Best Wedding Loans in 2020

While the cost of a wedding can vary wildly from couple to couple, in 2019 the average cost of a wedding was $33,900. Many couples have trouble affording an event with such a hefty price tag, especially young couples without substantial money for a wedding. 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 personal loans for your wedding.

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      Why trust The Simple Dollar 

      Here at the Simple Dollar, we strive to cover the breadth of personal finance while also getting into the in-depth elements you need most. We’ve researched the major providers of the best wedding loans and personal loans for your wedding to bring you some nuanced suggestions specific to your situation.

      [Read: Best Debt Consolidation Loans for 2020]

      The best wedding loans of 2020

      Wedding loans at a glance

      LenderAPRTermLoan AmountsSimpleScore
      Lightstream3.99%–19.99% w/AutoPay24–84 months$5,000–$100,0004.8/5
      SoFi5.99%–19.63% w/AutoPay24–84 months$5,000–$100,0004.6/5
      Marcus6.99%–19.99%36–72 months$5,000–$40,0005/5
      Lending Club8.05%–35.89%36–60 months$1,000–$50,0003.2/5
      Upstart6.95%–35.99%36 or 60 months$1,000–$50,0003.4/5

      *Rates accurate as of October 2021 and exclude autopay discounts with the exception of Lightstream and Sofi.

      Best for low APRs – LightStream

      Forget your future spouse — you’ll fall in love with LightStream wedding loans instead.

      APR Range
      3.99% – 19.99% w/Autopay
      Loan Amount
      $5K–$100K
      Term
      24–84 months
      SimpleScore
      4.8 / 5.0
      close
      SimpleScore LightStream 4.8
      Rates 5
      Loan Size 5
      Customer Satisfaction 4
      Support 5
      Fees 5

      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.

    • Minimum credit score: 660
    • Minimum annual income: None
    • LightStream Disclosure

      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

      © 2020 Truist Financial Corporation. SunTrust, Truist, LightStream, the LightStream logo, and the SunTrust logo are service marks of Truist Financial Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by Truist Bank.

      Best for good credit – SoFi

      If you’re going to go in debt for your big day, you might as well choose a lender that will be there for you in sickness and health, when it comes to your finances.

      APR Range
      4.99% to 19.63% w/AutoPay
      Loan Amount
      $5K–$100K
      Term
      24–84 months
      SimpleScore
      4.6 / 5.0
      close
      SimpleScore SoFi 4.6
      Rates 5
      Loan Size 5
      Customer Satisfaction 3
      Support 5
      Fees 5

      For borrowers with good credit, SoFi offers competitive rates and an easy online application process. 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. 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.

      SoFi Disclosure

      Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 19.63% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of July 30, 2021 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. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. 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

      With a nice on-time-payment incentive and excellent resources and support, Marcus has some good features with a straightforward process.

      APR Range
      6.99%–19.99%
      Loan Amount
      $3.5K–$40K
      Term
      36–72 months
      SimpleScore
      5 / 5.0
      close
      SimpleScore Marcus by Goldman Sachs 5
      Rates 5
      Loan Size 5
      Customer Satisfaction 5
      Support 5
      Fees 5

      Marcus offers loans with no fees, fixed interest rates and a robust customer support system. An arm of financial giant Goldman Sachs, Marcus is an online-only platform that offers personal loans for your wedding to cover a variety of expenses. 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.

      Marcus by Goldman Sachs Disclosure

      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.

      Best peer-to-peer lender – LendingClub

      Your guest list may be long, but so can the number of investors funding your wedding loan with LendingClub

      APR Range
      8.05%–35.89%
      Loan Amount
      $1K–$40K
      Term
      36–60 months
      SimpleScore
      3.2 / 5.0
      close
      SimpleScore LendingClub 3.2
      Rates 2
      Loan Size 5
      Customer Satisfaction 3
      Support 3
      Fees 3

      LendingClub offers peer-to-peer lending for loans of up to $40,000, with a quick and easy application process and a joint loan option. LendingClub helped popularize peer-to-peer lending and offers personal loans for expenses including weddings. Unlike some other lenders, Lending Club allows joint applications, so couples can apply jointly for a loan to 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.

      LendingClub Disclosure

      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 8.05% 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.

