Not many people can afford to buy a boat with cash, which is why they may need a boat loan. You can get this type of loan from a variety of places, including the dealer where you buy the boat, your own bank, a credit union and the like. When you are ready to shop around for a new boat loan, you need to ensure you ask the right questions so you know what's involved and get a loan that works for you in particular. Note a few of those questions here.

Ask what documentation is needed for your boat

For a home loan to be approved, you usually need a number of inspections and certifications. The same can be true of a boat; a lender may need a certification from the coast guard in your area, if it's a used boat. New boats may also need to go through certain inspections and have certifications before a lender will approve a loan. Ask a financing company, like SMA Finance, what is needed so you have time to get these certifications and any other documentation as necessary.

Ask about closing costs and application fees

A home loan often includes closing costs and your boat loan may also involve similar costs. These can be related to the documentation mentioned above or fees for simply processing the loan. Be sure you ask about these so you can compare these costs between lenders, just as you would compare interest rates and other such factors.

Be sure to note if they finance your type of boat

Not all lenders will finance sailboats, houseboats, or boats used for chartering fishing trips. You should probably call different lenders and note how many actually offer loans for the type of boat you want before you make any agreement to buy, and even before you start shopping for your boat. If such loans are not readily available in your area, you may need to change your plans for the type of boat you want.

Ask if they will roll the boat loan into another loan

Some lenders will allow you to roll your credit card balances, personal loans, student loans, and other such debt into a car loan or mortgage. You might be able to do the same with your boat loan; this might mean adding your credit card balance to the loan or adding your boat loan to your home mortgage. These options might save you money on all your loans over time, so don't hesitate to ask if it's a choice for your loan.