Buyers Market Credit Is King

OK we all know it’s a buyers market and will be probably for the next year or more. Most sellers are in tune with that fact and adjusting prices to levels that are attracting buyers. So as a buyer in this market you have the chance to land an incredible boat and minimize the cost of ownership for 2, 3, or 10 years down the road when you go to sell the boat. Remember equity, investment, and profit should never be used in a boat purchase discussion. This is a lifestyle purchase and one that gives enjoyment and family time unlike any other form of spending.

But as the economy has changed to create this buyers market so have the credit markets! If you are financing a boat, RV, or plane there has been a complete shift in the criteria needed to qualify. Time after time we see people come into our office and fall in love with a boat, make an offer only to find out that this is not the same process as getting a car loan or even as easy as qualifying for a mortgage. This is consumer credit and the banks have gotten very strict on qualifying criteria. There is plenty of money available, that is not the issue, the issue is you have to meet far stricter standards to get that loan. CREDIT SCORE is king and if under a 690 you can probably say in 98% of cases you will be declined. There are great places to go and see your credit, monitor it and clean up anything that may improve your chances. Identity Gaurd (I prefer) or Free Credit Report.com are just two of many that allow you to see what your score and offer advice on moves that can raise that number to where it needs to be. THE BEST MOVE YOU CAN MAKE IS TO PREPARE AND GET PRE-APPROVED FOR AN AMOUNT BEFORE FALLING IN LOVE WITH A BOAT AND BEING DECLINED. PRE-APPROVAL ALSO MAKES OUR JOB OF PRESENTING YOUR OFFER MUCH EASIER AND YOUR OFFER HAS MORE STRENGTH WITH A SELLER. Follow these steps and become a buyer with money in hand:

1) Figure out a price range and payment you are comfortable with (loan calculators exist for this and figure 10, 15 or 20 year terms)

2) Sign up for credit report monitoring that allows you to see if you have a credit problem and work to correct things that may be inaccurate or could be adjusted to quickly affect your score

3) Make sure you have the cash in non retirement accounts to show the bank liquidity of 10-15% of your estimated purchase price. It is very hard to do a deal with little cash these days and even if the boat has enough appraised value to do a 2-5% down payment you need to prove liquidity with bank statements

4) Contact a marine finance broker (not a credit union or personal bank) as these people work with 5-9 banks and make their living by writing loans only for boats. They know the criteria and can guide you to the right marine lender for your situation. Trident Funding or Scott Financial or nationwide and 2 examples of this type of resource.

Taking the steps to be a pre-approved buyer with cash in hand saves you time, heartbreak, and makes you ready to take advantage of a buyers market the likes of which may not be seen for a very long time.

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