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You may be trying to finance your new boat, or perhaps you’ve done the research and seen that a boat or RV loan can last for as long as…20 years?? And on average, they can be about 12 to 15 years long! You might be saying, “My car loan is nowhere near that long! Why are recreational loan terms so long?” So let’s take a look at why boat and RV loan term lengths differ from what you’re used to.

The simple answer is that boats and RVs typically cost more than cars (with a few exceptions). And when something costs more, you probably have to borrow more money. The more money you borrow, the longer the loan terms may end up being. But many factors can affect the loan’s term length, ranging from the vessel’s age, the make of the vessel, and the amount being borrowed. Sometimes it makes sense to lengthen your boat or RV loan term length. Having the term extended out over a more extended period can help reduce your monthly payments, or it can allow you to put less money down upfront.

BUT, you should probably proceed with some caution when receiving a longer-term loan. Typically, interest rates might be a little higher the longer the boat is financed. Longer terms mean more risk for the lender, so they will likely increase those rates. It would be best if you also were prepared to pay a little more upfront than you originally planned. The lender may want you to have a slightly higher down payment to decrease the amount borrowed to reduce risk. Putting more money down should not be a problem if you’re Batman, but I don’t think you are…maybe. Since you’re (likely) not Batman, paying more upfront might be a tough option depending on your budget, but it is still something for which you should be prepared.


What if your term length is too long, to begin with? How do you bring it down?

One of the easiest ways to do this is by paying the loan off early. This is a common way to reduce the amount of interest you’re paying as well. You could do this by maybe occasionally paying more than the minimum required payment or even just paying off a large lump sum near the end. This rule applies to any loan. You can always pay it off sooner if you can afford to do so. Whichever way you decide to do this is up to your discretion.

You could also try your luck by explicitly looking for shorter terms upfront. Ultimately, the bank makes that decision, but you can take steps to ensure shorter terms. However, you must be prepared for either a larger down payment or a higher monthly payment. It’s best to assess the amount gained with a lower interest rate vs. higher monthly payments. If your monthly payments are higher than what your budget allows you to pay comfortably, it might be a better option to accept the longer terms.


There’s no need to be too concerned if you have terms that are longer than you were anticipating. It’s not abnormal, and there are ways to mitigate those terms and work closer to the term length that’s more desirable for you. It doesn’t have to be too tricky, especially if you work with someone that can assist you in making sure you have everything you need. You can visit and find experts that can communicate with the banks and deliver better boat loan terms that better fit your needs. For more tips regarding your loan, click here.

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