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Best Wedding Loans in 2022

Wedding costs are rising and the best wedding loans can help you pay for it — if you're careful.

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There’s no way around it: weddings are expensive. The average cost of a wedding in 2021 was $28,000, before you factor in the engagement ring ($6,000) and the honeymoon ($4,600). Altogether, that’s a price tag of $38,600.

Most of us don’t have that kind of cash, but other options exist to pay for a wedding. One of the easiest and quickest options is a loan. Done right, it can make your wedding dreams a reality. But if you don’t plan appropriately, it could put your finances or even your new marriage on the rocks right out of the gate.

Here’s what you need to know to determine whether a personal loan fits your wedding plans.  


Best Wedding Loans 

If you’ve done the work and figured out that a personal loan makes sense for you, there’s no shortage of options to choose from. There are thousands of personal loan lenders out there. We break down a few of the best wedding loans to choose from.

Loan results will vary based on creditworthiness, loan purpose, loan amount, and other factors.

LightStream

  • Loan Amount: $5,000 – $100,000
  • APR Range: 5.99% – 21.49%
  • Loan Terms: 2 – 12 years
  • Credit Score: 660 or higher

LightStream is an online lender offering no fees and low-rate personal loans for several purposes.

Pros
  • Relatively low APRs
  • No origination fees, no late fees
  • Personal loans up to $100,000
  • Autopay discount
  • Joint applications allowed
Cons
  • No physical branches
  • Rates and terms vary by loan purpose
  • No soft pull prequalification

Lightstream is Truist’s online lending division, formed in 2019 after SunTrust and BB&T merged. Offering personal loans for several purposes, including debt consolidation, medical expenses, home improvement, weddings, car purchases, and more, LightStream could be worth considering for those seeking flexibility. 

The lender offers relatively low rates compared to competitors, including autopay discounts. Eligible borrowers can get approved for personal loans from $5,000 to $100,000, and loan terms range from 24 to 144 months. Of course, the rate and term you get will depend on the specific loan purpose.

Its personal loans also have no origination fees, which can help keep borrowing costs low. However, borrowers will likely need a credit score of 660 to get approved for a Lightstream personal loan. 

Overall, it’s a good lender to add to your shortlist if you’re looking for flexible funding, no fees, and a low APR. Lightstream may also disburse loans as soon as the same day you’re approved, making this lender a decent choice if you need fast funding.

Upgrade 

  • Loan Amount: $1,000 – $50,000
  • APR Range: 7.96% – 35.97%
  • Loan Terms: 2 – 7 years
  • Credit Score: 560 or higher

Upgrade offers flexible terms for personal loans and is accessible to borrowers with less-than-stellar credit profiles.

Pros
  • Accessible to borrowers with bad credit
  • Flexible loan terms
  • Joint applications allowed
  • Direct payment to creditors
  • Secured loan options
Cons
  • Has origination fees from 1.85% to 8%
  • No physical branches
  • Higher APRs than some competitors

Upgrade offers personal loans up to $50,000 for qualifying borrowers and is accessible to those with not-so-ideal credit scores. The low loan minimum of $1,000 also makes it an easy choice for those with small financing needs. However, borrowers in certain states will be subject to higher minimum loan amounts. If you live in Massachusetts, Upgrade’s minimum loan amount is $6,400.

While other lenders may offer longer repayment terms of up to 144 months, those are typically reserved for certain loan purposes. Upgrade has repayment terms of 24 to 84 months for eligible borrowers, no matter what expense you’ll be covering. This flexibility can be useful, especially if you’d prefer a longer timeframe to pay off your loan. 

With this lender, you can expect to pay an origination fee between 1.85% and 8%. Borrowers can view their rate before applying without impacting their credit score. 

Overall, Upgrade is worth considering if you’re looking for a lender that offers multiple banking products and loans with competitive rates and flexible terms.

LendingClub 

  • Loan Amount: $1,000 – $40,000
  • APR Range: 8.30% – 36.00%
  • Loan Terms: 3 – 5 years
  • Credit Score: 600 or higher

LendingClub offers quick funding and direct payments to creditors for debt consolidation loans.

