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A Loan, a Good Neighbor, and a Dream Boat

One day, Todd Keffer of Eugene was donating his old boat to the Salvation Army. And the next he was taking a shiny 19-foot 2004 Jetcraft out on the Port of Siuslaw.

Keffer can’t thank SELCO enough for helping to make it happen.

Thanks to the diligence of Javier Bautista at SELCO’s Loan Center, Keffer landed the financing needed to buy the boat before someone else grabbed it out from under him.

“SELCO is awesome, man,” said Keffer, who has worked in construction for the past 31 years. “They were really on top of it.”

Keffer went through quite the ordeal to land his dream boat.

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When his old vessel started wearing out its welcome, Keffer turned his attention to finding the boat he’s wanted for years. Searching Craigslist on a Sunday night, Keffer spied a boat that reminded him of the Jetcraft he saw 20 years before with his father-in-law. With a spending limit of $14,000 and $4,000 socked away, Keffer called SELCO the next day and applied for a $10,000 loan.

While his loan was being processed, Keffer drove to Whistler’s Park outside of Roseburg to see the boat up close because the images on Craigslist were fuzzy. When he arrived, he couldn’t believe his eyes—despite being 14 years old, the boat was in mint condition.

“I almost started to cry, it was so wonderful.”

“This boat was such a good deal—I couldn’t touch it for less than $20,000 anywhere else,” Keffer said. “It has all the stuff that boats need for deep-sea fishing—satellite, down-rigging, things like that. I almost started to cry, it was so wonderful.”  

Keffer had to have this boat and even left $500 in cash for the sellers to hold it—he didn’t want anyone else to swoop in and buy it. The sellers promised they wouldn’t sell it to anyone else if he could come up with $14,000 within a week.

Keffer called SELCO back first thing the next morning. By the end of the day, Keffer was approved for a $10,000 loan at 5.99% for 84 months. (Bautista also helped Keffer secure the loan on his Ford truck.)

Even with the loan approved, there was still one small logistical snag: To sign over the title to the boat for funds, the sellers would need to visit a SELCO branch, and the closest one to Roseburg is in the Eugene/Springfield area. The owner of the boat recently had a stroke and couldn’t drive, so Keffer had to get creative.

Enter Keffer’s neighbor. Knowing Keffer really wanted the boat, his neighbor loaned him $10,000 in cash. Keffer then drove back to Roseburg with the $14,000, paid the seller, and brought his new boat and the title back home. And because SELCO deposited the $10,000 in loan funds into his checking account, Keffer was able to pay back his neighbor within a couple days.

“I love working for an organization that loves doing loans and helping members meet their financial goals,” Bautista said. “I am empowered to find solutions that work for members like Todd, who are also understanding, reasonable, and willing to work with us.”

Not long after settling up with his neighbor, Keffer put the new boat on the water for the first time. Averaging one or two outings per week, he’s gone crabbing and fishing for surf perch on the Port of Siuslaw and tubing on Fern Ridge Reservoir.

“Instead of going to a dealer and them finding somebody, I have somebody,” Keffer said. “I have SELCO.”

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