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6 Wedding Loans: Compare Your Financing Options

A wedding loan is one way to finance your big day. Loan amounts can be as high as $100,000, but shop around to find the least expensive option.

Annie MillerberndOctober 30, 2020
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A critical question most couples ask when they start planning their wedding: How will we pay for it all?

A wedding loan is one possible solution. This type of loan provides unsecured funds that you use to cover the cost of your event and repay in monthly installments.

A personal loan may not be the cheapest way to pay for your wedding, so compare it with other financing methods, including credit cards and savings, to choose the most affordable option for your plans.

Here are options for wedding loans, tips on how to qualify and the pros and cons of getting one.

Summary of Wedding Loans: Compare Your Financing Options

Our pick for

Wedding loans for thin credit histories

Upstart

on Upstart's website

Upstart

Upstart

Min. Credit Score

600

Est. APR

6.16 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $50,000

on Upstart's website


Min. Credit Score

600

Key facts

Upstart considers information beyond your credit profile, including your education and where you work, which can give borrowers with thin credit histories a better chance of qualifying.

Pros

  • Accepts borrowers new to credit.

  • Fast funding.

Cons

  • Origination and late fees.

  • No secured or co-sign option.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 600.

  • Minimum credit history: None.

  • Minimum annual income: $12,000.

  • Max debt-to-income ratio: 45%.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0% - 8%.

  • Late fee: 5% of past due amount or $15, whichever is greater.

Disclaimer

1)This offer is conditioned on final approval based on our consideration and verification of financial and non-financial information. Rate and loan amount are subject to change based upon information received in your full application. This offer may be accepted only by the person identified in this offer, who is old enough to legally enter into contract for the extension of credit, a US citizen or permanent resident, and a current resident of the US. Duplicate offers received are void. Closing your loan is contingent on your meeting our eligibility requirements, our verification of your information, and your agreement to the terms and conditions on the www.upstart.com website. 2) § Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5,100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100. 3) ‡ The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 15% and 36 monthly payments of $33 per $1,000 borrowed. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Average APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.
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Our pick for

Wedding loans for co-signers

Upgrade

on Upgrade's website

Upgrade

Upgrade

Min. Credit Score

580

Est. APR

7.99 - 35.97%

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $35,000

on Upgrade's website


Min. Credit Score

580

Key facts

Upgrade has co-signed and joint loans, which can be ideal for borrowers with fair credit seeking a lower rate, or those who may not otherwise qualify.

Pros

  • Allows co-signed and joint loans.

  • Offers hardship program.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • Charges late fee.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 600.

  • Minimum annual income: None, but most applicants earn more than $30,000.

  • Minimum monthly free cash flow: $800.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 60%.

  • Unavailable to borrowers in: Iowa, Vermont and West Virginia.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 2.9% to 8%.

Disclaimer

Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 7.99%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 2.9% to 8% 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 Upgrade's lending partners. Information on Upgrade's lending partners can be found at https://www.upgrade.com/lending-partners/. Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank or designated account within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes the transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days. Funds sent directly to pay off your creditors may take up to 2 weeks to clear, depending on the creditor.
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Our pick for

Wedding loans for good credit

SoFi

on SoFi's website

SoFi

Min. Credit Score

680

Est. APR

5.99 - 18.53%

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $100,000

on SoFi's website


Min. Credit Score

680

Key facts

SoFi has some of the lowest personal loan rates among online lenders and offers a suite of member perks, including flexible payment options and unemployment protection.

Pros

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualify.

  • Flexible payment options.

  • Offers member perks.

Cons

  • Does not offer direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • Does not offer refinance options.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 680, but typically 700 or higher.

  • Minimum annual income: None; borrowers' average is over $100,000.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 18.53% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of September 18, 2020 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, income, and other factors. See APR examples and terms. 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.
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Our pick for

Low-rate wedding loans

Lightstream

on LightStream's website

LightStream

Lightstream

Min. Credit Score

660

Est. APR

3.99 - 16.99%

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $100,000

on LightStream's website


Min. Credit Score

660

Key facts

LightStream offers low rates to borrowers with good and excellent credit, and a rate-beat program for borrowers who can find a lower rate on a personal loan.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

  • Low starting rates.

Cons

  • Does not offer pre-qualification on its website.

  • Requires several years of credit history.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 660.