Pros
  • Low minimum loan amount
  • Fast funding for personal loans (as little as 24 hours after approval)
  • Joint loans allowed
  • Direct payment to creditors
Cons
  • Has origination fees (3% to 6% of total loan amount)
  • No physical branches
  • Relatively high APRs
  • No co-signed loans allowed

Established in 2006 as a peer-to-peer lending platform, LendingClub offers personal loans as low as $1,000 and up to $40,000. Those seeking a personal loan will appreciate LendingClub’s offerings.

You can use LendingClub loans for almost any purpose, from home improvements to medical bills. Eligible borrowers can get personal loans with repayment terms of 3 or 5 years and borrowers can expect to receive funding as soon as 24 hours after approval. However, APRs do start at relatively higher rates than some competitors.

LendingClub can be a good fit for those looking to consolidate high-interest debt, as they offer the ability to pay your creditors directly from your loan.

You’ll likely need a credit score of at least 600 to get approved, and joint loans are available for those who need some assistance qualifying.

LendingPoint

  • Loan Amount: $2,000 – $36,500
  • APR Range: 7.99% – 35.99%
  • Loan Terms: 2 – 6 years
  • Credit Score: 600 or higher

LendingPoint offers personal loans with flexible credit requirements and payment solutions for customers.

Pros
  • Fast funding available
  • Low minimum credit score requirement
  • Repayment terms up to 72 months
Cons
  • Relatively low maximum loan amount ($36,500)
  • No physical locations
  • Origination fee may apply (0% to 7%)

Established in 2015, LendingPoint is an online financial services company offering loans and payment solutions to customers and businesses. This company uses technology to help evaluate potential borrowers and has more flexible credit score requirements than some competitors. Borrowers could get approved with a credit score as low as 580. 

LendingPoint offers personal loans of up to $36,500 with repayment terms as long as 72 months. Its APRs are fairly competitive, ranging from 7.99% to 35.99%, and loan funds can be disbursed in as soon as one business day.

However, borrowers may need to pay an origination fee, ranging from 0% to 7% of the total loan amount. Still, LendingPoint’s low minimum credit score and lengthy maximum repayment term make it a compelling offering.

SoFi

  • Loan Amount: $5,000 – $100,000
  • APR Range: 7.99% – 23.43%
  • Loan Terms: 2 – 7 years
  • Credit Score: 680 or higher

SoFi is an online lender known for its lack of fees and high loan maximum.

Pros
  • No origination fees and no late fees
  • Loans up to $100,000
  • Unemployment protection available
  • Rate discounts
  • Co-borrower allowed
Cons
  • No physical branches
  • High minimum loan amount

SoFi offers a competitive personal loan product that boasts no origination fees, no late fees, and a high maximum loan amount of $100,000. SoFi is one of only a handful of lenders offering loans as large as $100,000. If you need a substantial loan to cover a considerable expense, like a home renovation, SoFi’s high maximum can be a strong option. Its repayment terms range from 24 to 84 months.

One standout feature of SoFi is that it offers unemployment protection, which might allow you to pause payments if you lose your job. This is a unique offering that sets it apart from competitors.

SoFi also lets you view your rate without impacting your credit score. While doing a soft credit pull is relatively common, it’s still worth mentioning because some lenders require a hard inquiry before they provide a rate. Those who decide to formally apply will likely need a strong credit score to get approved for a SoFi personal loan. 


What Is a Wedding Loan?

wedding rings on hands over flowers
Unsplash

First, “wedding loan” is not an official term. It’s not like a car or a student loan, which are only designed for those things and have special rules. 

Generally, a wedding loan is any type of loan you use to fund your wedding. Most people use personal loans since these are general-purpose loans that can be used for almost anything, including weddings.

You can use a personal loan to pay for any wedding expenses:

  • Rings
  • Venue
  • Catering 
  • Honeymoon
  • Decorations
  • Entertainment
  • Photographer
  • Invitations
  • Hair and makeup
  • Wedding dress and tuxedo

Many personal loan lenders rebrand their general-purpose personal loans into specific uses, even though they’re all the same thing. For example, popular lenders like LendingPoint offer loans for debt consolidation, home improvement, and weddings, even though they’re generally the same.  

