The most important day of your life can be very expensive. From the venue to the catering, the dress and the wedding cars, the costs for your special day quickly add up. According to Moneysmart, the average Australian wedding costs $36,000. If you don’t have that money saved, you may be looking at other ways to finance your wedding. Our guide below details the different wedding loan options you have available and how to find the right one for you.
What are the different wedding loans and how do they work?
Couples looking for a way to finance their wedding have a few loan options to choose from. The option you choose will depend on your current financial circumstances, how you want to use the loan, your outstanding debts and active credit accounts.
Here are the options you may want to consider:
As the loan will be used to finance personal items, you may want to consider an unsecured personal loan. These loans place no restrictions on the way you use the amount, so you can use some of it to buy the dress, book a venue and even pay for some of the honeymoon. You are able to choose between a variable and fixed-rate loan option, and can usually borrow the money for between one and seven years.
Line of credit
A line of credit may be an option if you are unsure whether you will need to borrow money. Lines of credit work by you setting up an overdraw limit on one of your active bank accounts, and from there you are able to access money up to and including that amount. You will be charged a set interest rate when you access the additional money, while you may also be charged fees to have this feature available to you. You can talk to your current lender to see if this option might be a good choice for you.
If you already have a credit card with a competitive interest rate and find that it will be better value than a loan, then you may want to consider using your credit card to make wedding-related purchases. If you are planning to put a few purchases on your card you may want to consider a 0% p.a. purchase card, or if you accumulate debt on your credit card, you can also transfer your debt over to a 0% p.a. balance transfer credit card. You can take a look at these products using the navigation menu on the top of this page. Keep in mind the limit of your card and whether this will be enough for you.
Bad credit personal loans
If you're one of the millions across Australia who suffers from an impaired credit score then there is still hope for you to afford your dream wedding. You could be eligible for up to $10,000 with a bad credit wedding loan provider. There are some lending companies in Australia that look past a bad credit history and lend you money. Whilst you may not get the whole $10,000 you are looking for, it could be the difference between your dream wedding and a nightmare.
How to compare wedding loans
The features on offer. Some lenders offer features on a loan that can help you save money. For example, some may allow you to bundle a personal loan with other financial products to get a discount. Take a look at some features offered by these lenders and see if any of them appeal to you.
Flexibility. The flexibility of your wedding loan should suit the way you plan to use it. For example, you should check if you are able to repay the loan early, or if you will be able to extend the loan or opt for an "interest-only" option if you are struggling to make your repayments.
Repayment options. Some lenders may let you make additional repayments but may charge you to do this. This can offset any benefit you get from making the extra repayments, so check the associated fees before you apply.
Fixed or variable interest rate. There are benefits and drawbacks to both of these rate options, and the one you choose will depend on a few factors. A fixed-rate option can help you plan your repayments because you know what they will be over the course of the loan, but this may also mean you miss out on lower interest rates. Fixed-rate loans are usually available for a maximum of five years. Variable rates fluctuate over the life of the loan, which makes it hard to budget for the repayments. However, these loans are generally available for as long as seven years and you may also save money from lower variable rates.
Things to consider before taking out a wedding loan
Before applying for a wedding loan, it's crucial to understand the financial commitment required for servicing the borrowed amount. You and your future partner should sit down and discuss your financial situations beforehand. Below are some of the questions you should be discussing.
What are the fees that you'll be charged? When you look at the fees of a loan you should remember to check the upfront fees as well as ongoing charges. Upfront fees (also referred to as establishment fees) cover the cost of setting up the loan, and ongoing fees can include monthly account-keeping fees or amounts you will be charged for using some of the features of the loan, such as making additional repayments. You should also be aware of late and default fees, or any fees which may apply for paying back the loan amount early.
What interest rate are you being offered? Look carefully at the rate offered by the lender and consider how much it will cost you over the life of the loan. You can also see if the lender offers an introductory rate that can help you save money in the first stages of the loan.
Is the wedding loan amount and its terms affordable for you both? You need to ensure that the amount you want to borrow and the length of time you want to borrow it for is offered by the lender. You can check the minimum and maximum loan amounts each lender offers and see if they suit your needs.
Financial obligations to consider for your wedding
Whether you're having a small ceremony or an all-out extravaganza for your big day, there is going to be a range of items and services you may need finance for. And some of these wedding additions may cost more than you'd originally thought. In the table below are some of the expenses you can expect and their average costs according to surveys by easyweddings.com.au and truebride.com.au.
Consider the expenses below:
Average cost in Australia
Average cost in Australia
Wedding invites, thank you notes and placeholders
Catering and wedding cake
The wedding dress and accessories
Flowers and decorations
Groom/groomsmen suits and accessories
Photography and videography costs
Bridesmaids dresses and accessories
Flowergirls, ushers and pageboys
Makeup, hair styling and facials for bride and bridal party
Transport to and from wedding
First-night hotel stay
Alcohol and beverages
Cut costs on your wedding without cutting corners
You don't have to spend a fortune to have the perfect day. There are lots of ways to cut costs on your wedding if the price is looking too steep. Remember that you're building the foundations of a marriage, and financial stability is an important factor.
Splurge on where it's important to you and your partner, and cut back where it's not. And don't give in to family pressure. Remember, this is your big day.
How you can apply for a wedding loan
To apply for a wedding loan, you can compare your options using the comparison tables above. Depending on the type of finance you’re after, you can compare products using the navigation menu at the top of this page. When you find the right loan and would like to apply, click the "Go to site" button to be directed to the lender’s website where you can submit an application.
To apply for a loan in Australia you will generally need to be over the age of 18 years, a permanent Australian resident and have a good credit rating. There are also bad credit personal loan options available if your credit history is less than perfect. When you apply, you will need to provide the following:
Personal details including your name, age and proof of your identity
Financial details including your assets, debts and liabilities
Employment details including your income and the name and contact details of your employer
Remember to compare your options and make sure you apply for a loan that's competitive and affordable to you.
Matt Corke is Finder's head of publishing for rest of world and New Zealand. He previously worked as the publisher for credit cards, home loans, personal loans and credit scores. Matt built his first website in 1999 and has been building computers since he was in his early teens. In that time, he has survived the dot-com crash and countless Google algorithm updates.
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