5 Lenders That Offer Wedding Loans — And What to Consider Before You Borrow

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It’s an unfortunate truth: Getting married can be expensive. The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is an astounding $33,000, according to The Knot’s 2017 Real Weddings Survey — and that’s before factoring in honeymoon expenses.

With costs that high, many couples turn to personal loans to finance their dream weddings. Our recent survey revealed 74% of couples planned to borrow money for their weddings, and about 21% planned to use personal loans for the event.

Though wedding loans are a convenient way to finance your nuptials, they come at a price.

See how these loans work, where to find them, and alternative ways to pay for your big day.

How wedding loans work

A wedding loan is an unsecured personal loan that you take out to pay for your ceremony or reception.

Some lenders refer to this type of debt as wedding loans, while others categorize it as loans used for special occasions. But most personal loan lenders will allow you to use a standard personal loan to pay for your event.

Your loan’s interest rate will be based on your credit history and income. Borrowers with excellent credit and a solid salary usually will qualify for the best rates. Even if you’re offered the lowest rates available, using a personal loan to pay for your wedding generally isn’t advisable.

Borrowing money to pay for your wedding is the most expensive way to get married. In addition to paying for the cost of goods and services, you’ll pay interest on the money borrowed.

A lavish wedding might feel necessary because of pressure from friends and family — but before going into debt to afford your dream day, consider cutting costs to bring your expenses in line with your budget.

Where to find wedding loans if you need them

If you must go into debt for your nuptials, wedding loans might be a savvier financial choice than a credit card, if you can get approved for a low interest rate.

Most lenders will give you a personal loan to use for any of life’s needs. Here are some companies that offer loans specifically for special occasions:

  • LightStream: This lender offers wedding loans from $5,000 to $100,000. LightStream loans have no prepayment fees, so if you want to pay off your debt early you won’t be penalized. You could even receive the money on the same day you apply.

  • Earnest: When you apply for a loan from Earnest, the company will ask how you plan to use the money. You can choose from options that include a wedding, engagement, or honeymoon.

  • Prosper: Prosper doesn’t specifically offer wedding loans, but you can select “special occasion” as the loan’s purpose when you apply. This peer-to-peer lending marketplace company offers fixed rates on its loans, and there’s no penalty for early repayment.

  • SoFi: This lender offers personal loans with no origination fees or early repayment penalties. Plus, if you’re already a SoFi member, you could be eligible for an interest rate discount
  • Upstart: When you apply at Upstart, the lender will review more than your credit score when offering you an interest rate — it’ll also factor your education and work experience.

3 ways to avoid borrowing money for your wedding

You don’t have to take out wedding loans to pay for your important day. In fact, in most cases, it’s better if you don’t. Here are three simple ways to tie the knot without going into debt.

1. Postpone your wedding until you’ve saved more money

Our recent wedding costs survey also found that 52% of couples plan to delay their wedding because of money concerns. While extending your engagement might not be your first choice, doing so can help you avoid wedding loans.

If you’ve delayed your wedding to boost your savings, brush up on tips and tricks to help you save money fast. You can focus on earning more money, too: Taking on a temporary side hustle can jumpstart your savings.

2. Cut unnecessary expenses

Weddings can get expensive fast, but you might be able to find items in your budget that you can live without.

For example, one of the biggest spending categories for weddings is decorations, according to the Knot study. You can avoid huge expenses if you find a venue that looks nice as is and if you’re willing to do your own decor or use fewer flowers.

You might even consider hosting the ceremony and reception at the same venue to eliminate some costs or save money by hosting a stand-up reception with appetizers instead of a full sit-down meal.

3. Have a private ceremony now and a big reception later

If you want a big reception but don’t want to delay the wedding, consider marrying now with a small ceremony before holding a larger reception later when you’ve saved enough money. This way, you can start married life on your preferred schedule and still have the beautiful party you’ve always dreamed of.

While you’re saving for your bigger reception, trim your costs to hit your goals. We’ve done the math — by cutting out extras such as cable subscriptions, gym memberships, and eating out, you can save as much as $500 a month.

Create a plan and stick to it

Before you take out wedding loans or borrow money for any reason, create a plan to repay your debt so that it doesn’t follow you throughout your marriage.

You can get a step ahead by signing up for a debt payoff app that can make it easier to repay your loan, and use our calculator to estimate how quickly you can repay when you add in extra payments.

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

RATES (APR)loan amount
5.74% – 18.07%1 $5,000 to $100,000
5.67% – 35.99% $1,000 to $50,000
5.99% – 35.89%* $1,000 to $50,000
5.99% – 24.99%3 $5,000 to $35,000
5.99% – 29.99%4 $7,500 to $40,000
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1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 18.07% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.74% APR to 14.70% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of October 10, 2019 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.74% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.05% plus 3.08% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
  2. To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.
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  3. Minimum Credit Score: Not all applicants who meet SoFi’s minimum credit score requirements are approved for a personal loan. In addition to meeting SoFi’s minimum eligibility criteria, applicants must also meet other credit and underwriting requirements to qualify.
  4. If you lose your job through no fault of your own, you may apply for Unemployment Protection. SoFi will suspend your monthly SoFi loan payments and provide job placement assistance during your forbearance period. Interest will continue to accrue and will be added to your principal balance at the end of each forbearance period, to the extent permitted by applicable law. Benefits are offered in three month increments, and capped at 12 months, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. To be eligible for this assistance you must provide proof that you have applied for and are eligible for unemployment compensation, and you must actively work with our Career Advisory Group to look for new employment. If the loan is co-signed the unemployment protection applies where both the borrower and cosigner lose their job and meet conditions.
  5. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
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FreedomPlus Disclosures

  1. All loans available through FreedomPlus.com are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loan and rate terms are subject to eligibility restrictions, application review, credit score, loan amount, loan term, lender approval, and credit usage and history. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Loans are not available to residents of all states – please call a FreedomPlus representative for further details. The following limitations, in addition to others, shall apply: FreedomPlus does not arrange loans in: (i) Arizona under $10,500; (ii) Massachusetts under $6,500, (iii) Ohio under $5,500, and (iv) Georgia under $3,500. Repayment periods range from 24 to 60 months. The range of APRs on loans made available through FreedomPlus is 5.99% to a maximum of 29.99%. APR. The APR calculation includes all applicable fees, including the loan origination fee. For Example, a four year $20,000 loan with an interest rate of 15.49% and corresponding APR of 18.34% would have an estimated monthly payment of $561.60 and a total cost payable of $7,948.13. To qualify for a 5.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan for an amount less than $12,000.00, and with a term equal to 24 months. Adding a co-borrower with sufficient income; using at least eighty-five percent (85%) of the loan proceeds to directly pay off qualifying existing debt; or showing proof of sufficient retirement savings, could help you also qualify for the lowest rate available.
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Upgrade Bank Disclosures

* Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 5.99%-35.89%. All personal loans have a 1.5% to 6% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early. Personal loans issued by WebBank, Member FDIC.

** Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes this transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days.