Marine One Sticks to Credit Strategy, President Says

DALLAS — Credit performance remains “stable” for Marine One Acceptance Corp., which is why the nonprime lender is keeping its focus on maintaining the credit quality of its portfolio, President Martin Angel told Powersports Finance.

“We are happy with the performance of all of our products,” he said. The top priority for the company is the same every year: the credit quality and then managing that portfolio from a collections standpoint. “Everything else falls secondary to that … the credit is always the number one priority,” Angel added.

Marine One offers loans to high-500 Fico consumers with a maximum term of 72 months for American brand motorcycles, RVs, and side-by-sides that are five years old or newer. The lender operates in 30 states and has 50 employees.

Powersports Finance visited Angel at the lender’s headquarters in Dallas, Texas, last week. Following are edited excerpts from the interview:

Powersports Finance: You mentioned credit performance is stable. What do you predict for next year?

Martin Angel: I do not project that it will get rockier and I do not project that it’s going to be stable. All we can really control is the credit side and then our efforts to collect the payments. I can’t say what economy is going to bring, so I have no idea what the future brings. But I don’t see anything that makes me think that there is going to be a major change in collectability of the loans. That’s something we can spend a lot of time predicting and we choose not to because it’s like flipping a coin, you may be right and you may not be right. We did not predict what would happen in 2008, ‘09, and ‘10, but we made it through, and that was obviously a difficult time for everybody.

PF: Several new lenders have entered the market in recent years. Do you feel any competition pressure?

MA: No, I have not. There is always people going in and out of all the markets that we are in — lessors in particular. I think if people want to lease they will lease, and if they want to buy they will buy. We don’t focus much on how many competitors there are; we are really focused on the credit we are buying. That’s really been our focus for 25 years. We don’t try to get to a certain amount of loans by product, we just try to focus on credit and however many we get, that’s what we get.

PF: Are you interested in offering a leasing product?

MA: We have actually looked into it, and we don’t really see the benefit of it. I don’t see that happening in the future for us. I would think that for the prime leasing product, the captives would want to offer that, like Honda or Polaris — that’s more in their wheelhouse than ours. We don’t have an interest in the prime market, and we don’t have an interest in the lease market.

PF: Do you think the nonprime market is underserved?

MA: I don’t know that I would call it underserved; I think the market is either served or it is not served. I think when you get to a certain point, it is immediately going to be over-served. That’s what happened in auto finance, it became over-served because there were too many lenders fighting for not enough deals. When that happens, bad stuff happens. People buy things they shouldn’t buy. I would not say nonprime in powersports is underserved. It might seem like that from a dealer perspective, but I can’t really view it like that. I think it is served. I think if somebody deserves credit extended to them, it will be extended to them. Now that may vary by state, but any state that we are in, I think they are being served by us or by some of our local or national competitors.

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