The Best Wedding Loans Of 2022

With the average cost of a wedding at $28,000 according to The Knot, you may be exploring alternative ways to finance your special day.

Personal loans have become a popular way to fund a variety of large expenses, including weddings. This is because they’re a more affordable alternative to credit cards since they typically carry a much lower interest rate (though the rate you receive will depend on your credit score). 

If you’re considering using a loan to cover some or all of your wedding expenses, CNBC Select rounded up five of the best personal loan lenders for you to consider. When compiling our list, we evaluated dozens of lenders and looked at key factors like interest rates, fees, loan amounts and term lengths offered, plus other features including how your funds are distributed, autopay discounts, customer service and how fast you can get your funds. (Read more about our methodology below.)

The best wedding loans

Best overall

LightStream Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    5.99% to 22.49%* when you sign up for autopay

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation, home improvement, auto financing, medical expenses, wedding and others

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

  • Origination fee

  • Early payoff penalty

  • Late fee

Pros

  • Same-day funding available through ACH or wire transfer
  • Loan amounts up to $100,000
  • No origination fees, no early payoff fees, no late fees
  • LightStream plants a tree for every loan

Cons

  • Requires several years of credit history
  • No option to pay your creditors directly
  • Not available for student loans or business loans
  • No option for pre-approval on website (but pre-qualification is available on some third-party lending platforms)

Who’s this for? LightStream is known for offering loans with some of the lowest interest rates (plus the ability to receive an even lower interest rate when you enroll in autopay). This lender provides loans for nearly every purpose except for higher education and small business, which means using the funds to cover wedding expenses is fair game. 

Terms range from 24 to 144 months — the longest-term option among the lenders on this list. A longer loan term typically means lower monthly payments, which can make repaying the debt feel a little more affordable. Just keep in mind that a longer term also means you’ll accrue more interest charges over the long run.

LightStream does not charge any origination fees, administration fees or early payoff fees.

Best for borrowing larger amounts

SoFi Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    7.99% to 23.43% when you sign up for autopay

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation/refinancing, home improvement, relocation assistance or medical expenses

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

  • Origination fee

  • Early payoff penalty

  • Late fee

Pros

  • No origination fees, no early payoff fees, no late fees
  • Unemployment protection if you lose your job
  • DACA recipients can apply with a creditworthy co-borrower who is a U.S. citizen/permanent resident by calling 877-936-2269
  • Can have more than one SoFi loan at a time (state-permitting) 
  • May accept offer of employment (to start within the next 90 days) as proof of income
  • Co-applicants may apply

Cons

  • Applicants who are U.S. visa holders must have more than two years remaining on visa to be eligible
  • No co-signers allowed (co-applicants only)

Who’s this for? SoFi offers personal loan amounts of up to $100,000 depending on creditworthiness, which can be ideal for individuals who need to borrow larger amounts of money to cover their wedding expenses.

SoFi allows borrowers to choose between a variable or fixed APR — most other personal loans only come with a fixed interest rate. Variable rates can go up and down over the lifetime of your loan, which means you could potentially save if the APR goes down (but the APR can also go up depending on economic conditions). However, fixed rates guarantee you’ll have the same monthly payment for the duration of the loan’s term, which makes it easier to budget for repayment.

Best for no fees

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    6.99% to 24.99% APR when you sign up for autopay

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation, home improvement, wedding, moving and relocation or vacation

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

  • Origination fee

  • Early payoff penalty

  • Late fee

Pros

  • No origination fees, no early payoff fees, no late fees
  • Will send direct payment to up to 10 creditors (for debt consolidation)
  • Monthly VantageScore updates
  • Earn a one-month payment vacation (interest-free) after making 12 on-time consecutive payments
  • Ability to choose your due date when you accept the loan (and again up to two more times after that)

Cons

  • Does not accept joint applications and/or co-signers
  • Not the fastest funding (can take a week or 10 business days)
  • Slightly tougher approval requirements (especially for larger loans/lower interest)

Who’s this for? Marcus by Goldman Sachs Personal Loans doesn’t charge any origination fees, early payoff fees, or late fees. By avoiding these fees, taking on this loan makes paying for your wedding just a little more affordable, and you won’t have to worry about accruing penalty charges for paying back the entire loan early.

Term lengths vary from 36 to 72 months. Marcus also has a soft inquiry tool on its website, so potential borrowers can look at possible loan options based on their credit report without impacting their credit score.

