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Understanding Kayak Financing for Beginners

Guide to Kayak Financing
Kenny Zhu
Kenny ZhuUpdated October 21, 2022
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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.
Ready to experience the exhilaration of navigating the open waters or the serenity of paddling down a quiet river? Buying a kayak can deliver those experiences and more. If you don’t have the money on hand to buy a kayak, there are several different  financing options that can help. With kayak financing, you can split the cost of a kayak into manageable monthly payments. Read on to learn about the different kayak financing options to find the one that works for you.

Average Cost of a Kayak

Kayaks range in cost, type, and quality, depending on what you’re looking for. You can find a basic entry level kayak for about $500 or less, but it won’t have many features. If you want something more comfortable and that has better performance and safety features, a touring kayak can be a good choice. These cost about $1,500 on average. 

What Options Are Available for Financing a Kayak?

Whatever type of kayak you buy, there are several kayak financing options to choose from. These include: 

Personal Loans

With a personal loan, you receive a lump sum that you pay back in regular installments with interest. The personal loan amount you can get typically starts at $1,000, which might make it a good option for a kayak purchase.One of the benefits of personal loans is that it allows you to split the amount you’re borrowing into equal monthly payments at a fixed interest rate. You repay the loan over time, which can keep your monthly payments smaller and more manageable than if you use a credit card. The long-term interest rate you pay on a personal loan is also usually lower than the interest rate on a credit card. However, you will have to apply for a personal loan to see if you qualify. That includes  a hard credit check which may temporarily impact your credit score. Generally, the higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate you’ll qualify for.The interest rate you pay on a personal loan can vary widely, depending on your creditworthiness and the lender. This can add up over the term of the loan, especially with long-term personal loans, so make sure you shop around to find the best rate.  Recommended: How to Finance a Jet Ski 

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL)

Buy now pay later plans are offered as an option at checkout at many online retailers. These plans typically offer convenient short-term repayment with a fast approval process.With BNLP, you can generally choose a plan that allows you to split the purchase price of the kayak into four payments that you pay over two months in regular installments. As long as you make the payments on time, you may not be charged any interest.Keep in mind, however, that interest charges and fees will apply if you miss any payments. So if you choose this option you’ll likely want to feel confident that you can make your payments on time.

In-store Financing

Many specialty retailers offer in-store financing for kayak purchases. This is done either through the manufacturer or in partnership with a major lender.In-store financing is convenient and may offer kayak finance deals like no-interest for 6 or 12 months. Qualified borrowers can sometimes bring their kayak home on the same day with no money down.But be aware that many in-store financing plans require a hard credit check that can temporarily lower your credit score. And if you don’t make your payments before the promotional period ends, you’ll have to pay interest. 

Credit Cards

Using a credit card is another kayak financing option. It’s quick and easy, but credit cards do have high interest rates. If you can pay off the full price of the kayak before your billing cycle ends to avoid interest charges, it could be a good option for you. But if you need more time to pay off your kayak, you may want to consider another financing option.If you have strong credit, you might be able to qualify for a new credit card with a 0% APR promotion. With this type of card, you won’t owe interest until the promotional period ends. You’ll just want to be sure you can repay your kayak in full before then.

Pros and Cons of Financing a Kayak

Kayak financing has advantages and disadvantages, such as:
Allows you to buy a higher priced kayak by spreading out the payments over a longer periodYou may have to pay interest on the money you borrow
Keeps cash in your pocket or bank accountMay incur penalties and fees if you miss a payment
Paying off your debt on time can help build your credit historyMight require a hard credit check which can temporarily lower your credit score

Requirements for Financing a Kayak

If you choose kayak financing, you’ll need to apply. Approval typically depends on your credit history, so make sure you’ve built up your credit score first to help get the best possible terms.If you’re approved, you’ll set up a repayment schedule with your lender or the retailer if you’re getting in-store financing. Make sure you understand and follow the terms of your payment schedule to avoid any penalties or fees. Many loan providers will let you set up autopay on your loan, which automatically withdraws the funds from your bank account each month. This ensures that you don’t forget to make payments. Just check that there’s enough cash in your bank account each month to cover the amount.  

Personal Loans With Lantern

If you’ve decided kayak financing makes sense for you and you’re considering a personal loan, Lantern by SoFi can make the process more convenient. By filling out one simple form, you can compare personal loan rates from multiple lenders in our online marketplace. That way you can more easily find an option that works best for you.Check your rate today with Lantern!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can you finance a kayak?
What are your options for financing a kayak?
Can you use a boat loan for financing a kayak?
Photo credit: iStock/AleksandarNakic

About the Author

Kenny Zhu

Kenny Zhu

Kenny Zhu is an active CFA charterholder and former banking and investments marketing manager, and former investment analyst with over a decade of experience in the financial industry. His work has been featured in a variety of publications including LendingTree, MagnifyMoney, Finance of America Mortgage, LLC, and ValuePenguin.
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