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Personal Loans

Wedding Loans: Compare Your Options

Updated Dec 05, 2023   |   9-min read

Getting married is one of the most memorable days of your life—because of the wedding and the cost. 

In 2022, the average wedding cost $30,000, according to a survey by The Knot. As pandemic restrictions loosen, couples are spending more on their weddings. That, plus inflation, equals a high price tag. 

If you’re financing some or all of your wedding, you must determine where the money will come from. Wedding loans are one funding option. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about wedding loans and decide whether this approach is best for your big day.

In this guide:

What is a wedding loan?

Specific lenders offer “wedding loans,” which they market toward brides and grooms. However, marketing is the only difference between a “wedding loan” and any other personal loan.  

You can use personal loans for just about any reason, including wedding expenses. Many local and national banks, credit unions, and online lenders offer personal loans.

If you don’t restrict yourself to specialized “wedding loans” and shop around among personal loan lenders, you may get an offer with a better loan term and lower interest rates.

Lenders can vary in terms of the credit score you’ll need to get a personal loan. Personal loans for weddings feature different monthly payments and loan amounts, so we recommend comparison shopping to find the right option for your budget.

>> Read more: Compare the best personal loans

Where to find wedding loans

Not all personal loans are equal. Some offer better terms than others. If you take the time to shop around, you may start your married life on a less stressful note than if you have a massive debt payment hanging over your head from the start. 

To help you with that, we’ve rounded up our picks for the best personal loans you can use to fund your wedding. In addition to favorable rates, these lenders work with borrowers across a range of credit scores, so you can still find wedding loans for bad credit if you need one.

Best for excellent credit: LightStream

Editorial rating: 4.8 out of 5

  • Rate Beat program: Will beat a competitor’s offer by 0.10% APR if approved for a lower rate elsewhere
  • Unique satisfaction guarantee: Borrowers who are not satisfied with their loan experience can get a $100 refund
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 – $100,000

LightStream offers “wedding loans,” but they’re the same as its regular personal loans. LightStream offers low rates and charges no fees, so it could be a cost-effective option—more so when you consider its Rate Beat program, where it will beat any competitor’s offered rate by 0.10%. 

LightStream is a solid choice if you need fast funds to pay wedding vendors or buy supplies. LightStream’s application process is primarily automated. If you’re approved and complete all paperwork before 2:30 p.m. Eastern, LightStream will wire the money to your bank account that same day.

One of the few downsides to LightStream is that it’s fairly exclusive. It tends to approve applicants with good or excellent credit and doesn’t offer prequalification for its loans. You must submit a complete application when you apply, which can result in a slight dip in your credit score due to the hard credit check. 

  • Credit score category: Good to excellent (660+)
  • Soft credit pull to check rates? No
  • Deposit time: As soon as the same day
  • Origination fee: 0%
  • Late fee: None
  • Rates (APR): 9.99%25.99%
  • Discounts: 0.50% rate reduction for enrolling in autopay. 0.10% rate reduction to beat competitor offers.
  • Repayment terms: 24 – 84 months

Best for fair credit: Upgrade

Editorial rating: 4.9 out of 5

  • Credit health tool to monitor your credit score and get personalized recommendations
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 – $50,000
  • 15-day grace period before late fee is assessed

Upgrade is another solid option for borrowers, especially those with bad to fair credit or consumers who need smaller wedding loans. Upgrade allows you to check your rates without harming your credit score, so you can consider it if you have excellent credit too. 

Upgrade offers decent rates on its personal loans, but they come with high fees. It doesn’t provide specific “wedding loans,” but you can use one of its loans to pay for your wedding expenses.

If you have bad credit, Upgrade is unique because it allows you to use a car as collateral for a loan if you can’t get approved otherwise. Remember that if you default on the loan, Upgrade can repossess your car—which could make the start of your married life more difficult. 

  • Credit score category: Bad to fair (560+)
  • Soft credit pull to check rates? Yes
  • Deposit time: As soon as the next day
  • Origination fee: 1.85% – 9.99%
  • Late fee: $10
  • Rates (APR): 8.49%35.97%
  • Repayment terms: 24 – 84 months

Best for thin credit: Upstart

Editorial rating: 4.8 out of 5

  • Uses artificial intelligence to provide competitive rates based on unique creditworthiness
  • Checking your rate won’t affect your credit score
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 – $50,000

Upstart is an online lending platform that partners with banks to provide personal loans for almost any use, including wedding loans. Rates are competitive if you have excellent credit. 

Upstart differs from other lenders because it has an automated approval system that considers a broader range of factors when evaluating your application, such as your education. 

It’s one of the few lenders that sometimes works with borrowers with little to no credit based on other factors.

  • Credit score category: Bad to fair
  • Soft credit pull to check rates? Yes
  • Deposit time: As fast as one business day
  • Origination fee: 0% – 10%
  • Late fee: $15 or 5% of payment, whichever is more
  • Rates (APR): 6.70% – 35.99%
  • Repayment terms: 36 or 60 months

Best for good credit: SoFi

Powered by Credible

Editorial rating: 5 out of 5

  • Unemployment protection allows pausing loan payments in case of job loss
  • Fast, easy application: Get a decision in minutes
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 – $100,000

SoFi is another online lender that offers exceptional rates, fast funding times, and no required fees for its personal loans. It offers a “wedding loan,” which is the same as its regular personal loan. 

