Couples planning a wedding face a lot of financial decisions. It can seem like every little detail can affect your budget by hundreds of dollars (if not thousands), so if you haven’t saved a lot and aren’t getting help with the expenses, celebrating the start of a marriage can seem like more of a burden than anything else.
There are innumerable ways to put together a wedding with a small budget, but inexpensive weddings aren’t on everyone’s wish list. Many people frown on going into debt to pay for a wedding, but it happens all the time. Putting wedding expenses on a credit card can be incredibly expensive, unless you’re using a card with a low APR or a 0% promotional financing period, but there’s also the option of a personal loan. (If you were planning on taking a “free” wedding loan from SwanLuv, you can lay that plan to rest. The company pulled the plug on its offering, but can still assist you in crowd-sourcing your nuptials.)
Only about 2.1% of personal loan requests are to pay for wedding expenses, according to an analysis of loan requests made in 2015 through online marketplace LendingTree. The average loan request is $7,304.61, but the average offer amounts to $11,158.99 (meaning you could ask for more than that, if you really want to).
“Lenders often offer higher loan amounts in an effort to provide better interest rates,” Megan Grueling, the marketing and communications manager at LendingTree, said in an email. “Loans with higher amounts typically have lower interest APRs than the same loan with a lower amount, since the lenders try to maximize profitability. The smart thing for borrowers to do is to see what interest rates will be at different loan amounts, and choose the loan with the lowest total cost.”
Borrowing $11,000 for a wedding may seem like a lot (it is), but it’s not surprising, given how expensive weddings are. The average wedding costs more than $30,000, according to the most recent survey from wedding website TheKnot. Still, you’ll end up paying a lot more than $11,000 by the time you repay it, even if you get a low interest rate. You can minimize the cost of a personal loan if you pay it down aggressively and if you have a great credit score, so make sure you check it before you apply. You can get two free credit scores every 30 days on Credit.com to see where you stand — people with good credit tend to get the most favorable loan terms.
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