Depending on where you live, the average cost for a wedding can easily exceed $20,000. That includes venues, rings, photographers, videographers, and caterers. You can do it for less if you skimp on some of those or invite fewer people, but no one wants to do that. A better option is to apply for a wedding loan. This article will explain how to do that.

What is a wedding loan?

A wedding loan is a personal loan obtained from an online lender or traditional bank that is used exclusively to cover wedding expenses. Since the two parties are not married yet, the loan application needs to come from one spouse only. The wedding loan could also be taken out by the parents, usually of the bride in more traditional circumstances.

How do they work?

Wedding loans are available through online lenders and traditional banks. They are personal loans, so they’re unsecured. That means that applicants will be screened for income, steady employment, and credit report. Interest rates are determined by the credit score of the borrower. Most lenders look for scores that are 670 or above.

Wedding loans for bad credit

Getting any type of loan with bad credit is difficult and can be expensive. Most lenders prefer credit scores over 670 to approve applicants. Even at that level, interest rates will be high. Anything lower than that could require a cosigner or may not get approved at all. If the borrower is approved, they should expect to pay double-digit interest on the loan.

Pros and cons of wedding loans for bad credit

ProsCons
Fast money for wedding expensesHigh interest rates
Fixed monthly paymentsLimited borrowing amounts
Loan payments build creditExpensive fees

On the pro side, Getting approved for a wedding loan, regardless of credit situation, solves the problem of paying for the event. The money is available quickly and you’re given a period of time to pay it back in fixed monthly payments. If you make those payments on time, your credit score will eventually go up and you may no longer have bad credit.

On the down side, Of course, with bad credit, you’ll pay an expensive price for your loan. Interest rates will be high and the amount of money you’re approved to borrow could be less than what you might need. Bad credit borrowers are high risk to the lender, so they often cap loans off at a certain amount. There will also be loan origination charges and monthly fees attached.

Pros and cons of wedding loans

ProsCons
Low fixed interest rateAccumulated interest
Quick approvalLow approval rates for poor credit
Flexible amountsOrigination and monthly fees
Freedom of useMinimum borrowing amounts

On the pro side, Having a low fixed interest rate and knowing exactly what your monthly payment is can make a wedding loan easier to budget for. The borrower can decide how much they want to borrow, with no stipulations on what they use the money for. This flexibility also applies to the repayment terms, which can range from one to seven years.

On the downside, though the fixed interest rate is better than variable rates you’d pay on credit card interest, it can accumulate to a significant amount over time. If the borrower has poor credit, the interest rate will be high. There could also be origination fees and monthly charges, and the lender may have a minimum amount that you can borrow.

How to compare wedding loan lenders

There are dozens of online lenders and a wide selection of banks and credit unions where borrowers can apply for a personal loan to fund their wedding. Brand recognition is important, but it’s not necessarily going to get you the best deal. The best way to compare them is to start out by asking the following three questions:

  1. What is the interest rate?
  2. What are the terms and conditions?
  3. Is there an origination fee or monthly charges?

Interest rate is important because it determines how much you will pay in total to repay your wedding loan. Do the math. The terms and conditions determine the number of years you’ll have to complete repayment. Remember, interest accumulates during that entire period, so long-term loans are more expensive. Fees and charges are self-explanatory.

How do I qualify for a wedding loan?

Qualifying for a wedding loan is the same as qualifying for any other personal loan. The borrower’s credit score, which can range from 350 to 850 on the FICO scale, is the primary factor in being approved and setting the interest rate. It’s best to check your credit score before applying for a wedding loan so you have some idea what to expect.

Set the amount that you want to borrow at a slightly higher number than what you’ll need. There are often last-minute expenses you didn’t plan for. Research several lenders before applying. The next section in this article will outline how to compare them. Once you’ve selected one that works for you, follow the steps below on how to apply.

How do I get a wedding loan?

If you thoroughly completed all the steps above, getting a wedding loan is simple.

Fill out the
application
online or in person

Official form of
identification

Proof of current
employment
(Paystubs)

Most recent
W2 or 1099

The lender will also make a hard inquiry on your credit before approving.

Alternatives to wedding loans

You could always borrow the money from a family member or close friend, but that can lead to hard feelings and a break in that relationship if you fail to pay them back. If that’s not something you want to deal with, consider one of the following:

Pay for it with a credit card:

Most people cringe when they hear this suggestion because interest rates on credit cards can be 20% or more. It’s still an option though, and you can avoid those high interest payments by paying the balance off quickly.

Take out a home equity loan:

This is rare for couples just starting out in life because many of them don’t own houses yet. If you do, a home equity loan or HELOC can be more cost effective than a personal wedding loan because interest rates are lower.

Borrow against your retirement fund:

This is a simple way to get your hands on some cash to get married. Borrow your own money. Most 401(k) providers allow you to take out loans against your retirement funds. Just make sure you put it back at some point.

Ask the venue for a payment plan:

Venues struggled to book events during the pandemic, so many of them are now willing to work with you if your wedding is a few months away. They’ll do payment plans that make it more affordable.

FAQs / Commonly asked questions about personal loans

Yes, most online lenders and traditional banks offer personal loans that can be used to pay for wedding expenses. The application and approval processes are the same as they are for any other personal loan. You’ll need positive identification, employment verification, your latest W2 or 1099, and will be required to submit to a credit check before approval.

Most lenders prefer borrowers with “good” credit, which is any credit score over 670. Anything less than that is considered a “bad credit borrower.” Bad credit applicants can still get a loan, but the interest rate and fees will be higher and payment terms less flexible.