Scott Boat Loans is pretty aggressive. National City directly from their website has good specials (their rats fluctuates up to 1.5 points!) but to get the best rate, you better just have perfect flawless shiny credit report. They wouldn't give me the best rate because I had one item in dispute....a $30 double charge by a restaurant! Sterling & Associates is good too. Just remember, this is a snapshot in time...next week, month or year a different brokerage will find a funding
source that needs to loan out, and would be different levels of aggressiveness. Although most still operate on spreads on Treasuries. BUT...its the "lending standards" that vary, ie best rate at 720+ Fico...vs 700 Fico if someone is more agressive. Income
Here's what you have to watch out for.
1) Prepayment penalty. Sometimes to get the lowest rate, you have to agree to a prepay penalty. The best rates right now (late dec '08 / early jan '09) are around 6.8%. Depending on your perspective, thats a bit high. So what the brokers will do is offer you 6.8% with a big prepay if you refinance in the first 3 years. OR they'll give you a slightly higher rate like 7.25% with no prepay. Depending on your belief, either option would work better. I chose the higher rate with no prepay because I had seen rates as low as 6% just before October 2008, right when the credit freeze hit the fan. I do believe rates will normalize...and I needed flexibility to refinance
2) If its a new boat, negotiate your coast guard documentation
fee ahead of time! Scumbags at a brokerage I used said "your fee will be $400" over the phone
...then delivered an invoice over $800 when it came due! Reality, CG documentation
costs ~$200...and if they tell you "only approved agents can do this" threaten to walk. The trick is to negotiate AHEAD of signing your papers. I made this mistake...I had already signed the paperwork when they stuck it to me.
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