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When you’re about to pop the question, your finances may not be the first thing on your mind — but they might be the second. Engagement rings and the weddings that follow are among life’s priciest purchases, so starting on the right foot is key.
The average cost for an engagement ring in 2022 was $6,000, according to wedding website The Knot. The cheapest way to pay for a ring is with savings, but if you haven’t saved up or you’re reserving your savings for the big day, here are engagement ring financing options to help cover the cost.
Credit cards for engagement rings
You could finance the ring with no interest using a 0% introductory credit card. These cards have promotional periods of 15 to 21 months, during which you pay no interest on purchases you make. What’s more, choosing a card that also grants travel rewards can mean cash for a honeymoon.
However, note the credit limit on the card; if the ring purchase exceeds 30% of your overall available credit, your credit score may take a hit.
When it’s best: Zero-interest cards are best if you qualify for one with a high credit limit and you can pay off the balance within a year or so, avoiding any high interest rates that kick in after the promotional period.
Qualifications: You typically need good to excellent credit (690 credit score or higher) to qualify.
“Buy now, pay later” for engagement rings
Increasingly popular “buy now, pay later” providers like Affirm, Klarna and Afterpay can break your purchase into smaller installments, often for zero or low interest. These companies partner with all types of merchants, including jewelers like Zales, Kay Jewelers, Brilliant Earth and Jared.
You can apply for a BNPL payment plan when you check out online or in-store. Repayment term and interest rate will vary by BNPL provider, and most providers only conduct a soft credit check when you apply, so you don’t need to worry about any impact to your credit score.
BNPL companies may not report on-time payments to the three main credit bureaus, so using one isn’t guaranteed to help build your credit. Late payments can be reported, which could hurt your score.
» MORE: What is buy now, pay later?
When it’s best: BNPL payment plans are best for a one-time purchase, like an engagement ring, when you can qualify for a low rate and can make all payments on time.
Qualifications: There’s no minimum credit score required. Most BNPL providers look at the funds available on the debit or credit card you’re using at checkout, any prior history you may have with that lender and the details of your purchase — including price and desired repayment term.
Jewelry store financing for engagement rings
Some jewelers offer payment plans that include low- or no-interest promotional periods but high interest rates — up to 29% — after the period ends.
Promotional periods on jeweler cards tend to be long (think two or three years), but if you still have a balance once the promotion ends, the jeweler may retroactively charge interest accrued since your purchase. This is different from no-interest credit cards, which charge interest only on any balance remaining after the promotion ends.
When it’s best: A jeweler payment plan may be the right choice if you qualify for a no- or low-interest plan and can pay the ring off in full before the promotion ends.
Qualifications: Few jewelers disclose minimum credit requirements, but it's likely you need good or excellent credit to qualify for many store credit cards.
Personal loans for engagement rings
Well-qualified borrowers may get a low interest rate on a personal loan that can be used to purchase an engagement ring. These loans provide a lump sum of money that you repay in monthly installments.
Annual percentage rates on personal loans start around 6%, and repayment terms are usually two to seven years. The fixed monthly payments can be easier to budget for than revolving payments on credit cards.
Use a personal loan calculator to see estimated rates and payments on engagement ring loans, based on your credit score. Pre-qualifying will allow you to see personalized rates and terms without affecting your credit score.
When it’s best: A personal loan is a good engagement ring financing option if you qualify for a low rate and need two or more years to pay off the ring.
» MORE: Compare unsecured personal loans
Qualifications: Borrowers with good or excellent credit, little existing debt and high incomes are more likely to be approved for the lowest personal loan rates. Those with low credit scores may still qualify, but will pay more interest.
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