If you’re ready to add to your collection or looking to buy an investment piece, knowing your financing options might snag you a better rate. Because jewelry is a luxury item, financing it is best for people who are employed, have good credit and know they can make their repayments on time.
How does financing jewelry work?
Financing jewelry works like financing anything else. You apply for a loan or repayment plan and, if approved, use the funds to purchase your jewelry. Afterwards, you start the payback process, which typically requires fixed monthly payments for six weeks up to a few years.
Keep in mind that the longer your loan’s repayment period, the more interest you’ll pay. So, it’s best to choose the shortest term with the highest monthly payments you can afford.
5 financing options to pay for jewelry
When choosing a method of financing, always opt for the lowest interest rate you can find. Some lenders offer 0% promotional periods, which is ideal if you can pay off your loan before the promo period ends.
Here are the top five options for financing jewelry:
- In-store financing. Some jewelry stores like Tiffany, Zales and Kay offer retail credit cards or in-store financing to break up the cost of expensive pieces into more manageable installments. This is often the fastest way to finance jewelry, but rates can run high unless you get a promotion. Turnaround: same day.
- Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) app. Depending on the store, you may be able to use a pay later app like Affirm or Afterpay. While you typically don’t pay any fees or interest to use BNPL apps, you must make 25% of the payment when you purchase an item, and pay back the rest over six weeks. Turnaround: same day.
- Personal loans. If you’ve already shopped around and know the estimated cost of your jewelry, you can request a personal loan. Online lenders like LightStream offer low starting rates for borrowers with good to excellent credit and you can choose different repayment lengths. Turnaround: one to three business days after approval.
- Credit cards. If you’d rather not pay interest, consider using a credit card with a 0% APR intro period. Just make sure you can have it paid off before the intro period ends. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with a high APR that adds to the cost of your jewelry significantly. Turnaround: same day.
- Payment plans. If you don’t mind waiting for your jewelry, ask if the store has a payment plan. You generally have to make a down payment, followed by equal installments from six to 24 months. You may only get your jewelry after you’ve made the last payment, though this isn’t always the case. Turnaround: several weeks to months.
How much should I spend on an engagement ring?
The average cost of a wedding ring is about $6,000 according to a study by TheKnot. However, that’s not a hard and fast rule. The study found that 30% of respondents spent between $1,000 to $4,000 on an engagement ring, and 8% of ring shoppers spent under $1,000.
3 factors that affect the cost of your jewelry loan
Interest, fees and the repayment term are the three main factors that impact the overall cost of financing a piece of jewelry:
- Interest. If you can, try to secure interest–free financing through the jeweler or with a credit card offering a 0% promotional period. Otherwise, you could end up paying more than you bargained for. For example, on a $5,000 loan at 12% for five years, you’d pay $1,673.33 in interest.
- Fees. If you have bad credit, you might get stuck paying origination fees on your loan. These fees can run anywhere from 1% to 10% of the total loan amount. For example, if you get a $5,000 loan with a 5% origination fee, that’s $250 in fees.
- Repayment term. If you’re paying interest on your loan, the longer the repayment period, the more interest you’ll pay in the long run. Always choose the shortest term you can afford to save on interest.
Tiffany and Kay are two retailers that both offer 0% APR promotional period financing, but you’ll get stuck with a higher interest rate if you’re unable to pay off your balance by the end of the promo period.
6 things to consider when comparing jewelry loans
When choosing a jewelry loan, compare the following features to ensure you’re getting the best deal:
- APR. Compare APRs, not interest rates. The APR is the actual rate you pay after fees are factored into the cost of your loan.
- Fees. Be aware of any fees attached to your loan. These include origination fees, late payment fees and prepayment penalties.
- Loan amount. How much you can borrow differs between lenders. Personal loan amounts typically range between $1,000 and $40,000.
- Loan term. Getting a longer loan term can be tempting, as the monthly payments are lower. However, the longer you take to pay off your engagement ring, the more you’ll pay in interest.
- Eligibility criteria. Most providers require good to excellent credit, but some may lend to people with less-than-perfect credit. Just be prepared to pay higher rates and fees.
- Unsecured vs. secured. Personal loans are generally unsecured. However, there are some lenders that offer specialized loans and use your jewelry as collateral.
Must read: Be wary of financing companies that offer no credit check
Some financing companies offer small loans or rent-to-own agreements without checking your credit. While this may seem like a convenient option, be cautious: The interest and fees these companies charge can double or even triple the cost of the piece of jewelry you’re buying.
If this is the only type of financing you can qualify for, you might want to hold off and take steps to build your credit and save up instead.
What are the pros and cons of a jewelry loan?
- Get the item you want quickly
- Quick and easy process in most cases
- Interest-free offers are available
- The burden of debt
- Monthly repayments
- Potentially high interest rates
Jewelry financing for bad credit
You may be able to get a loan if your credit score is below 580 – although you might be turned down for some types of loans. Your best bet is to work with an online lender that specializes in bad to fair credit loans such as Freedom Plus, Avant or OneMain Financial.
However, you’ll need to show that you have regular income to get approved. You’ll also likely have to pay an origination fee, which typically runs anywhere from 1% to 10% of the total loan amount.
Financing jewelry is a relatively straightforward process. If you’re ready to splash down some cash for a beautiful piece, compare the top personal loan options or other jewelry financing options to find the best deal.