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Personal Loans

Jet Ski Loans & Other Financing Options

Updated Dec 05, 2023   |   11-min read

If you’re a water sports enthusiast, you know the thrill of riding a jet ski on the open water. But before you can enjoy fun in the sun, you must find a way to pay for your personal watercraft (PWC). Jet ski, by the way, is a brand name for PWCs from Kawasaki, but the term is synonymous with personal watercraft. We’ll use the phrase jet ski interchangeably with PWC throughout this article. 

Regardless of what you call them, jet skis aren’t cheap. PWCs may cost anywhere from $6,000 to $21,000. Plus, you might need to purchase a trailer, pay for fuel and repairs, and get your license by taking an approved boating safety course. 

Not all watercraft enthusiasts can afford these costs out of pocket, so many use financing to purchase their jet skis. Standard options include an unsecured or secured personal loan, dealer financing, and credit cards. Read on for a closer look at jet ski loans and other financing options to determine which approach is best for you. 

In this guide:

How to finance a jet ski

Financing optionAPRRepayment termBest for
Unsecured personal loan6% – 36% Often 1 – 7 years Borrowers with good or excellent credit 
Secured personal loan (also called a jet ski loan or PWC loan)6% – 36% Often 1 – 7 years Borrowers with fair credit 
Dealer financingVaries, but may come with an introductory period of 0% APR Varies, but often several years Borrowers with fair credit
Credit card Average of 15.4Revolving basis Borrowers who qualify for a 0% introductory APR (and can repay the loan before the introductory APR expires)

Unsecured personal loan 

An unsecured personal loan is one option to finance your jet ski. This loan doesn’t require any collateral. Instead, lenders look at your credit, income, and debt-to-income ratio when evaluating your loan application. 

Borrowers with the strongest credit can qualify for the best rates. You’ll repay your loan with fixed monthly payments over a term ranging from one to seven years. 

A personal loan could be a suitable option for creditworthy borrowers who can qualify for a low interest rate and snag an affordable monthly payment. 

Secured personal loan 

You can also opt for a secured personal loan to finance your jet ski, which will use your jet ski as collateral. These loans may also be called jet ski loans, personal watercraft loans, or boat loans. 

Secured loans may have more lenient credit requirements than unsecured loans and may come with more competitive rates. The risk, though, is that your lender could repossess your jet ski if you fall behind on payments. 

Manufacturer or dealer financing 

Some jet ski manufacturers or dealers offer financing options to qualifying consumers. The deals will vary, and you’ll likely have to pass a credit and income check to borrow. 

Some dealers offer 0% APR financing for a period, saving you money on interest. When this promotional period ends, though, your APR could shoot up. 

Credit card 

Purchasing your PWC with a credit card may also be an option, depending on your credit limit. This approach could make sense if you qualify for a credit card with a 0% APR promotional period. 

If you can pay off your balance before the promotional period ends, you won’t have to pay interest on the amount. If not, your balance may be subject to hefty interest charges. 

Some credit cards also offer rewards, so you could earn points back on your jet ski purchase. 

Best personal loans for jet ski financing

If you decide a personal loan makes the most sense for your jet ski purchase, we’ve got you covered with the best personal loan for different credit categories. Here are the credit score ranges using the FICO scoring model

FICO score rangeCredit rating  
Under 580 Poor
580 – 669Fair
670 – 739 Good
740 – 799 Very good

Before applying for a personal loan, check your credit score to know which category it falls in. It’s also worth reviewing a free copy of your credit report from for any issues or inaccuracies. If you find a reporting error, you can try disputing it to have it removed. 

Best for good credit: SoFi

Powered by Credible

Editorial rating: 5 out of 5

  • High loan maximum of $100,000
  • No fees required
  • Various customer benefits, such as unemployment protection

Online lender SoFi offers unsecured personal loans from $5,000 to $100,000. It accepts fair credit scores, but good-credit borrowers will have an easier time accessing SoFi’s lowest rates, which start at 8.99%. 

Future jet ski owners will appreciate SoFi’s lack of required fees on its loans. You can also reduce your interest rate by 0.25% if you sign up for autopay on your loan bills. 

SoFi also offers a variety of member benefits, including unemployment protection in the event you lose your job, as well as financial planning services. 

  • Credit score category: Fair 
  • Soft credit pull to check rates? Yes 
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 – $100,000 
  • Deposit time: Same day as approval 
  • Origination fee: 0% to 6%
  • Late fee: None 
  • Repayment terms: 24 – 84 months 
  • Interest rates (APR): 8.99% – 23.43%

Best for fair credit: Upgrade

Editorial rating: 4.9 out of 5

  • Get funds within a day of Upgrade verifying your application
  • Check your rates through prequalification
  • Get small loan amounts starting at $1,000

Fair-credit borrowers may have an easier time qualifying with Upgrade, which accepts credit scores starting at 560. This lender offers personal loans starting at $1,000 with rates from 8.49% APR. 

The downside of an Upgrade personal loan is that it comes with an origination fee of 1.85% to 9.99% of your loan amount. On the plus side, Upgrade can fund your loan within a day of verifying your application. 

