Wedding Loans

The average wedding costs $24,723 in 2020, based on research from ValuePenguin. But let’s be honest: Not many people have so much money lying around, and your parents may not be able to contribute. 

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Why get a wedding loan?

Using a personal loan to pay for a wedding gives you more autonomy to plan the celebration you want. After all, when you lean on your parents or others to pay for your wedding, it gives them a lot of sway when it comes to decisions like who’s invited to the wedding and which caterers are hired.

Using a personal loan for wedding expenses doesn’t come without downsides. The biggest drawback to taking out a loan to pay for your wedding is that you will pay interest on your wedding expenses. If you’re already paying tens of thousands of dollars to get married, you probably don’t want to pay much on top of that.

Top wedding costs to consider

Photographer
& videographer

Musicians & DJs

Formal
wear

Engagement ring
& wedding band

Wedding
planner

Florist & décor

Benefits and risks of financing your wedding with a personal loan

Benefits

  1. Paying for your own wedding gives you control over the decisions you make
  2. You’ll repay the total cost of the wedding over time on a predictable payment plan
  3. You can spend the wedding funds as you see fit and on an as-needed basis

Risks

  1. You’ll pay interest on your wedding expenses, making this an expensive way form of financing
  2. Personal loan APRs vary widely depending on credit score, so low-credit borrowers will pay a premium on interest
  3. You could be left paying for your wedding long after the big day has come and gone

5 steps to applying for a wedding loan

STEP 1

Gather your personal information. Lenders will want to know your income, your debt-to-income ratio and your employment status.

STEP 2

Check your credit score. You can access your free credit score by signing up for My LendingTree.

STEP 3

Determine how much you need to borrow. For a marriage loan, consider costs both big and small. Consider everything from the photographer to the wedding bands. Don’t borrow too much, or else you’ll pay interest on money you didn’t use. Borrow too little and you might not have the money to cover your expenses.

STEP 4

Get prequalified and shop around for interest rates. To get prequalified for a personal loan, you send along your information to a lender and receive an estimated APR. Prequalification involves a soft credit inquiry, which will not affect your score. You can get prequalified and shop for the lowest APRs for your financial situation on LendingTree.

STEP 5

Accept your best offer and receive your money. When you decide which lender you want to work with, they will conduct a hard credit inquiry to secure your offer. Once you’re done applying for your loan, you could get your money as quickly as the same day.

Factors to consider when comparing wedding loan lenders

    • APR. Typically, the offer with the lowest APR will save you the most money over the life of the loan.

 

    • Fees. Some lenders charge fees, such as a loan origination fee (typically 1%-8% the cost of the loan) and a prepayment penalty. Other lenders charge no fees at all. Account for fees when determining which lender to borrow from.

 

    • Convenience. Choose a lender that aligns with your personal finance management style. If you like using autopay, certain lenders will give you a discounted APR. Other lenders have mobile apps and other online features.

 

  • Reviews. See what other borrowers have to say about the lenders you’re considering. You can check for personal loan lender reviews on LendingTree.

Alternative ways to finance a wedding

Ask your guests to pitch in
Not everyone needs or wants to receive gifts for their wedding. Instead of loading up your wedding registry with brand-name kitchen gadgets and delicate china you’ll only use a few times a year, consider asking your guests to help cover the wedding expenses. If consumerism isn’t your speed, there are a few alternatives to setting up a traditional registry through a retailer.

Take advantage of a cash registry, such as The Knot Cash Fund™ from wedding website The Knot. Ask guests to contribute to your honeymoon fund, which is exactly what it sounds like. If you don’t want your wedding to result in more clutter, you can tactfully avoid getting gifts you don’t want by avoiding setting up a registry and adding a small note on your wedding website instead. But at the end of the day, the gift-giver is going to decide what they want to give you.

Take your time saving up with a long engagement
The average engagement is 14 months, according to the 2019 Wedding Report from WeddingWire. Give yourself plenty of time to save up for the big day, and start saving money a year in advance before putting down deposits. Wait even longer if that’s what works for you.

Plan your wedding on your time frame, because in some cases, it might be the best decision to wait until you’re financially prepared.

Use a credit card with a promotional 0% APR period
It might be shocking to think about putting all your wedding expenses on a credit card. It seems a bit extreme to take on so much credit card debt for just one event, and you’ll end up paying mountains of interest at the end of the day.

The exception to the rule is to take advantage of a credit card with a promotional 0% APR period. Some credit cards have promotional intro APR periods that last up to 18 months, which could give you plenty of time to plan your wedding and repay the debt before you’re charged interest. Keep in mind that if you don’t pay off the debt before the promotional period ends, you could end up paying deferred interest back to the date of purchase.

As an added bonus, you could try to utilize a rewards credit card to earn travel miles or cash back on all your wedding purchases.

Wedding loan FAQ

A wedding loan is a type of personal loan that is used to pay for wedding expenses. Personal loans can be used to finance virtually anything, meaning that you could use a personal loan to cover all kinds of wedding-related costs like a venue deposit, engagement ring and wedding dress.

A personal loan doesn’t require collateral like a car or your home, meaning that it’s backed by your promise to repay the lender. Because it’s unsecured, interest rates are determined by your creditworthiness. Personal loans tend to have higher APRs than secured loans, like a mortgage or auto loan.

Estimate your wedding loan monthly payments based on loan amount, APR and the length of the loan using our personal loan calculator.

Yes, a wedding loan has the same requirements as any other type of personal loan. Lenders will analyze your credit score, debt-to-income ratio and employment history to determine if you are a good candidate for a personal loan.

It may be difficult to secure a personal loan with favorable terms if you have bad credit. Because personal loans are unsecured and have no collateral, lenders lean on your credit history to determine your worthiness as a borrower.

That being said, certain lenders specialize in personal loans for bad credit. Many lenders require a 600 credit score minimum, making it challenging for people with low or no credit to get approved. You could always take steps to improve your credit score before applying for a loan.

A personal loan for a wedding is a good alternative to putting all your wedding expenses on a credit card with high interest rates. However, using a wedding loan means that you’ll have to pay interest to the lender on all your wedding expenses, so you’ll be paying a premium on top of the base costs for your big day.

Using a personal loan to cover wedding expenses can be a good idea, depending on your unique financial circumstances. But taking on debt for nonnecessities (such as a wedding) is typically not recommended.

Yes, engagement ring loans are just like any other type of personal loan. Some lenders, like Prosper and Earnest, advertise engagement ring loans specifically. You can search for small personal loans and potentially see offers using LendingTree.