Aircraft/Yacht Loan Comparison
While there is no pre-existing information to fully answer your question, we've used the available data to pull together key findings:
Bank of America, Wells Fargo, First Republic, and SunTrust provide financing for aircraft and yachts, but most do not disclose specifics of those financing arrangements. In terms of aircraft, references to the loan practices of these and other banks would suggest that a 20-year loan term is fairly standard, and there are no penalties for prepayment on these vehicles. Down payments are typically in the 15-20% range for loans of $50,000 and higher for aircraft. Yacht loans vary in terms of loan amount, length of loan, and interest rates, though available information puts amounts in the $25,000-$4,000,000 range. While most banks do not make the requested data public, the available details have been provided in the attached spreadsheet.
Below you'll find an outline of our research methodology to better understand why information you've requested is publicly unavailable, as well as a deep dive into our findings.
I have searched the websites for Bank of America, Wells Fargo, First Republic, SunTrust, and other banks serving the California, Oregon, and/or Washington regions, looking for documents or references to their aircraft or yacht lending practices. However, much of this data is not made publicly available, with most banks requesting that potential loan recipients fill out an application or call for more information. I also checked annual reports and press releases for these companies, but I found no insights there. In addition, I've consulted a number of industry websites, such as the National Marine Lenders Association, Pilots of America, Plane and Pilot Magazine, and Yacht World, as well as pilot and yacht owner forums. I am making the assumption that you are interested in private loans for individuals, rather than business loans, but because of the dearth of available information, I have provided any information I found relevant to yacht or aircraft lending.
• Bank of America
Merrill Lynch, a Bank of America subsidiary, notes that yacht or aircraft lending falls within its customized lending sector, which pairs would-be yacht or aircraft owners with banking and investment specialists with knowledge of this sector. As its moniker suggests, these loans are customized to the individual borrower's specific needs and, therefore, loan amounts, rates, and other figures are not made publicly available, as they are tailored to the individual. I located contact information for someone in their marine department here. Also, a link to their customized lending financial advisors can be found here.
I found no published data for Bank of America's yacht or aircraft financing, but I located a few references to their lending practices at review sites or in vehicle owner forums. While forums are not typically a source I would consult for this type of data, I encountered a 2013 post at a website for aircraft owners and pilots that offered some specifics for Bank of America's lending practices at that time. While the information is dated, I will provide it here (and in the spreadsheet) for context since it is the most specific information I found:
Bank of America requires collateral, those specifics are not offered. Single engine planes must less than 30 years old, while twin engine must be 15 years old or newer, and jets must be 10 years old or newer. Any aircraft must be FAA certified, and light sport aircraft are only eligible if listed in valuation guides, such as VREF or Aircraft Bluebook. The aircraft must be for personal use only, and "no cash out or title loan financing." Loan amounts are listed as $50,000-$1,000,000 with a minimum 15% down payment.
A review of Bank of America's boat loans, which claims to include yachts, states that loans of up to $150,000 are available. Another review states that boat loans at Bank of America range from $5,000 to $99,999 and suggests loan terms from 60 to 180 months at rates of 4.99% to 6.29%. However, it does not specifically mention yachts, and the loan prices likely indicate these loans are for other types of boats.
• Wells Fargo
While Wells Fargo notes that it provides personal loans for both yachts and aircraft, specifics of the loan parameters are not publicly available. They state that yachts must be over 5 tons or exceed 26 feet to qualify, while new and used aircraft must be for personal use. These are secured loans, though collateral information is not provided. They are fixed interest, fixed payment loans with no penalty for prepayment. For additional information, prospective borrowers must contact the bank to apply for a loan. A review of Wells Fargo's boat loans suggests that their loan terms can be tailored to the borrower's needs and that their monthly payments and interest rates are competitive. Other information on their aircraft loans appears to fall within their business banking sector, which requires borrowers to contact one of the bank's aircraft financing experts. Therefore, I have entered N/A on the spreadsheet. A loan specialist can be reached at 1-888-667-5250.
• First Republic
First Republic's marine and aircraft financing falls into its business banking category. It does not provide any specifics regarding loan amounts, terms, payment schedules, or other loan parameters. I was unable to find any information regarding personal loans for yachts or aircraft. Information in their 2016 annual report also suggests that yacht and aircraft lending falls under the specialized services provided by their private business banking sector. Therefore, I have entered N/A on the spreadsheet. A loan specialist can be reached at 1-888-408-0288.
SunTrust provided the most specific data among all banks reviewed. Their marine loans are provided for boats over 25' in length. Loan amounts are between $25,000 and $4,000,000 with fixed rates between 5.12% APR and 7.50% APR or variable rates between 3.99% APR and 5.17% APR. Additional information and the application link can be found here.
Lightstream is a division of SunTrust that offers marine and aircraft loans. It offers loans from $5,000 to $100,000 and fixed rates starting at 4.04% APR. Their online application can be found here.
In conclusion, while most banks do not make their loan criteria publicly available, we were able to determine that Bank of America provides yacht loans up to $150,000 in financing, while their aircraft loans may provide up to $1,000,000 in financing, based on anecdotal information. Wells Fargo and First Republic provide marine and aircraft loans, but they require borrowers to consult with a loan specialist for details on loan amounts. SunTrust offers 20-year marine loans in the $25,000-$4,000,000 range, while its Lightstream product provides marine and aircraft loans of $5,000-$100,000 for 24- to 84-month terms. The publicly available details have been provided in the attached spreadsheet.