      Best for fair credit – Upstart

      Upstart is a viable option for a wedding loan so couples can jumpstart the merging of their finances.

      APR Range
      6.95%–35.99%
      Loan Amount
      $1K–$50K
      Term
      36–60 months
      SimpleScore
      3.4 / 5.0
      close
      SimpleScore Upstart 3.4
      Rates 2
      Loan Size 5
      Customer Satisfaction 4
      Support 3
      Fees 3

      For borrowers with fair credit, Upstart offers fast, flexible personal loans for your wedding with decent rates. Its minimum credit score is 620, and its minimum annual income is $12,000. 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.

      Upstart Disclosure

      * 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.

      [Read: How to Get a Personal Loan With Fair Credit]

      1. 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.
      2. 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.
      3. 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.
      4. 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.

      [Read: Is a Personal Loan My Best Option?]

      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.

      Get Started

      with our trusted partners at Bankrate.com

      Wedding loans vs. credit cards 

      Some couples choose to place wedding debt on credit cards, since qualifying for a high enough credit limit is surprisingly easy. In particular, if you start a new credit card for the purpose of using it for wedding debt, you can get a good low introductory interest rate or travel rewards and cash back.

      [Related: Best 0% Interest Credit Cards of 2020 ]

      Overall, though, this strategy requires an aggressive plan to pay back the debt, since the long-term rates are much higher on credit cards than on personal loans for your wedding. Unless you anticipate paying your debt back before the introductory offer ends, a wedding loan will cost you less in the long run.

      How to pay for a wedding without a wedding loan 

      The wedding planning process should begin with considering two elements at the same time. First, explore average budgets for your level of formality, amount of guests, location, and time of year of a wedding. Second, consider the economic resources at your disposal, including family contributions.

      [ Read: Best Installment Loans for Bad Credit ]

      Once you have an idea of how much savings you and your family members can bring to the wedding and you have priced out an approximate budget, the deficit between these numbers is how much money for your wedding that you actually need.

      You aren’t required to apply for a wedding loan, of course; the other option is to begin scaling back the budget through cost-cutting measures. 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.

      How to get a wedding loan with bad credit 

      Weddings are often planned well in advance, so if you believe you’ll need a wedding loan, you can begin working to repair bad credit right now. For instance, Experian offers Experian Boost wherein you connect your credit score to your utility bills and telecommunications payments. By making these payments reliably, you gain credit. Other methods for repairing credit involve paying debt payments on time, lowering your balance on credit cards and looking over your credit report in order to dispute inaccurate information.

      While some companies allow you to apply jointly for a wedding loan, if you or your partner have poor credit, you might consider applying for the loan only in the name of the person with better credit.

      If your credit will not rise to the number that many personal loan providers prefer, Upstart tends to offer loans to people with lower credit or less established credit than some of the other providers.

      [ Read more: Best Bad Credit Personal Loans in 2020 ]

      Wedding loans FAQs

      You can get a wedding loan through an online lender, traditional bank or credit union. However, we recommend that you exhaust all other funding options before turning to loans or credit cards to pay for your wedding.

      Yes. Many personal wedding loans have no fees for early repayment. If your loan has an early repayment fee, it still may be beneficial to pay it down and have the loan out of the way.

      It depends. Some personal loans have a minimum of $5,000, so look for providers like Lending Club and UpStart, who have lower minimums of $1,000.

      Methodology

      SimpleScore

      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).

      Questions about our methodology?

      Email Hayley Armstrong at hayley@thesimpledollar.com.

      Rates

      We looked at the maximum APR for each lender — the lower their maximum rate, the higher their score.

      Loan Size

      We awarded higher scores to lenders with more generous loan sizes.

      Customer Satisfaction

      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.)

      Support

      We awarded higher scores to lenders with the most channels for customer support.

      Fees

      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 personal loans, student loans, auto loans, and debt consolidation loans. She is a former writer and contributing editor to Interest.com, PersonalLoans.org, and elsewhere.

      Reviewed by

      • Courtney Mihocik
        Courtney Mihocik
        Loans Editor

        Courtney Mihocik is an editor at The Simple Dollar who specializes in personal loans, student loans, auto loans, and debt consolidation loans. She is a former writer and contributing editor to Interest.com, PersonalLoans.org, and elsewhere.