans

Are low risk to the lender, and usually have better rates and terms which means you can borrow more money and it’ll cost you less overall. The downside is that if you stop making payments on your loan (in the absolute worst-case scenario) then the lender could repossess your prized boat and sell it to recover their lost money.

Unsecured boat loans

Have lower limits and higher interest rates, but they give you complete freedom in how you’ll use the funds, which means you could use part of the loan for a boat and part for buying equipment such as fishing or water sports gear.

If you’re only borrowing a fraction of the purchase price for your boat, you could consider other security like a car or similar vehicle instead. Check with your lender when comparing loan options.

Boat loan costs and options

Once you’ve decided on the type of loan you want, the next step is to see how much you can borrow, and compare all your options to make sure you can afford repayments on the amount you want to apply for. Here are some of the major things to look out for.

Interest rates and fees are the biggest cost of any loan. If you’re applying through a broker, they’ll help compare your loan options before deciding on a boat loan and look out for the lowest rates on your behalf. You can also compare your loan options online.

Boat loans may include certain features or restrictions. Some allow fee-free early repayments to pay your boat loan off quickly and save on interest, or allow you to borrow funds to purchase your boat and also boating equipment. However, certain loans include restrictions; if you’re looking to save money and repay your loan early, make sure your loan doesn’t include fees for extra repayments or early full repayment. 

The term of your loan is important to consider as it will determine the amount of your regular and total repayments. Specialist boat loan lenders usually offer longer terms, up to a maximum of 10 years, though a longer term will mean you’ll pay more interest over the lifetime of the loan. 

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