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While the cost of a wedding can vary wildly from couple to couple, in 2018 the average cost of a wedding was $33,900. Many couples have trouble affording an event with such as hefty price tag, especially young couples without significant savings. If you’re strapped for cash when planning a wedding, wedding loans can be a viable alternative to credit card debt or other forms of borrowing. Whether you’ve dreamed of a lavish wedding, or just need a little help footing the bill on your big day, you may be interested in pursuing a wedding loan.
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If you’re looking for an affordable, flexible wedding loan, LightStream has a lot of points in its favor. With low starting rates and no additional fees, LightStream is one of the better deals available. It also allows couples to submit joint applications and has flexible term lengths ranging from two to seven years. Because this lender requires a minimum credit score of 660, it may not be the best choice for couples with poor credit histories. Lightstream also requires several years of credit history to qualify.
Disclaimer: Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. Excellent credit is required to qualify for lowest rates. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay may be higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice.
Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 4.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $299.66
While SoFi may be better known for its student loan refinancing options, it also has a robust personal loan program that can be used to finance large expenses like weddings. SoFi requires a relatively high credit score of at least 680, although many borrowers have even higher scores. It also has a minimum income threshold of $45,000, making this option a non-starter for low-income borrowers. If you do manage to qualify, however, SoFi offers competitive rates, an easy application process and other perks, like pausing repayment if you lose your job. While some borrowers may not be eligible for a personal loan from SoFi, the lender is a great deal for borrowers with a good credit score and high income and offer much better savings than putting wedding expenses on a credit card.
Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 18.28% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of October 5, 2020 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, income, and other factors. See APR examples and terms. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
Best for resources and support – Marcus by Goldman Sachs
An arm of financial giant Goldman Sachs, Marcus is an online-only platform that offers personal loans to cover a variety of expenses, including weddings. Marcus offers loans of up to $40,000 with no fees and a simple application process. If you’re not sure whether or not you qualify, you can complete the quick and easy application without affecting your credit score. Marcus also offers robust customer support and an extensive library of resources for borrowers interested in growing their financial knowledge. After making 12 consecutive monthly payments, Marcus allows borrowers to defer payment for one month without accruing additional fees or interest. It also offers a discount for borrowers who set up autopay. Marcus doesn’t allow cosigners, which may not be ideal for younger couples without a solid credit history.
Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification of your identity and credit information. To obtain a loan, you must submit additional documentation including an application that may affect your credit score. The availability of a loan offer and the terms of your actual offer will vary due to a number of factors, including your loan purpose and our evaluation of your creditworthiness. Rates will vary based on many factors, such as your creditworthiness (for example, credit score and credit history) and the length of your loan (for example, rates for 36 month loans are generally lower than rates for 72 month loans). Your maximum loan amount may vary depending on your loan purpose, income and creditworthiness. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank USA and all loans are issued by Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Salt Lake City Branch. Applications are subject to additional terms and conditions.
Lending Club helped popularize peer-to-peer lending and offers personal loans for expenses including weddings. Lending Club has a simple application process and applying for a loan won’t impact your credit. Unlike some other lenders, Lending Club allows joint applications, so couples can apply jointly for a loan with finance their wedding. Lending Club does charge origination and late fees and rates may not be as competitive as some other lenders. It also requires higher income-to-debt ratios, so low-income couples may not qualify.
All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage and history. The APR ranges from 10.68% to 35.89%. For example, you could receive a loan of $5,700 with an interest rate of 7.99% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 11.51%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $187.99. The total amount repayable will be $6,767.64. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at time of application. *The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6%; the average origination fee is 5.2% (as of 12/5/18 YTD).* There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months or longer.
Founded by Google employees, Upstart prides itself on providing loans to borrowers with short credit histories. It has fairly low rates and an online application process that takes only a few minutes. It also doesn’t charge a prepayment penalty, so borrowers are free to pay off their loans at any time. Because Upstart considers your education, areas of study and job history in addition to your credit score, it’s able to offer competitive rates to promising candidates. It does charge origination and late fees and doesn’t allow cosigners. While some borrowers may be able to get better rates elsewhere, for borrowers with low credit scores or who haven’t had time to build up a good credit history Upstart is a viable option for a wedding loan.
* The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart Platform will have an APR of 19% and 36 monthly payments of $35 per $1,000 borrowed. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Average APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved. ** Estimated savings are calculated based on the credit profiles of all loans originated by Upstart-powered lenders using the Upstart Platform as of April 1, 2019 in which the funds were used for credit card refinancing. Estimated savings are calculated by deriving current credit card APR using minimum monthly payment and 1% of the principal balance. The estimated credit card APR is then compared to the accepted loan to determine median savings per borrower. To evaluate savings on a loan you are considering, it is important to compare your actual APR from your existing debt to the APR offered on the Upstart Platform. More than 303,000 loans have been originated on the Upstart platform as of July 1, 2019. Images are not actual customers, but their stories are real. † If you accept your loan by 5pm EST (not including weekends or holidays), you will receive your funds the next business day. Loans used to fund education related expenses are subject to a 3 business day wait period between loan acceptance and in accordance with federal law. ‡ While most of our borrowers opt for automated recurring payment for ease of use, we also accept payments by check or one time electronic payments. Borrowers have the flexibility to choose the repayment method that works best for them. 9 out of 10 Upstart users surveyed internally reported that they would recommend Upstart. †† When you check your rate, we check your credit report. This initial (soft) inquiry will not affect your credit score. If you accept your rate and proceed with your application, we do another (hard) credit inquiry that will impact your credit score. If you take out a loan, repayment information will be reported to the credit bureaus. § Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. Loans are not available in West Virginia or Iowa. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5,100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100.
