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How to Finance a Jet Ski

How to Finance a Jet Ski
Melissa Brock
Melissa BrockUpdated May 30, 2023
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Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
If you love being out on the water and the thrill of adventure, a jet ski could be just the thing for you. You can enjoy hours of fun and thrills with this type of personal watercraft (PWC), but first, you’ll have to figure out how to pay for it. A jet ski can cost from $6,000 to $21,000.Fortunately, there are ways to make your dreams of riding the waves come true, including a jet ski loan. How long can you finance a jet ski? And what’s the best way to do it? Here’s what you need to know about the jet ski financing options available. 

Why Get a Jet Ski?

If you’re a water sports enthusiast, buying a jet ski or PWC could make a lot of sense for you, especially when you compare it to the cost of a boat. These are some of the reasons to consider a jet ski purchase:
  • Water fun at a cheaper price: A jet ski typically costs $12,000, while a speedboat costs $20,000 to $60,000 on average.
  • Easy storage and transport: Jet skis are easier to store than a boat because they take up less space. You can also tow them easily by car in most cases.
  • Lower fuel costs: With a boat, a day of cruising on the water can cost you between $150 and $200 in fuel. With a jet ski, you can go all day for about $30. 
  • Maneuverability: Jet skis can travel through small channels, shallow water, and other areas boats can't navigate. 

Determine Your Jet Ski Budget

Next, figure out your budget for purchasing a jet ski. As mentioned, the average jet ski costs $12,000, but the price can range from $6,000 for a basic model up to $21,000 for a more elaborate jet ski.Luxury and performance jet skis, which offer top-of-the-line features, may be slimmer or sleeker and offer a smoother ride. Recreation and rec lite jet skis are less expensive and may be best for beginning riders. The size of a jet ski — whether it holds two or three people — will also affect the cost.Determine what you can comfortably afford before you go shopping for a jet ski.

Jet Ski Financing Options

If you don’t have the money in your savings account to pay for a jet ski, there are several jet ski financing options available.  Personal loan. You can use personal loans to finance a jet ski. With a personal loan, a bank, credit union, or online lender gives you a lump sum that you repay with interest in installments over time. The higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate you may get. The way the process works is that you apply for the loan. If you meet the lender’s personal loan requirements, you’ll be approved and you can sign the paperwork. After approval, you typically receive the loan funds within one to five days. One of the major benefits of a personal loan is that these loans are flexible and can be used for many different purposes, including buying a jet ski. In this case, you could think of them as a jet ski loan or personal watercraft loans.Credit card. You could finance a jet ski with your credit card, which can be easy and convenient. But keep in mind that credit cards tend to have high interest rates. The average personal loan interest rate is lower than most credit card interest rates, for example. You might consider getting a new credit card with a  0% intro APR. That way, you won’t be charged interest during the promotional period. Just be sure to pay off the jet ski in full before that period ends, otherwise interest will kick in. Manufacturer financing. Some personal watercraft manufacturers offer jet ski financing when you buy a PWC. They might even have special promotions like a low APR for a specific period of time, or require no down payment. However, once the promotional period ends, you could be charged high interest rates. Be sure to read the fine print.

Apply for Jet Ski Financing

Before applying for jet ski financing, check your credit score. This is one of the key factors lenders use when deciding whether to approve you for financing. If your score is low, there are steps you can take to build it, such as paying your bills on time and reducing the amount of existing debt you have. Next, get pre-qualified for financing. All you need to do is provide some basic information, such as your name and address, employer and income, and Social Security number. The lender will do a soft credit inquiry, which doesn’t impact your credit score. Prequalification doesn’t mean you’ll be approved for financing, but it gives you a sense of the rates and terms you may qualify for.Once you find a loan that suits your needs, submit a formal application. You’ll likely need to provide a photo ID and proof of employment and income. The lender will do a hard credit check, which could negatively impact your credit score temporarily. They will also likely look at your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), which is the amount of monthly debt you have compared to your gross monthly income.

Purchase Your Jet Ski

Once the lender approves you for financing, you'll sign documents and accept the terms of the loan. You should get the funds fast, possibly the same day. Then you can purchase the jet ski and hit the water. Once you receive the loan, you'll need to start repaying it. Be sure to make your monthly payments on time to avoid penalties or late fees and to keep your credit score in good standing. Finally, if you’re wondering, how long can you finance a jet ski?, loan terms tend to vary by lender, but typically, you can finance a jet ski for up to seven years.

The Takeaway

A jet ski can provide you and your family with hours of enjoyment on the water. And while a jet ski can be expensive to buy and maintain, there are financing options available, including personal watercraft loans. If you’re interested in taking out a personal loan to finance your jet ski, Lantern can help. By filling out one simple form, you’ll get offers from multiple lenders in our online marketplace. That makes it quick and convenient to compare rates and terms to find the most beneficial option for your situation.Find and compare rates and loan options with Lantern.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it hard to get financed for a jet ski?
What credit score do I need to finance a jet ski?
What is the average interest rate on a jet ski?
Photo credit: iStock/robh

About the Author

Melissa Brock

Melissa Brock

Melissa Brock is a higher education and personal finance expert with more than a decade of experience writing online content. She spent 12 years in college admission prior to switching to full-time freelance writing and editing. Her work has appeared on Yahoo Finance, Entrepreneur, Investopedia, The Balance, FinanceBuzz, The Journal of College Admission, MarketBeat, College Finance, Rocket Mortgage, LeverageRx, Benzinga, Morty, Ally, and more.
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