Financing: What Can You Afford – Jet SKi – ATV – Side By Side – Snowmobile

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Ever wonder what you’re payments might be before you walk into a dealership for a Jet Ski, ATV, Side by Side, or even a Snowmobile? This is a common question many of my customers have, they know how much they want to spend but really don’t know what machine will get them to that range.

Now you should never 100% make the buy decision on what the payments might be, you should find the best fit machine for your needs. But price is a big feature that many of us live by so it would be nice to know what we’re looking at before we go into the dealership.

These examples below are just that, examples. Don’t expect to go into a dealership expecting to pay this or that. Every location is different and has different financing rates and promotions.

**Make sure to check out the manufactures website for current financing options and rates.

What I Use

What I use is not the most accurate, but its close. Every bank might calculate a bit different but a lot of the loans you get are usually based of this calculator here.

Since every place is different and rates and promotions are different I’ll give you some basic numbers to go off of.

So lets say I want to buy a watercraft that is $8,000 all in. I want to do 5 years at 7%, so what would that be? That would be $159 a month. That is also with nothing down. If I put $1000 down that would make the payments $139 a month.

This 5 years at 7% is a good average number that I do see often, but don’t expect to pay that becuase every place and location is different with different promotions. 

Click here to go to Auto Loan Calculator

Should You Put Money Down?

Or better yet, do you need to put money down? Most banks I dealt with don’t need money down. If the person had not so great credit then they would need money down. A lot of this based on your credit.

Depending on your credit you may need to put money down and you may end up in a different financing rate too.

But the real question is if you should put money down. Yes, you should. Unless you plan on keep the machine for the amount financed and then a few years after you should really consider putting money down. Its best to not be up side down on the machine.

Lets go back to my example above of the $8000 for 5 years at 7%. What that really means is that I’m financing $9500 at the end of the 5 years if I don’t pay more or pay it off early. So $1500 is about the interest you’ll be paying, give or take. That’s how much I would recommend putting down, or at least $1000.

This keeps you from being upside down if you decide after 2 years you want to get rid of it and get something different.

You’ll be surprised by how many people want to trade in something with me and they owe more than what the machine is worth. If you owe $7000 and the bike is only worth $5000 then someone needs to pay that difference and its not going to be the dealership. So what happens is that the dealership will add the $7000 to the total of the machine and then subtract the $5000 that’s its worth and you end up with an $2000 to what ever you’re buying. That loan needs to be paid off and that’s how its done. Some dealerships are more tricky at hiding this but this is how it works. To avoid this its best to put money down, cash money and not a credit card that you don’t plan on paying off right away.

This is my opinion, of course, so take it how you feel. When you take on a debt, its up to you pay that debt back.

Its also smart to put money down in case something happens to you and you need to get rid of the machine quick becuase you can’t afford the monthly payments. If you’re upside down then you’ll have to come up with the difference to pay the machine off – which leaves you in the same spot that you’re now in. If you’re not upside down and actually in the green you might make a few dollars back.

I Just Financed A $50K Truck… What Do You Mean I’m Not Approved?!

I’ve seen this happen before. Brand new truck or car that they paid a bunch of money for and now they want a new toy. We do the credit app and they don’t get approved. They then get mad at me or just embarrassed becuase they just bought a new truck that was $XX,XXX amount and got approved so why can’t they get approved for a $12,000 jet ski?

Its really nothing to get embarrassed about. The banks see Jet Ski’s and Cars totally different. If anything were to happen, like you loose your job, the bank sees that the first thing you’ll stop paying on is the Jet Ski or ATV and not the Car or Truck. The truck or car is something that gets you to work so that you can pay your bills, so the banks are more relaxed on giving car loans over jet ski loans or ATV loans.

It really boils down to this… A car is a need and a jet ski, atv, side by side, or even a snowmobile is just a want. You need your car to get you to work, very rarely do you need a jet ski to get you to work.

Also its not best to get a another loan right after getting one if its only days apart. Let say you just bought a car and they got you approved. Well… most car dealerships will go through many different banks to find a loan for you and that usually means they pull your credit a lot. So you get approved for a car and now you want something to pull behind it so you go get a jet ski and find out you’ve been declined. Well the banks wanting to get you financed for the jet ski see a bunch of pulls on your credit and its a red flag. I would wait a little bit before buying a toy, or even ask the car dealers to not pull your credit so much. Or even supply your own financing before going to the dealership to get the best rates and deals.

Buying A House?

Also if you’re planning on buying a house make sure you do the financing on a jet ski after a month when you close on your house. Financing a house is one of the hardest things to get approved on and having jet ski loans pop up out of no where is not good for you. So wait til you close on the house and the paper works is done, you don’t want to loose out on a house because of some jet skis.


If you plan on getting a trailer and also plan on putting money down then I would suggest buying the trailer out right. I’ve had this happen a couple of times where someone buys a single trailer for there jet ski and then decides to buy another jet ski and go with a double trailer.

But they financed the trailer and jet ski together and to get that trailer free you need to pay off the whole loan. The bank doesn’t see that the jet ski is $8000 and the trailer is $1000, all they see is a $9000 loan that you owe them. To free the titles for the trailer you got to pay off the whole loan.

So if you think you’ll need a second jet ski or even if you’re putting money down then its best to pay for the trailer out right. Plus it feels good to pay cash for something even if its small like a trailer.

Can You Haggle Financing?

No, most of the time the manufacture teams up with a bank to give promotional financing and the dealership does not make any money off of that.

Also you can’t pick your own rates as those rates are determine by others that the dealership has no control over.

If you can find a better rate with your local bank then go with them. But what I usually see is that even local banks can’t really get close to the rates that the manufacturer supplies and plus they require more hoops to jump through too.

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