Pros and Cons of Getting a Wedding Loan

Pros

  • Can make your wedding dreams possible
  • Generally cheaper than using credit cards
  • Able to get money relatively quickly and easily
  • Can help you build credit if you always make your payments on time

Cons

  • Can be expensive if you have bad credit
  • Can seriously damage your credit if you pay late or default
  • May lead you to spend more than you otherwise would have

How Much Do Wedding Loans Cost?

wedding reception
Pexels

Since you expect a wedding to be expensive, it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of one’s finances. While we all want our one-day event to be extra special, you could be paying for that wedding for months or even years if you’re not in tune with the costs. Here’s what you need to know so you can make an informed decision about whether a loan is worth it financially for you and your new spouse:

APRs for the Best Wedding Loans

The ongoing cost of a personal loan is measured by its annual percentage rate (APR). According to the Federal Reserve, the average APR for a 24-month personal loan was 8.73% during the second quarter of 2022.

The APR a lender offers you on your own loan could be very different depending on your credit score, credit history, how much you’re borrowing, and how long you’re borrowing it for. Make sure to compare loans based on the APR and not the interest rate alone as you shop around. An APR also includes fees so it’s a better measure of the overall cost of the loan. 

Origination Fees for the Best Wedding Loans

Origination fees for personal loans generally range between 1% and 8% of the loan amount. Some lenders waive this fee, especially if you have a good credit score. 

If you are charged an origination fee on your loan, it may be tacked on as an extra fee (so the amount you’re borrowing is larger), or it could come out of the loan proceeds itself (so you’ll get a smaller check than you applied for). This is important to check with your lender to ensure you’re getting the right loan amount you need to pay for your wedding. Learn more about other personal loan fees to watch out for.

Monthly Payment Amount

It helps to put a loan into context for your long-term plan. If you financed the entire cost of an average-priced wedding ($38,600) at the average loan interest rate (8.73% APR) with no origination fees and a 60-month term length, you’d be looking at a payment of $796 per month, for the next five years

By the time you paid it off, you’d have spent $9,173 in interest — money that could have gone to other things, like a house down payment, a retirement fund for your golden years, or saving for your kid’s education.



How to Apply for a Wedding Loan

If you need a personal loan for a wedding, one of the advantages is that you usually have a longer timeline before you need the money. You can take the time to fully scout your options before deciding. You don’t always have that luxury compared to others who use personal loans for emergency expenses, for example. Here’s how to get started when you’re applying for a wedding loan.

  1. Do a marriage budget analysis: Whether combining finances or staying separate, it’s best to know what your formal budget will look like after you’re married. After all, you’ll be making big changes, and what you can afford today will be different after you’re married. Figure out how much extra you’ll have in your budget as a married couple so you know the cap on what you can afford for a monthly payment. 
  2. Figure out how much you need: You’ve probably been planning your wedding for a long time. Get some estimates for the total cost and how much of that you’ll need to finance. You can use personal loan calculators to see how much the monthly payment compares to the wedding budget cap you set, but remember: every dollar in your budget that goes towards debt payment is one dollar less that can go toward your married life.
  3. Check your credit score: Check your credit history on each of your three credit reports. Look for inaccuracies so that you have time to get them fixed before you’re ready to apply for a loan. It’s also a good idea to check your credit score to know the interest rates you can expect. 
  4. Get pre-qualified and shop around: Set aside a few hours to shop around. Make a list of personal loan lenders; check online and at local banks and credit unions. It’s pretty quick to check your interest rate with most lenders, letting you narrow down the best options once you’re clear on what you need. 
  5. Apply for the loan: Go back to the lender with the best interest rates and terms, and complete your application. Stay tuned in case they need any more information from you. You may be able to apply with your spouse as a co-borrower or co-signer, or you may need to apply alone; it depends on the lender’s policies. 
  6. Sign up for autopay: If you’re approved, make sure to sign up for autopay right away. Enjoy your big day, and the autopay will ensure you never miss a payment on your loan until it’s all the way paid off. 