Best for lower credit scores

Upstart Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation, credit card refinancing, home improvement, wedding, moving or medical

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

    Credit score of 300 on at least one credit report (but will accept applicants whose credit history is so insufficient they don’t have a credit score)

  • Origination fee

    0% to 10% of the target amount

  • Early payoff penalty

  • Late fee

    The greater of 5% of last amount due or $15, whichever is greater

Pros

  • Open to borrowers with fair credit (minimum 300 score)
  • Will accept applicants who have insufficient credit history and don’t have a credit score
  • No early payoff fees
  • 99% of personal loan funds are sent the next business day after completing required paperwork before 5 p.m. Monday through Friday

Cons

  • High late fees
  • Origination fee of 0% to 10% of the target amount (automatically withheld from the loan before it’s delivered to you)
  • $10 fee to request paper copies of loan agreement (no fee for eSigned virtual copies)
  • Must have a Social Security number

Who’s this for? Upstart is ideal for individuals with a low credit score or even no credit history. It considers factors like education, employment, credit history and work experience. Term lengths are a bit limited, though, compared to other more flexible options; you can choose either a three-year or five-year loan.

There are a few fees involved with this loan. Upstart charges an origination fee of up to 10% of the loan amount. And while there is no early payoff fee, this lender does charge a late fee of 5% of the last amount due or $15, whichever is greater.

Best for next-day funding

Discover Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation, home improvement, wedding or vacation

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

    36, 48, 60, 72 and 84 months

  • Credit needed

  • Origination fee

  • Early payoff penalty

  • Late fee

Pros

  • No origination fees, no early payoff fees
  • Same-day decision (in most cases)
  • Option to pay creditors directly
  • 7 different payment options from mailing a check to pay by phone or app

Cons

  • Late fee of $39
  • No autopay discount
  • No cosigners or joint applications

Who’s this for? With Discover Personal Loans, you can receive your money as early as the next business day provided that your application was submitted without any errors (and the loan was funded on a weekday). So if you need funding in a pinch so you can start booking your venue and other services, this lender may be appealing.

While there are no origination fees, Discover does charge a late fee of $39 if you fail to repay your loan on time each month. There’s no penalty for paying your loan off early or making extra payments in the same month to cut down on the interest. 

FAQs

What is a wedding loan?

How do wedding loans work?

How big of a wedding loan can I get?

Lenders offer a wide range of personal loan sizes, from $500 to $100,000. Before you apply, consider how much you can afford to make as a monthly payment, as you’ll have to pay back the full amount of the loan, plus interest.

Will a wedding loan impact my credit score?

How is my wedding loan rate decided?

Common personal loan definitions you should know

Here are some common personal loan terms you need to know before applying.

Bottom line

Selecting the personal loan that’s right for you can make large expenses, like a wedding, feel more affordable. Pay attention to features like low or no fees, ability to receive quick funding and the maximum loan amount you can apply for.

Our methodology

To determine which personal loans are the best, Select analyzed dozens of U.S. personal loans offered by both online and brick-and-mortar banks, including large credit unions, that come with no origination or signup fees, fixed-rate APRs and flexible loan amounts and terms to suit an array of financing needs.

When narrowing down and ranking the best personal loans, we focused on the following features:

  • No origination or signup fee: None of the lenders on our best-of list charge borrowers an upfront fee for processing your loan.
  • Fixed-rate APR: Variable rates can go up and down over the lifetime of your loan. With a fixed rate APR, you lock in an interest rate for the duration of the loan’s term, which means your monthly payment won’t vary, making your budget easier to plan.
  • Flexible minimum and maximum loan amounts/terms: Each lender provides a variety of financing options that you can customize based on your monthly budget and how long you need to pay back your loan.
  • No early payoff penalties: The lenders on our list do not charge borrowers for paying off loans early.
  • Streamlined application process: We considered whether lenders offered same-day approval decisions and a fast online application process. 
  • Customer support: Every loan on our list provides customer service available via telephone, email or secure online messaging. We also opted for lenders with an online resource hub or advice center to help you educate yourself about the personal loan process and your finances.
  • Fund disbursement: The loans on our list deliver funds promptly through either electronic wire transfer to your checking account or in the form of a paper check. Some lenders (which we noted) offer the ability to pay your creditors directly.
  • Autopay discounts: We noted the lenders that reward you for enrolling in autopay by lowering your APR by 0.25% to 0.5%.
  • Creditor payment limits and loan sizes: The above lenders provide loans in an array of sizes, from $500 to $100,000. Each lender advertises its respective payment limits and loan sizes, and completing a preapproval process can give you an idea of what your interest rate and monthly payment would be for such an amount.

After reviewing the above features, we sorted our recommendations by best for overall financing needs, borrowing larger amounts, no fees, low credit scores and next-day funding.

Note that the rates and fee structures advertised for personal loans are subject to fluctuate in accordance with the Fed rate. However, once you accept your loan agreement, a fixed-rate APR will guarantee interest rate and monthly payment will remain consistent throughout the entire term of the loan. Your APR, monthly payment and loan amount depend on your credit history and creditworthiness. To take out a loan, lenders will conduct a hard credit inquiry and request a full application, which could require proof of income, identity verification, proof of address and more. 

Catch up on Select’s in-depth coverage of personal financetech and toolswellness and more, and follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

Maria Flores

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