Best Wedding Loans in 2020
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.
Check Your Personal Loan Rates
with our trusted partners at Bankrate.com
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.
The best wedding loans of 2020
- LightStream – Best for low APRs
- SoFi – Best for good credit
- Marcus – Best for resources and support
- Lending Club – Best peer-to-peer lender
- Upstart – Best for fair credit
Lightstream – Best for low APRs
Lightstream offers competitive wedding loans with no extra fees and low starting rates.
- Minimum credit score: 660
- Minimum annual income: None
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.
Sofi – Best for good credit
For borrowers with good credit, SoFi offers competitive rates and an easy online application process.
- Minimum Credit Score: 680
- Minimum Annual Income: $45,000
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.
Marcus – Best for resources and support
Marcus offers loans with no fees, fixed interest rates and a robust customer support system.
- Minimum credit score: 660
- Minimum annual income: None
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.
Lending Club – Best peer-to-peer lender
Lending Club offers peer-to-peer lending for loans of up to $40,000, with a quick and easy application process and a joint loan option.
- Minimum credit score: 600
- Minimum income: N/A
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.
Upstart – Best for fair credit
For borrowers with fair credit, Upstart offers fast, flexible personal loans with decent rates.
- Minimum Credit Score: 580
- Minimum Annual Income: $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. 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.
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.
Pros and cons of wedding loans
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.
Check Your Personal Loan Rates
Answer a few questions to see which personal loans you pre-qualify for. The process is quick and easy, and it will not impact your credit score.
The bottom line
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.