  • Credit score category: Fair (560 minimum)
  • Soft credit pull to check rates? Yes 
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 – $50,000
  • Deposit time: Within a day of clearing verifications 
  • Origination fee: 1.85% – 9.99% 
  • Late fee: Up to $10 
  • Repayment terms: 24 – 84 months 
  • Interest rates (APR): 8.49%35.97%

Best for thin credit : Upstart

Editorial rating: 4.8 out of 5

  • Accepts all credit scores
  • Uses an alternative lending model
  • Fast funding

Upstart is a solid choice for borrowers with little to no credit who may have trouble qualifying for a personal loan elsewhere. This online lender uses an artificial intelligence-powered lending model that looks beyond your credit score when evaluating your loan application. 

It also lets you check your rates online through prequalification. If you borrow a personal loan for your jet ski from Upstart, expect rates from 6.70% APR to 35.99% APR and repayment terms of three or five years. 

  • Credit score category: Poor (300 minimum)
  • Soft credit pull to check rates? Yes 
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 – $50,000 
  • Deposit time: As soon as 1 day after signing 
  • Origination fee: 0% – 10% 
  • Late fee: $15 or 5% of the amount due, whichever is greater 
  • Repayment terms: 3 or 5 years 
  • Interest rates (APR): 6.70% – 35.99%

Should you take out a jet ski loan?

The decision to take out a jet ski loan depends on your finances. Before borrowing, look over your income and expenses to determine how much you can pay on a jet ski loan each month. 

Ensure you’re on track to hit your other financial goals, such as paying back debt, shoring up your emergency fund, and saving for retirement. If you have discretionary income left over, a jet ski loan may work with your budget. 

It’s also worth using a personal loan calculator to estimate your monthly payments and long-term costs. Falling behind on a loan can harm your finances, so double-check that you can afford the payments before you commit. 

How to apply for a personal loan for a jet ski

If you decide to borrow a personal loan for a jet ski, here’s how to apply: 

  1. Check your credit. Review your credit score and credit report so you know what you’re working with before applying for loans. If your credit is subpar and you don’t mind waiting, consider improving it before applying for your loan. 
  2. Prequalify with multiple lenders. Many personal loan lenders let you check your rates with no impact on your credit score, allowing you to compare loan offers before you commit. 
  3. Look for the most affordable loan. As you compare offers, look for the lowest APR, low (or no) fees, and flexible repayment terms that work with your budget. Finding low jet ski loan rates will help you reduce your borrowing costs. 
  4. Submit a complete application. If you find a loan offer that works for you, you can apply with your personal information and any required documentation, such as pay stubs or bank statements. The lender may run a hard credit inquiry to review your credit profile. This will lower your credit score by a few points, but it should rebound after six to 12 months as you make on-time payments.
  5. Get your funds and start repaying your loan. Once your application is approved, you’ll receive your jet ski loan as a lump sum in your bank account. Then you’ll start paying back the loan monthly on the agreed-upon term. 


How much more expensive is financing a jet ski than paying cash?

Financing a jet ski is more expensive than paying cash due to interest and fees. The long-term costs will vary depending on your loan amount, APR, and loan term. 

Take a look at two examples in the table below:

Example only
Loan amount$10,000$10,000
Term3 years5 years
Total interest paid$1,957$3,347
Total cost of loan$11,957$13,347

A shorter loan term will save you money on interest but will come with higher monthly payments. A longer term will have more affordable monthly payments but will increase your interest costs. 

What are the best jet ski loans?

The best jet ski loans have the lowest interest rate and fees. By shopping for the lowest rate, you can find a jet ski loan with the lowest borrowing costs. Finding a flexible repayment term that works with your budget is also essential. 

Before choosing a loan, it’s worth researching the lender to ensure it’s reputable and has a decent track record of customer service. 

Are there bad-credit jet ski loans?

Bad credit can make qualifying for a jet ski loan challenging, but you may still have options. Upgrade, for example, accepts credit scores starting at 620, while Upstart will consider credit scores as low as 300 (the lowest possible). 

If you qualify for a loan with bad credit, ensure you’re comfortable with the terms. Bad-credit borrowers may pay higher rates and origination fees, making your loan more expensive.

What jet ski loan rates can you expect?

The rates you’ll get on a jet ski loan will vary depending on the type of loan and your credit profile. Here are a few rate ranges you can expect: 

Lender or financing type   Rates 
SoFi8.99% – 23.43%
Upgrade 8.49%35.97%
Upstart 6.70% – 35.99%
Secured personal loans Vary, but may be lower than the rates on an unsecured personal loan (such as those above in this table)
Manufacturer or dealer financing Vary, but may come with 0% APR for 12 months 
Credit cards 15.4% average (as of April 2023)

How long are jet ski loans?

Repayment terms on jet ski loans will vary by lender and loan amount, but most fall between one and seven years. Here’s what our recommended lenders offer, plus the loan terms for other options for jet ski financing. 

Lender or financing type   Repayment terms  
SoFi2 – 7 years 
Upgrade 2 – 7 years
Upstart 3 or 5 years 
Secured personal loans 1 – 7 years or more 
Manufacturer or dealer financing Varies 
Credit cards Revolving basis