  • Enough income to pay existing debts and a new LightStream loan.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio varies depending on existing assets and the reason for the loan.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

Your loan terms are not guaranteed and may vary based on loan purpose, length of loan, loan amount, credit history and payment method (AutoPay or Invoice). Rate quote includes AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available when selected prior to loan funding. To obtain a loan, you must complete an application on LightStream.com, which may affect your credit score. You may be required to verify income, identity and other stated application information. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $5,000 loan at 12.8% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $168. Some additional conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. SunTrust now Truist is an Equal Housing Lender. © 2020 Truist Financial Corporation. SunTrust®, Truist, LightStream®, the LightStream logo, and the SunTrust logo are service marks of Truist Financial Corporation. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by SunTrust now Truist Bank.
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Our pick for

Wedding loans for fair credit

Prosper

on Prosper's website

Prosper

Prosper

Min. Credit Score

630

Est. APR

7.95 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$2,000 - $40,000

on Prosper's website


Min. Credit Score

630

Key facts

Prosper is a peer-to-peer lender that offers joint personal loans ideal for couples looking to borrow together. Rates are comparable to similar lenders, but it may take a little longer to get a Prosper loan funded.

Pros

  • No prepayment fee.

  • Option to change your payment date.

  • Offers joint loan option.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • Charges late fee of $15 or 5% of the unpaid loan amount.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 640, but average is 717.

  • Minimum credit history: Two years, but average is 11.

  • Minimum annual income: None, but average is $89,000.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 50% (excluding mortgage).

  • No bankruptcies filed within the last year.

  • Fewer than five credit bureau inquiries in the last six months.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 2.41 to 5%.

  • Late fee: $15 or 5% of unpaid amount (whichever is greater).

  • Insufficient funds fee: $15.

Disclaimer

For example, a three-year $10,000 personal loan would have an interest rate of 11.74% and a 5.00% origination fee for an annual percentage rate (APR) of 15.34% APR. You would receive $9,500 and make 36 scheduled monthly payments of $330.90. A five-year $10,000 personal loan would have an interest rate of 11.99% and a 5.00% origination fee with a 14.27% APR. You would receive $9,500 and make 60 scheduled monthly payments of $222.39. Origination fees vary between 2.41%-5%. Personal loan APRs through Prosper range from 7.95% to 35.99%, with the lowest rates for the most creditworthy borrowers. Eligibility for personal loans up to $40,000 depends on the information provided by the applicant in the application form. Eligibility for personal loans is not guaranteed, and requires that a sufficient number of investors commit funds to your account and that you meet credit and other conditions. Refer to Borrower Registration Agreement for details and all terms and conditions. All personal loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC.
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Our pick for

Wedding loans for bad credit

OneMain

on OneMain Financial's website

OneMain Financial

OneMain

Min. Credit Score

None

Est. APR

18.00 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$1,500 - $20,000

on OneMain Financial's website


Min. Credit Score

None

Key facts

OneMain is an option for borrowers with low credit scores. The lender has high rates and low loan amounts compared to other online lenders, but offers joint and secured loans, which can lower your loan rate.

Pros

  • May fund a loan the same day.

  • Offers joint and secured loan options.

  • Free credit score access.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • Rates are high compared to other lenders that serve similar borrowers.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: None, average is 626

  • Minimum credit history: Not provided.

  • Minimum annual income: None, average is $49,000.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: $25 to $400 or 1 - 10%

Disclaimer

Not all applicants will qualify for larger loan amounts or most favorable loan terms. Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our credit standards (including a responsible credit history, sufficient income after monthly expenses, and availability of collateral). Larger loan amounts require a first lien on a motor vehicle no more than ten years old, that meets our value requirements, titled in your name with valid insurance. Maximum annual percentage rate (APR) is 35.99%, subject to state restrictions. APRs are generally higher on loans not secured by a vehicle. Depending on the state where you open your loan, the origination fee may be either a flat amount or a percentage of your loan amount. Flat fee amounts vary by state, ranging from $25 to $400. Percentage-based fees vary by state ranging from 1% to 10% of your loan amount subject to certain state limits on the fee amount. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered under the Military Lending Act may not pledge any vehicle as collateral for a loan. OneMain loan proceeds cannot be used for postsecondary educational expenses as defined by the CFPB’s Regulation Z, such as college, university or vocational expenses; for any business or commercial purpose; to purchase securities; or for gambling or illegal purposes. Borrowers in these states are subject to these minimum loan sizes: Alabama: $2,100. California: $3,000. Georgia: Unless you are a present customer, $3,100 minimum loan amount. Ohio: $2,000. Virginia: $2,600. Borrowers (other than present customers) in these states are subject to these maximum unsecured loan sizes: Florida: $8,000. Iowa: $8,500. Maine: $7,000. Mississippi: $7,500. North Carolina: $7,500. New York: $20,000. Texas: $8,000. West Virginia: $14,000. An unsecured loan is a loan which does not require you to provide collateral (such as a motor vehicle) to the lender.
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What is a wedding loan?