What is a wedding loan?
Wedding loans are personal loans that can be used to fund wedding expenses such as venue rentals, catering, equipment costs and more. For couples who don’t have enough money saved to cover all wedding-related expenses themselves, wedding loans can help them to afford the many costs that come along with celebrating a wedding.
How to get a wedding loan
Borrowers interested in wedding loans can apply online and, in some cases, can receive funds deposited into their accounts within only a few business days.
Check your credit score and improve it. Pull your credit score from one of the three credit reporting bureaus, using AnnualCreditReport.com. Through this site, you’ll be able to see an accurate snapshot of your credit score. If it’s below 680, you could improve it by disputing inaccuracies, paying down debts or credit card balances or even using a small personal loan to report on-time payments. Knowing your credit score will also help you determine which lenders you’re eligible for.
Shop around for the best wedding loan rates. This is one of the most important steps in how to get a wedding loan. Compare lenders that do not perform hard credit checks to get a quote online. Most lenders will send the quote to your email in minutes, and you can compare rates and amounts that best work for you and your significant other.
Determine the amount you need. There’s no reason to take out more than you need — you’ll end up paying more in interest over time. Carefully calculate how much you actually need to take out in a loan and request that amount from the best wedding loan provider you find.
Apply for the loan. Once you have everything in order, apply for the loan using your income statements, personal information, bank account information and in most cases, your Social Security number. Once approved, the lender will likely deposit your funds within one to three business days.
Check Your Personal Loan Rates
Answer a few questions to see which personal loans you pre-qualify for. It’s quick and easy, and it will not impact your credit score.
Personal loans can be decent options for financing wedding expenses for a variety of reasons, but there are always advantages and disadvantages to borrowing money, especially for funding a wedding. Although many people may like a large celebration of matrimony, it becomes another monthly expense in a marriage.
Fixed repayment terms
A variety of lender options
Lower rates than many other forms of borrowing.
Interest and fees
An additional monthly expense
Higher rates than some other forms of borrowing
Alternatives to wedding loans
If you’re looking for alternatives to financing your wedding, there are a variety of options in addition to securing a personal loan. These can include:
Using a credit card: Credit cards can be a viable alternative to a loan if you don’t have the necessary funds to afford a wedding. Some credit cards offer low introductory rates as well as other rewards, like travel points or cash back. However, credit cards may also come with higher interest rates and may be difficult to pay off in the long term.
Asking for help from family: If you’re struggling to afford a wedding, you may want to consider asking for help from family members. In many cases, couples planning a wedding can receive financial assistance from their parents or other family members. If your family is financially comfortable, they may be able to help you foot part of the bill.
Scaling back expenses: While weddings can be pricey, they don’t have to be. If you find yourself struggling to finance an expensive wedding, you may want to consider simplifying your planning process and including only the essentials. Planning a frugal wedding doesn’t mean it can’t be fancy. Chic DIY weddings can be just as much fun as lavish celebrations and you’ll be able to get creative with things like flowers, invitations, decorations and more. Here’s how those numbers can add up.
Too long, didn’t read?
Although funding your big day with a wedding loan seems like a reasonable enough option, consider only the best wedding loan providers before looking for alternatives to wedding loans. While it will be nice to have a lavish wedding, consider all options for funding because the best day of your life can also be your most expensive one. But wedding loan providers like LightStream, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, and others are able to provide the money you want to fund your wedding.
The SimpleScore is a proprietary scoring metric we use to objectively compare products and services at The Simple Dollar.
For every review, our editorial team:
Identifies five measurable aspects to compare across each brand
Determines the rating criteria for each aspect score
Averages the five aspect scores to produce a single SimpleScore
Here’s a breakdown of the five aspect scores and their rating criteria for our review of the best personal loans of 2020.
Why do some brands have different SimpleScores on different pages?
To ensure the SimpleScore is as helpful and accurate as possible, we developed unique criteria for every category we compare at The Simple Dollar. Since most brands offer a variety of financial solutions, their products and services will score differently depending on what we’re scoring on a given page.
However, it’s also possible for the same product from the same brand to have multiple SimpleScores. For instance, if we compare NetCredit’s personal loans according to our criteria for the best personal loans, it scores a 2.3 out of 5. But when we compare NetCredit according to the criteria for the best bad credit personal loans, it scores considerably higher, since the criteria for the latter review are more lenient (lenders who serve borrowers with bad credit will always offer higher rates, so we needed to adjust our category methodology to account for different industry standards).
We looked at the maximum APR for each lender — the lower their maximum rate, the higher their score.
We awarded higher scores to lenders with more generous loan sizes.
We leveraged the J.D. Power 2019 Personal Loan Satisfaction Study℠ to see how customers rated their experience with each lender. (If a lender wasn’t included in J.D. Power’s study, we skipped this aspect and averaged the four remaining aspect scores.)
We awarded higher scores to lenders with the most channels for customer support.
We looked at the three most common fees — origination, late payment, and pre-payment — and penalized lenders for each fee charged.
Courtney Mihocik is an editor at The Simple Dollar who specializes in insurance, personal finance, and loans. Previously, she wrote and edited for Interest.com, PersonalLoans.org, Ballantyne Magazine, Thread Magazine, The Post, ACRN, The New Political, Columbus Alive and the Institute for International Journalism.