The average wedding ranges from $24,700 to $28,000. For the sake of discussion, let’s go with the middle ground of $26,500—still not a small amount for your wedding day!
If you’re lucky, you might have already saved some money to pay for your wedding, but a lot of couples don’t end up having quite enough cash tucked away for the occasion. While you could just throw up your hands and elope, there are other ways to pull off a beautiful celebration with all of your guests. One such way is to look into wedding loans.
Below, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about wedding loan rates and how to choose the best lender.
Before you start perusing our list below, know this: Maroo is one of the smartest ways to pay for your wedding without having to deal with high interest rates. Learn more about how you can pay for your wedding in installments at 0% APR right here. [LINK TO OUR LOANS PAGE?]
What is a wedding loan?
A wedding loan is really just a personal loan that couples use to cover wedding costs. It provides unsecured funds that will be repaid in monthly installments, usually over a period of 36-60 months. Rates vary between lenders but can be anywhere from 5.99% APR to 35.99% APR. If you have excellent credit, you can qualify for a lower rate; if you have a patchy credit history, you might be looking at a higher rate.
Pros and Cons
Here are some important considerations for your decision on the best way to pay for your wedding.
- Complete control over your own wedding budget and decisions. If you depend on parents or friends to help you pay, they might get too involved in the decisions for your big day
- Fixed monthly payments to repay the loan over an extended period. This makes payments manageable
- No stress of waiting to secure vendors. Loans are often funded within a matter of days, which means you can spend funds as needed
- Lower interest than credit cards. The average interest on credit cards ranges from 16% - 20%, but wedding loans can be as low as 5.99%
- Interest. Depending on your credit score, you may not qualify for low interest. If you don’t have excellent credit, you could be looking at rates as high as 35.99%
- Potential fees. Some wedding loan lenders apply an origination fee as high as 10% of the total amount. If you miss a payment, you could also be faced with a late fee. On the other hand, if you pay off your loan sooner than your lending term is up, you may encounter a prepayment penalty
- Repayment periods can last up to five years. You could be paying for the day of your dreams long after it has passed
Cost of a wedding loan
Wedding loan APRs range widely, from 5.99% - 35.99%. Let’s look at what that means for the average cost of a wedding.
For a $26,500 loan at a rate of 5.99% APR repaid over a three-year term, you’ll end up paying $2,518.21in interest, or $29,018.21 overall.
For the same loan at 35.99% APR, you’re looking at $17,191.39 in interest, or $43,691.39 in total.
This does not include any origination fees or application costs, which vary between wedding loan lenders.
Lenders that offer wedding loans
We’ve put together a comparison of lenders so that you can decide on the best bank for a wedding loan that will fit your needs.
1. LightStream: For borrowers with excellent credit
If you have excellent credit and a robust credit history, congrats! LightStream is an online division of SunTrust Bank, and it offers wedding loan interest rates as low as 5.95%. You could qualify for a loan amount of up to $100,000.
- Great starting interest rates
- No fees. No origination fees, prepayment, or late payments fees
- Quick funding and digital experience. You could get same-day funding and manage your loan in LightStream’s app
- No prequalification; you’ll need a hard check on your credit score
- Long credit history; borrowers typically have several years of credit history under their belts across a range of accounts, including major credit cards, mortgages, and auto loans
2. OneMain Financial: For borrowers with poor credit
If you’ve struggled with credit recently, no worries! OneMain Financial has over 1,500 branches and is a good option for you if you’ve faced credit challenges. They offer a secured loan—meaning you’ll need to offer some form of collateral upfront—with APRs starting at 18%.
- Easy to qualify
- You can also prequalify and check wedding loan rates with only a soft credit inquiry
- Quick access to funds, sometimes same-day funding
- High APR from 18%-35.99%
- Low maximum loan amount at $20,000
- Origination fees up to 10% depending on a variety of factors, including where you live
3. Upstart: For borrowers with a short credit history
Getting married young? Haven’t lived in the States long? Many lenders evaluate the last three years of your credit history, but if yours isn’t that long, Upstart might be a good idea. They evaluate information beyond your credit profile, taking into account your education, workplace, and current income.
- Friendly to borrowers new to credit
- Quick access to funds (sometimes as fast as one business day)
- Origination fee up to 8%
- High maximum APR, up to 35.99%
Wedding loan companies comparison
For more information on wedding loan lenders, we’ve put together this comparison:
How to qualify for a wedding loan
- Figure out how much money you’ll need. Talk to vendors, get quotes, and arrive at a budget—then think about how much in savings you, your partner, or families can contribute; the remaining amount is the amount of loan you need
- Check your credit histories and improve your credit score. Keep credit debt low, pay bills on time, but also review credit reports for any errors such as accounts that aren’t yours or any inaccurate data. These can usually be disputed by phone or online
- Compare lenders. Shop around to get the best rates. It might be worthwhile to prequalify for multiple different loans; this only requires a soft credit inquiry, which will not impact your credit score
- Add a cosigner. If you have difficulty getting approved or if the interest rates are too high, ask a relative or personal friend with a good credit score and steady income to cosign the loan. This decreases the risk to the lender, so having one means you may be able to access a lower interest rate and get approved for your top choices
Wedding loan alternatives
- Save up over a long engagement. The average engagement lasts about 15 months, so if you start saving for your wedding day immediately, you could have a healthy amount in the bank before you start putting down deposits and spending money
- Ask guests for financial contributions instead of gifts. If you and your partner tend towards a minimalist vibe anyway, and you don’t want more clutter, this could be a great option! Cash registries through The Knot or Honeyfund are good alternatives to wedding registries
- Consider a credit card. Look for a card with 0% APR, otherwise you’ll be paying a lot of debt accumulated in compound interest. A number of cards have promotional intro periods providing zero interest for up to 20 months; this could give you more than enough time to plan your wedding and repay the debt before you’re charged any interest. Remember: if you don’t pay off the debt before the promotional period is over, interest will accumulate on the remaining balance. Alternatively, you can look for a rewards card; some of these offer cashback, which can also help cover wedding costs, and some offer travel rewards, which could help with your honeymoon! Keep in mind that these cards typically require good to excellent credit to qualify (a FICO score of 690 or higher)
- Downsize. Try to whittle down your guest list—just removing 10-20 people can reduce your budget by about $1,000
Maroo brings together the most up-to-date resources to make the wedding planning process seamless for couples planning their wedding, no matter their financial background. Maroo does not receive any compensation for recommended resources.