Couples looking for a way to finance their wedding have a few different options. The one you choose will depend on your current financial situation, how much you need to borrow, your outstanding debts and your active credit accounts. Here are the possibilities you may want to consider:
Personal loan. Consider looking for an unsecured loan, which often has fewer restrictions on how you use it. That way you can borrow a lump sum to buy a dress, purchase an engagement ring and even pay for part of the honeymoon.
Line of credit. Not sure how much you need to borrow? You might want to look into taking out a line of credit, which works by setting up an overdraw limit on one of your active bank accounts. From there, you’re able to access money up to and including that amount. You’ll be charged a set interest rate when you access additional money and you may also be charged fees to have this feature available to you. One of the benefits of using a line of credit is that you’re only charged for the money you actually borrow, so if you have a limit up to $20,000 but only use $10,000, you’ll only be charged for the latter number.
Credit card. If you already have a credit card with a competitive interest rate lower than most loan rates, then you may want to consider using it to make wedding-related purchases instead. Or, consider signing up for a credit card with a low annual percentage rate of interest and fees (APR) to cover a few purchases – just don’t go overboard or you won’t be able to pay off the balance.
How do I find the right financing for my wedding?
When comparing loans, pay special attention to the following features:
Perks and discounts. Some providers may allow you to bundle a personal loan with other financial products to get a discount, for example taking on a credit card with the provider. Other lenders may have flexible repayment options, or if you choose to use a credit card, you may be able to earn rewards points for your purchases. Take a look at some features offered by lenders and see if any of them can make your life easier – or at least less expensive!
Repayment flexibility. Check whether you’re able to repay the loan early without facing any penalties, or if you’ll be able to extend the loan should you need more time to make your repayments.
Early repayment options. This is a feature that can help reduce the amount of interest you pay on your loan. Some lenders may let you make additional repayments, but they may charge you for this convenience. This can offset any benefit you get from making the extra repayments, so check the associated fees before you apply. If you have any questions, contact the lender and ask directly before applying for the loan.
Fixed or variable interest rates. A fixed rate option can help you plan your repayments because you know exactly what they will be over the course of the loan, but this may also mean you miss out on lower interest rates. Fixed rate loans are usually available for a maximum of five years. Variable rates, on the other hand, start off low but fluctuate over the life of the loan, making it hard to budget for the repayments since you won’t know the exact rate. However, these loans are generally available with repayment terms as long as seven years and you may save money from lower variable rates – but that’s not guaranteed.
Things to consider before taking out a wedding loan
Before applying for a wedding loan, it’s crucial that both you and your partner understand the financial commitment required for borrowing money. You and your future partner should sit down and discuss your financial situations beforehand and create a budget that determines how much you’ll need to borrow.
Consider the following questions when discussing your loan:
What are the fees that you’ll be charged? When you look at the fees for a loan, remember to check the upfront fees as well as any ongoing charges. Upfront fees cover the cost of setting up the loan, for example administrative fees, and ongoing fees can include monthly account-keeping fees or amounts charged for using some of the features of the loan. You should also be aware of late fees or fees charged for having insufficient funds.
What interest rate are you being offered? When looking at the interest rate offered by the lender, make sure to check whether the rate is fixed or variable. Compare the rate being offered to that of other lenders to make sure it’s competitive.
Does the lender offer the amount you want to borrow? You need to ensure that the amount you want to borrow and the length of time you want to borrow it for can be offered by the lender. Check the minimum and maximum loan amounts each lender offers and see if they suit your needs.
Is the loan term affordable and realistic? It’s important for the lender to provide you with a suitable time frame to pay the loan back, so you’re not stuck with hefty monthly payments that you’re unable to make. Work out a budget and use a loan calculator to make sure you can set aside the loan repayment each month.
Other financial obligations to consider for the wedding
Whether you’re having a small ceremony or an all-out extravaganza, items and services for your big day can certainly add up.
Consider some of these expenses that you may require a loan for :
Engagement party invitations
Engagement party venue
Engagement party food and drinks
Bachelor/bachelorette party and bridal showers
Wedding invitations and thank you gifts
Wedding dress and accessories
Bridesmaid dresses and accessories
Groom/groomsmen suits and accessories
Flower girls, ushers and pageboys – attire and accessories
Wedding location/church and marriage officiant
Reception location, catering and decorations
Photography and videography costs
Makeup, hair and nails for bride and bridal party
Transport to and from wedding
First night hotel stay
How can I apply for a wedding loan?
To apply for a loan to help you finance your wedding, you will first need to compare your options. Once you’ve found a suitable lender that offers you a competitive interest rate and suitable loan terms, you can usually apply online for the loan. Some lenders have physical locations that allow you to apply in person or over the telephone.
In order to qualify for a loan in Canada, you’ll usually have to meet the following basic eligibility criteria:
Be 18 years of age, or the age of majority in your province or territory
Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident with a valid Canadian address
Have proof of a steady income
You’ll usually need to have a working bank account
You should have the following information on hand before you apply for the loan:
Personal details including your full name, age, address and proof of your identity
Financial details including your assets, debts and liabilities
Employment details including your income and the name and contact details of your employer
There are many different ways to finance your wedding when you don’t have the money available, and personal loans are just one option you may be able to consider. Compare your options carefully and make sure you’re applying for a loan that’s competitive and affordable for both you and your partner.
While this can vary between weddings, most often the reception is the most expensive part of the wedding.
Lenders often don’t care what you use your loan for, as long as you’re using it for legal and legitimate purposes. This means you can use the loan for a destination wedding.
If you’re putting any expenses onto your credit card, you’ll likely be charged a foreign transaction fee, so keep this in mind if you’re planning an international wedding.
Some lenders will offer up to $35,000, or sometimes even higher, for an unsecured personal loan, but these lenders will have very strict eligibility criteria. You’ll likely need to have an excellent credit score and a specific amount of income in order to qualify for a loan this big.
Remember that borrowing more money than you need leads to unnecessary debt. Only borrow as much money as you need since you’ll pay interest on the amount of the loan.
Adrienne Fuller is the head of publishing at Finder. With a decade of experience creating guides in finance and education, she aims to deliver the accurate and transparent information she wishes she had when she made some of life's important financial decisions. For the past 3 years she has been the publisher of money transfers, helping readers save when they send money all over the globe. She has a BA from Colorado College and loves to hike with her two Catahoula dogs around her home in San Diego.
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