SoFi wedding loans advertise low rates, but you must sign up for autopay and set up direct deposits into a SoFi checking account to earn them. If you don’t, your rates will be 0.25% higher for not doing one—or 0.50% higher if you don’t do either. 

If you have excellent credit, consider checking your rates with SoFi. It offers an exceptional suite of benefits that can help you start your married life right, such as free access to financial advisors and career coaches, and discounts on estate planning. 

  • Credit score category: Good to excellent
  • Soft credit pull to check rates? Yes
  • Deposit time: As soon as the same day
  • Origination fee: 0% to 6%
  • Late fee: None
  • Rates (APR): 8.99% – 23.43%
  • Repayment terms: 24 – 84 months

Best for payment flexibility: LendingPoint

Editorial rating: 4.9 out of 5

  • Simple application to see payment options with no impact on credit score
  • Proprietary smart technology can paint a more complete picture of you in seconds
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 – $36,500

LendingPoint is another personal loan lender that allows you to use the money to pay for wedding expenses. It doesn’t specify what type of credit score you’ll need to get approved, but you must earn an annual income of $35,000 or more. LendingPoint will allow you to adjust your payment date if a different date works better for your budget.

If you’re hoping to borrow the average wedding cost of $30,000, LendingPoint might work for you. But if you’re opting to finance an extravagant wedding with higher costs, you may need to focus on another lender, such as SoFi or LightStream. 

  • Credit score category: N/A
  • Soft credit pull to check rates? Yes
  • Deposit time: Next business day after approval
  • Origination fee: 0% – 8%
  • Late fee: N/A
  • Rates (APR): 9.99%35.99%
  • Repayment terms: 24 – 72 months

Pros and cons of using a personal loan for wedding expenses

If you’re funding your wedding, wedding personal loans can seem like a quick way to make your dream wedding plans a reality—and they can be. But it can also be the opposite. We always recommend weighing the pros and cons before making financial decisions.


  • Lower interest rates

    It often costs less to use a personal loan to fund your wedding than to put the costs on a credit card. 

  • Unforgettable memories

    You may decide it’s worth the cost to borrow the money to make memories.

  • Can help you build credit

    Make all your payments on time, and a personal loan can help you grow your credit score, which will come in handy if you want to buy a car or a house later.


  • Start your married life with debt

    Money is one of the leading sources of stress in a relationship. When you start your married life owing money, you could face challenges if you can’t afford the loan payments. 

  • Delay other financial goals

    When you’ve borrowed for a wedding, you may have less money available to fulfill other financial goals, such as saving for a down payment on a house or starting a family. The balance on your wedding loan could also affect your debt-to-income ratio (pretax monthly income divided by your monthly debt payments), making it harder to get approved for a mortgage to buy a home.

  • Increase the costs of your wedding

    Financing the cost of an average wedding over five years at a 10% interest rate could mean paying an additional $8,200 in interest alone. Weddings already cost a fortune; a loan will only boost those costs.

  • Can ruin your credit

    If you make late payments—or worse, default—wedding loans can harm your credit. 

Should you use a personal loan to fund your wedding?

Your wedding is a celebration of your new life together, and everyone has a right to celebrate that. If you don’t have enough to pay for your wedding in cash, a personal loan may help. But how can you tell whether it will cause more financial trouble in the future?

First, we recommend scoping out alternative options (more on that below). If you can bypass the need for more funds, there’s no point in applying for wedding loans. Use a loan calculator to see what your monthly payments might look like, and compare them with your budget. 

If you can afford those payments, and your wedding plans are nonnegotiable, a personal loan could be suitable. Remember: Any amount you borrow now is less you’ll have later to take a vacation, buy a house, or start a family. 

Alternatives to a wedding loan

Wedding loans aren’t your only option if you can’t pay cash. Before you take out a wedding loan, consider these: 

  • Reduce costs: You don’t have to spend a fortune to have a great wedding. Look for ways to cut expenses and pay out of pocket. For example, could you get married at your alma mater or a national park for less than the cost of a fancy venue?
  • Scale back your wedding: Consider inviting fewer people to your wedding, reducing your spending. 
  • Delay your wedding: If you can delay your wedding date, it’ll give you more time to save up to pay cash. Taking on extra work or starting a side gig can help speed you along faster.
  • Use a 0% interest credit card: If you can get a card with a 0% promotional APR, you may be able to charge what you need for your wedding without paying interest. This can be a solid option if you’re sure you’ll be able to repay the balance before the promotional period ends. 
  • Tap into the equity in your home: You could use a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit to borrow against your home. The interest rate on a home equity loan or line of credit is often lower than a personal loan rate, so this could be more affordable. But consider that you’ll risk losing your home if you can’t pay it back.
  • Crowdfund: Instead of wedding gifts, consider asking family and friends to help cover your wedding costs.