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Are wedding loans a good way to start a marriage?

The recent royal wedding was a global spectacle, and an impossible act to follow. That doesn't mean some people won't try.

Wedding planners, caterers, photographers, and other professionals involved in conducting wedding celebrations have become adept at layering on frills to build every wedding up to a grand production. Which is all great fun and can make for some special memories, but there's a price.

According to wedding planning website The Knot, the average cost of a wedding now tops $33,000. The numbers differ quite a bit regionally -- for example, the average price tag is a relatively modest $18,516 in Utah, but a staggering $76,944 in Manhattan.

For most couples and their families, costs like that are too steep to pay out of pocket, yet they still feel pressure to put on a good show and not limit their guest lists. So, they turn to other wedding finance options, such as wedding loans.

Do banks give loans for weddings?

Is there any loan for marriage? The good news is, yes wedding loans are available. Can you get a personal loan for an engagement ring? Sure! A variety of banks and non-bank lenders offer wedding loans, which are considered personal loans. Your ability to qualify and the terms you get depend on:

  1. Your credit history
  2. Your income
  3. Your income stability
  4. Your other financial obligations

Generally speaking, interest rates on personal loans are cheaper than those on credit cards, so before you start charging wedding expenses plan ahead to see if you can get a personal loan instead. Wedding loans for bad credit may come with a high interest rate, yet are still likely to be less costly than incurring credit card debt.

Are wedding loans a good idea?

One of the first rules you should understand about credit is just because you can qualify doesn't mean borrowing is a good idea. Even if you are able to qualify for a wedding loan, there are several things to consider before you apply for one:

  1. How certain are your career prospects?
    If you are just starting your career, or relocating to be with your new spouse, you may not be totally confident about what your income will be over the next few years. If that's the case, be wary of taking on personal loan payments that depend on that income.

  2. Do you have a feel for your living expenses?
    Couples who have been living together and plan to stay in the same house or apartment after marriage may already have a good understanding of their household budget and can readily check how well a wedding loan payment would fit into that budget. However, for couples who are planning to set up a household together for the first time, it is more of a mystery. In that case, save yourselves an unpleasant surprise later on by working out how you are going to live and what that will cost. Then you could be in a position to see how much flexibility you have for wedding loans.

  3. What are your other debt obligations?
    Millions of young adults are burdened by student loans, and you also may have taken on a car loan by now. Ask yourself if you really want to add another payment on top of those obligations.

  4. Will this interfere with other plans?
    If you are planning to buy a house after you get married, wedding loans may reduce how much you can afford for that or even jeopardize your ability to qualify for a mortgage. There are other new expenses you might face, like having kids or saving for retirement. Those things may seem far into the future but when it's time to get married, it's time to think seriously about the future.

Having a conversation about finances before your wedding does not have to take the romance out of planning your celebration. Agreeing on how much to spend on your wedding up front is a lot more fun than arguing about money later when you are already committed to a personal loan.

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