In this article:
If you're engaged and in the process of planning your big day, you may be concerned about how you're going to pay for everything. After all, weddings can get expensive very quickly. Fortunately, you can take out a loan to help pay for your wedding. Let's explore whether this is a good idea and what steps you'll need to take if you choose to go this route.
Is Paying for a Wedding With a Personal Loan a Good Idea?
The average cost of a U.S. wedding is $29,858—making it hard for many to gather the cash they need to fund their special day. Here's a look at the pros and cons of taking out a loan to pay for your wedding.
- Lower interest rates than credit cards: Most personal loans charge lower interest rates than credit cards, making them a more affordable financing solution for your wedding.
- The chance to build your credit: If you are confident you can pay your loan back according to its terms, you can use it as an opportunity to build your credit.
- Fast funding: Depending on the lender, you may get the cash you need in as little as one business day.
- Online application process: Many lenders offer a quick, convenient online application process.
- The temptation to overspend: Using a loan to pay for your wedding may tempt you to spend more than you can afford.
- Fees: Some loans come with prepayment fees, origination fees or both.
- Starting your marriage with debt: If you take out a loan to pay for your wedding, you and your spouse will start your marriage off in debt. This can be particularly problematic if you already have other debt to tackle.
If you don't have the cash to pay for your entire wedding but don't want to take out a loan, you do have other options. You can prolong your engagement and have your wedding when you've saved up enough money. Or you can opt for a smaller wedding, choose a less expensive venue, or cut out extras like wedding favors and flowers.
How Do I Get a Loan for My Wedding?
The process of getting a loan for your wedding is fairly simple. Follow these steps.
1. Check Your Credit Reports and Scores
Before applying for a wedding loan, it's a good idea to check your credit reports and scores. By doing so, you can understand what lenders will be looking at when considering your application. If you have a credit score of 700 or above, you'll be more likely to land lower interest rates and good terms.
However, if your credit score is lower, you may have a more difficult time securing a loan with low interest rates and favorable terms. You may want to spend some time improving your credit before shopping around for a wedding loan.
2. Search for Lenders
There are many online and in-person lenders that offer loans you can use for your wedding. Take the time to search for various lenders that meet your needs. Check each lender's range for loan amounts.
If you need to borrow $30,000 for your wedding and a lender's maximum loan size is $25,000, they aren't a good fit. Also, if a lender only lends money to borrowers with excellent credit scores and your score is in the 500s, there's no reason to consider them. Make a list of a few lenders that meet your needs.
3. Get Prequalified
Prequalifying for a loan gives you the chance to see what kind of offers are available to you. Fortunately, many online lenders perform a soft credit check during the prequalification process so you don't have to worry about hurting your credit score. Although the prequalification process varies from lender to lender, most lenders will ask you to provide the following information:
- Full name
- Social Security number
- Date of birth
- Employment details
4. Compare Offers and Make a Decision
Once you've received all of your prequalified offers, compare them by looking at the interest rate, terms and fees of each one. Calculate the total amount you'll pay for your wedding with each of these offers and select the most affordable option.
How Much Can I Borrow for My Wedding?
The amount of money you'll be able to borrow for your wedding will largely depend on the lender you select and your credit. Here are some lenders to consider:
- LendingClub: With LendingClub, you can receive your money in as few as three days and you don't have to worry about prepayment fees.
- FreedomPlus: FreedomPlus offers interest rate discounts and loan terms of two to five years, and promises no hidden fees or prepayment penalties.
- Earnest: If you don't have the best credit, Earnest may be a good fit, as this lender considers your full financial profile, not just your FICO® Score* , the credit score used most frequently by lenders. Also, Earnest does not charge any fees for origination, prepayment or loan disbursement.
Planning for the Future
Taking out a loan may be a good idea if you don't want to spend the next few years saving money to pay for your wedding and are not interested in cutting expenses. If you decide to use a loan to fund your big day, be sure to design a plan to repay it so that it doesn't follow you throughout your marriage.