Alternatives to Wedding Loans 

wedding cheers with confetti
Pexels

Starting out your married life in debt isn’t ideal. According to a recent 2022 poll from National Debt Relief, being married to someone in debt was ranked as a “major reason” to consider divorce by 54% of respondents. With major economic events of recent years due to Covid-19, even more people are worried about money than ever before: 87% of Americans reported rising costs as a “significant source of stress” in their lives, according to a March 2022 survey from the American Psychological Association.

The good news is that passing on a loan doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doomed to a bare-bones courthouse wedding. There are lots of other ways to finance your wedding and most people rely on several of these methods:

Ask Family for Financial Support

Asking your parents for help isn’t an option for everyone, but it is the most common way to finance a wedding. Families generally cover about 52% of the average wedding cost, according to The Knot. 

Save Your Own Money

Again, having a long lead time before your wedding is extra handy because it gives you more time to save. Here’s a good strategy to use:

  • Estimate your wedding costs
  • Divide by the number of months between now and your wedding 
  • Set this up as an automatic transfer each month into a high-yield savings account 

For example, if you’ve got 10 months to go before your wedding and you can pay for all but $1,000 of your wedding budget, saving up $100 per month will get you there.

If it’s not enough, don’t worry — you still have options to save. Sit down and start a budget so you can find expenses to cut (it’s great to plan another budget for after you’re married too). Look for extra ways to earn money, such as by selling things in your home, doing side gigs or taking on a temporary part-time job. Many couples choose to extend their engagement, giving them more months to save up.

Use a 0% APR Credit Card

If you don’t need that much extra cash, opening a new credit card with an intro 0% APR offer could be an option instead of a loan. These card promotions often offer a year or more with no interest. If you set up a plan to pay everything off in full by the time the interest kicks in, it’s essentially an interest-free personal loan. 

Crowdsourcing

Some couples opt for community support through websites like GoFundMe. This allows you to collect funds without having to take on any debt. But remember — one of the highlights of a wedding is the registry and wedding gifts. If you’re already asking friends and family to chip in for the wedding, you may not get as many gifts to launch off your new married life. 

Find Ways to Save on Your Wedding

You’re not the first person to gasp at the cost of a fairytale wedding. There’s a whole world of articles, YouTube videos, blogs and other resources available for finding ways to save on your wedding expenses. Common tidbits of advice include scaling back your guest list, choosing a less-popular date, finding affordable up-and-coming photographers and other wedding support professionals looking to beef up their own portfolios, etc. 


FAQs

Can I qualify for a wedding loan if I have bad credit?

Yes. As with any personal loan, many lenders will still offer wedding loans to people with a bad credit score. Some lenders even specialize in bad credit personal loans. But keep in mind that you’ll usually need to pay a higher interest rate and fees and you may be restricted in how much you can borrow or how long you can borrow it for. 

How much can you borrow with a wedding loan?

It depends on the lender. Some lenders offer wedding loans up to $100,000 or more to people with the right qualifications. Remember, though, that the more you borrow, the less financial resources you’ll have available after the wedding and your new life together begins. 

Can I use a wedding loan for a honeymoon?

Yes, you can generally use a wedding loan to pay for anything wedding-related, including rings, venue rentals, decorations, catering and even the honeymoon. 

How do I get the lowest rate for a wedding loan?

Getting the best rate on a wedding loan boils down to one thing: shop around. Check your rate with as many lenders as possible, including online lenders, credit unions and banks. 

While we work hard on our research, we do not always provide a complete listing of all available offers from credit-card companies and banks. And because offers can change, we cannot guarantee that our information will always be up to date, so we encourage you to verify all the terms and conditions of any financial product before you apply.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomerenhttps://lindsayvansomeren.com/
Lindsay VanSomeren lives in the Pacific Northwest where she enjoys budgeting for her favorite activities like gardening, learning languages, and fishing. She's passionate about helping other people understand how to manage their money to live their best lives. Her work has appeared in Credit Karma, Forbes Advisor, FICO, and more.

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