A wedding loan is an unsecured personal loan. With a wedding loan, you borrow money from a bank, credit union or online lender and use the funds to pay for the wedding and other related expenses, though technically you can use the loan to pay for anything. You pay back the loan with monthly payments that include interest, usually over a few years.

Wedding loan pros and cons

Pros

  • Fast funding: Personal loans can be funded quickly — usually in less than a week, but sometimes as fast as the same business day you apply.

  • Credit reporting: Many lenders report payments to the three major credit bureaus, so you have the opportunity to build credit as you make on-time payments to pay the loan off.

  • Fixed monthly payments: Wedding loans have fixed interest rates, so you make the same payment each month. When you’re shopping around, you can compare offers from different lenders to see which can offer you monthly payments that best fit your budget.

Cons

  • Rates depend on your credit: Your credit is a major factor in determining whether you get approved for a loan and what rate you get. A low credit score could lead to a high annual percentage rate. Lenders also use your debt-to-income ratio to asses whether you can afford the monthly payment on a loan.

  • Long terms: You could be repaying your loan for up to seven years with a personal loan. Consider how long you want to pay for your wedding after the honeymoon is over.

Cost of a wedding loan

Unsecured loan APRs range between 6% and 36%. An average wedding in 2019 cost $33,900, according to The Knot’s 2019 Real Wedding Study. The higher your loan amount, the more money a low interest rate will save you.

Say you get a three-year loan for $16,950 — half the average wedding cost. On the low end, a 6% APR would have monthly payments of $516 and cost $18,563 overall.

That same loan with a 36% APR would have monthly payments of $776 and cost $27,949 overall.

How to qualify for wedding loans

Borrowers with the strongest credit typically get the lowest rates on personal loans. Consider these options to boost your chances of qualifying and receiving a low rate.

  • Check your credit reports: In addition to paying your bills on time and keeping debt levels low, check your credit reports for errors, like accounts that aren’t yours or inaccurate data. You can dispute the errors online or by phone.

  • Add a co-signer or co-borrower: You can add a co-signer to the loan, or you and your partner can co-borrow the loan. Adding someone to your application with better credit or a higher income can help improve your chance of approval and even get you a lower rate.

  • Pre-qualify for multiple loans: Rates and terms vary between lenders, so consider pre-qualifying with a few to compare offers. Pre-qualification typically involves a soft credit inquiry, which has no impact on your credit score. You can pre-qualify on NerdWallet and see estimated rates from multiple lenders.

Wedding loan alternatives

Compare other options for financing your wedding so you can celebrate your big day feeling confident you’ve made the right financial choice.

Here are some alternatives to a wedding loan.

Savings: With a long enough engagement, you and your partner may be able to save up to cover the cost of the wedding, interest-free.

Financial experts don’t recommend incurring debt for discretionary expenses, like a wedding. Instead, estimate your wedding’s cost and then choose a strategy for saving.

0% APR credit cards: You may be able to pay for the entire wedding interest-free with a 0% APR credit card. The zero-interest promotional period on these cards typically lasts about 12 to 18 months.

You usually need good or excellent credit (690 or higher FICO) to qualify for this type of card. Be mindful of the card’s typical APR, which will take effect if you can’t pay the balance during the promotion.

Rewards cards: You can put some of your expenses — like the dress and decorations — on a rewards credit card and potentially get cash back. A travel rewards card could help you put money toward your honeymoon, too.

These cards also require good or excellent credit to qualify, and you may not get rewarded for all of your expenses. But they’re an option if you’re going to use your own cash to cover some of the costs.

Downsize: If you can’t qualify for a low rate on a personal loan or credit card and don’t have savings, consider a loan from a friend or relative.

You can also try to pare down the guest list or find other ways to save on your wedding.

Whichever option you choose, create a budget with your partner and find a way to pay for the big day that costs the least in interest. Credit card issuers and most online lenders charge no penalty for early repayment.

Last updated on October 30, 2020

Methodology

NerdWallet's ratings for personal loans award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including soft credit checks, no fees, transparency of loan rates and terms, flexible payment options, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. We also consider the number of complaints filed with agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation of any sort for our reviews.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Wedding Loans: Compare Your Financing Options

  • Upstart: Best for Wedding loans for thin credit histories
  • Upgrade: Best for Wedding loans for co-signers
  • SoFi: Best for Wedding loans for good credit
  • LightStream: Best for Low-rate wedding loans
  • Prosper: Best for Wedding loans for fair credit
  • OneMain Financial : Best for Wedding loans for bad credit