Propose in style with the right ring — without saving up years in advance.
How does financing for an engagement ring work?
Financing an engagement ring works like financing anything else. You apply for a loan that covers the amount you’re seeking and, if approved, use those funds to purchase your ring. The complexity of the process depends on the lender you choose. If you go through a bank, you may have to wait a week or two before your funds are deposited into your account. Online lenders are faster but often charge higher interest rates.
Using your loan is simple. Once you have your loan, you can pay through card, check or cash. Then you start the payback process, which is usually done in fixed monthly payments for one to five years.
Personal loans to help you pay for that rock
What are my options to finance an engagement ring?
Sometimes your heart moves faster than your savings. If you don’t have cash on hand to pay for the ring of your partner’s dreams, options for smart borrowing include:
- Personal loan. A personal loan will likely be your best option because of the wide selection of lenders available. Loans through banks, credit unions and online lenders will be unsecured, and your rate will largely depend on your credit score.
- Jewelry store financing. Many big-name retailers offer in-house plans, with some extending no-interest financing. Just be wary of high interest once those promos revert and stiff penalties if you miss a payment.
- Credit card. If you can qualify for a card with a low- or no-interest period, you might find that you’re able to pay off your purchase before any intro APR expires.
- Friends and family. Deep down, we’re all romantics. Your loved ones may jump at the chance to help out. By asking for the most personal of loans, you could land flexible terms and rates as low as, well, no percent.
6 features to consider when comparing engagement ring loans
- Interest rate. The interest rate you have to pay will significantly impact the total cost of the loan, so it’s important to compare your options and choose a competitive loan with a low interest rate.
- Fees. Fees add to the cost of a loan. Go through the loan contract to find out how much you might have to pay in application fees, loan disbursement fees, late payment fees and prepayment penalties.
- Loan amount. The amount you can borrow differs between lenders. Generally, maximum loan amounts are between $25,000 and $40,000, though you should be able to find smaller loan amounts to cover more modest rings.
- Loan term. Getting a longer loan term can be tempting, as the monthly payments will be lower. However, the longer you take to repay your engagement ring off, the more you’ll pay in interest. Ideally, you should repay the loan as soon as possible.
- Eligibility criteria. Some providers of engagement ring loans require applicants to have good to excellent credit, while others provide loans to people with less-than-perfect credit, though these borrowers will face higher interest rates.
- Unsecured. Personal loans will generally be unsecured, so you won’t be risking your ring should you have trouble repaying your loan. However, there are some lenders available that offer specialized loans, which will use your engagement loan as collateral.
How much should I spend on an engagement ring?
The old adage holds that a wedding ring should cost three months salary, but that’s no longer a hard-and-fast rule.
There are two things you need to consider when figuring out your engagement ring budget: Your partner’s preferences and your financial situation. Your partner might have a specific style in mind and may prefer a less-expensive version of that than an extremely expensive ring in the wrong cut. Try to figure out their preferences before making a big purchase.
Once you know what you’re looking for, you’re ready to start thinking about financing. Get a sense of the price range of that style by visiting a few different jewelers. It might be more than you expect: Most Americans expect to spend between $1,000 to $5,000 on a ring, according to a recent survey by EBates, though the average price of an engagement has risen to $5,000 in recent years.
Before you buy an expensive ring on credit, establish how long you’ll take to repay the debt. Account for other expenses that you’ll encounter going forward, including your eventual wedding plans. Review how a large purchase would affect your existing liabilities.
How much do wedding rings cost?
If your partner says yes, you aren’t done with ring shopping yet: You still need to get wedding bands. The average wedding ring for women costs around $1,500. For men, that number is a much lower $550.
The cost largely depends on what type of metal you choose. White gold is generally less expensive than platinum. Some women also like to have their wedding band fitted with diamonds to match their engagement rings, which can easily make prices jump. Make sure to factor in these costs when considering wedding expenses.
What happens if they say 'no'?
No one goes into a marriage proposal thinking that their partner is going to say no, but unfortunately that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. So what should you do if you took out a loan to pay for the ring?
First things first, you should try to return the engagement ring to the retailer you purchased it from. Most brick-and-mortar jewelers — including Zales, Kay Jewelers and Tiffany’s — have a return policy, usually at least 30 days, for you to return an item for a complete refund. You’ll need to reach out to whatever store or online retailer you bought your engagement ring from to get the specific return policy.
If you took out a loan to purchase the ring, things get a little trickier. While many loan providers allow you to get out of a loan if the funds have not yet been disbursed, it’s usually not easy to get out of a loan if you’ve already received and used the money. In this case, look to see if your lender has prepayment fees. You can pay off the loan early, but you’ll still have to pay any interest that’s accrued or fees they charge.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of an engagement ring loan?
- Get the ring you want. If you don’t have money to pay for the engagement ring you want to buy, a loan can help you make the purchase now and pay it off over a few months.
- Quick and easy process. Getting an engagement ring loan is quick and easy. In some cases, you can get your hands on the approved funds by the following business day.
- Interest-free offers. If you choose to go the in-store financing route, you may be able to score an interest-free period.
- The burden of debt. If you borrow more than your means, repaying the loan can become a challenge.
- Monthly payments. Monthly payments may seem convenient at first, but you’ll be putting a few hundred dollars into a ring every month — if you’re planning your wedding, it could be better to put that money into savings.
- High interest. Borrowers without good credit may face steep interest rates that can make a ring cost thousands of dollars more than its retail value.
Valentine's Day proposalsIf there were ever a day made for showing your boyfriend or girlfriend just how much you love them, Valentine’s Day would be it. And what better way to show your devotion to your partner than by buying an engagement ring and asking for their hand in marriage? That’s why February 14th is one of the most popular days for couples to get engaged.
According to a 2017 survey by James Allen, an online diamond and bridal jewelry retailer, 43% of millennials said Valentine’s Day was their top day to propose or be proposed to. What with the endless supply of long-stemmed red roses, chocolate candies and sales on diamonds, it’s no wonder that this love-filled holiday sees millions of couples getting engaged each year.
Fun fact: The holiday season about more than just presents and eggnog: The most popular time of year to pop the question is between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. More than half of engagements take place in December. The most popular day of the year to get engaged? That’s right: It’s Christmas Day.
Popping the question is a big decision with an even bigger price tag. If you’re ready to tie the knot but need help purchasing your ring, a personal loan may be a good way to get financing. But keep in mind the high interest rates that could come with your loan and the monthly payments you’ll need to keep up with.
When you’re ready to propose, compare your personal loan options to find the best offer.