Learn how to choose the right loan for buying an engagement ring.
Picking the right ring while sticking to your budget can be difficult, especially if you haven’t saved up much in advance. If you are considering financing, it’s important to consider all of your options.
Some jewelry stores offer in-store financing. However, many of these offers require you to open a new retail credit card which can affect your debt-to-credit ratio and by extension your credit score. These offers can also come with a high interest rate once the promotional interest period ends.
Alternatively, you can consider getting a personal loan to buy an engagement ring. Here’s what you need to know about how those loans work.
Prosper Personal Loans
You could borrow up to $35,000 for a variety of purposes, with rates starting from 5.99%.
- Recommended Credit Score: 640 or higher
- Minimum Loan Amount: $2,000
- Maximum Loan Amount: $35,000
- Loan Term: 3 or 5 years
- Turnaround Time: 1-3 business days
- Simple online application process
- No prepayment penalties
How does financing for an engagement ring work?
An engagement ring loan is essentially a personal loan. Loans through banks, credit unions or peer-to-peer lenders will be unsecured and your rate will largely depend on your credit score.
The application time will depend on the lender you apply with, but can take from as little as one business day to a few weeks. You’ll need to make monthly repayments over the loan term, which differs between lenders.
Personal loans you can apply for
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, low interest loan is important. Factors that affect interest rate include your creditworthiness, the amount you wish to borrow and the desired loan term, as well as the lender you select. An easy way to compare the cost of engagement ring loans is to look at the annual percentage rates (APR) for the loan, which includes interest as well as all applicable fees and charges.
- 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, but some lenders offer unsecured loans up to $100,000.
- 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 loan, 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 creditworthiness. Some others provide loans to people with less-than-perfect credit history, provided they have steady jobs.
- Unsecured. Personal loans will 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 specialised loans, which will use your engagement loan as collateral. These loans are largely targeted towards bad credit borrowers.
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 wish to buy, you can think about getting a loan. This way, you pay for the ring when you want, and repay the money you owe in installments.
- Quick and easy process. Getting a typical 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 way, you can benefit from interest-free offers. In this case, you don’t have to pay any interest towards the purchase for a predetermined time period, which can be 12 to 24 months. If you repay the entire amount before the promotional period expires, you won’t pay any interest.
- The burden of debt. If you borrow more than your means, repaying the loan can become a challenge. Not making timely repayments will have an adverse effect on your credit score.
How much do wedding rings cost?
A survey conducted by American Express in 2014 found that US couples cited $2,311 as the average appropriate price tag for an engagement ring. This was slightly lower than 2013, where $2,410 was found to be the appropriate price. A quarter of people in the 2014 survey believed the appropriate amount to spend was between $2,000 and $4,999, while 16% believed you should spend $5,000 or more.
You should buy a ring you can afford, because starting your married life with debt you can’t repay doesn’t make any kind of sense. If you feel that spending at least two months of your salary is the way to go while you’re already in debt, you might want to rethink your plan.
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.
A personal loan could take your wedding from “meh” to memorable
Common questions about financing an engagement ring
What is a prepayment penalty?
Some lenders charge a fee if you wish to repay your loan ahead of time. This is known as a prepayment penalty.
Can I use my engagement ring as security?
Some non-traditional lenders will let you use assets such as engagement rings as security for loans. Make sure you consider the APR of these loans as they tend to be more expensive than more traditional loan options as they are targeted at bad credit borrowers.
Is there any catch with interest-free in-store finance schemes?
In-store finance deals usually come with a requirement to apply for a retail credit card, or a high interest rate once the interest-free finance period comes to a close. Make sure you know the terms of the offer before you apply.
Can I return the ring?
Generally, jewelry owners will return the ring within reason. You should familiarize yourself with the store’s return policy, but you’ll usually find that you can return unused rings within 30 to 90 days depending on the store.