"As it turns out, we receive numerous requests each day from buyers asking if financing is available and if we can connect them with someone who can talk to them about it," says Nick Owens, licensed director, IT and Marketing at POP Yachts.
"On the one hand, we had buyers asking every day for information on financing. And on the other hand, we have lenders and marine financing companies literally begging us to disseminate information on their financing programs to our buyers. There are marine-specific lenders and they offer great programs for boats. They're offering decent rates and they actually are lending."
POP Yachts has recently partnered with Scott Financial Services on two great programs. The first is an easy-to-use online calculator that allows interested buyers to quickly determine how much their monthly payments would be if they financed the purchase of their boat.
"For boats listed that are under 15 years old, you'll see an estimated payment range on that boat that gives people a general idea of how much their payment might be ," says Zachary Hamric, a marine finance specialist for Scott Financial.
"Of course that number can vary based on your personal credit score and the specifics of that boat. But for the first time they'll be able to see online the price of the boat, and they can change the term of the payment, they can change their credit score, and the year of the boat - and see very quickly what kind of price range they can afford."
"A very common concern I hear from clients is that it's really difficult to get a loan in this environment," Hamric says. "We fund hundreds of loans in a year. We provide loans for people with great credit, and loans for people with some financial challenges in their past. We have products available so that even someone with less than perfect credit can be out on the water enjoying their new boat."
The requirements for a marine loan are similar to the requirements for a home loan. "The approval process is fairly straight-forward," Hamric says. "Usually within a couple of hours of receiving a completed application, we'll know what different options are available to them."
Hamric suggests getting pre-approved for a marine loan, which helps the rest of the process go smoothly. "The pre-approval process tells you what amount you can qualify for, what you can expect in the process, what kind of boats would be suitable for that loan, and you avoid wasting time looking at a boat that's impossible to get a loan on," he says.
Another advantage: Scott Financial provides loans in some cases to non-US citizens, primarily in the European Union and Canada. "We encourage people to call who have a unique situation- for example; a permanent resident who holds a green card and has strong ties to this country. Often we have a solution," says Hamric.
Owens says connecting buyers with Scott Financial simply makes sense for POP Yachts. "As the largest boat brokerage in the world, it was becoming a bit of an embarrassment that we were not representing financing in any way to our buyers,""Owens says.
"We are not actually the lender, and we don't want to be! However, at the very least, we should be presenting information on financing programs that we know about."