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What is a wedding loan?

Getting married is likely to be one of the most important days of your life, so it's understandable that there might be a fair bit of stress in the lead-up to this special occasion.

No matter the size of your guest list, planning a wedding can be a very costly time in your life as wedding expenses can add up rather quickly. Which is why, even if you work to a strict budget and are perhaps lucky enough to have supportive parents willing to contribute, there may still be quite a shortfall in what you have available. 

If this is the case for you, it might be worth considering whether a wedding loan could be a viable solution. This type of personal loan is for the specific purpose of helping to fund your wedding, and with many lenders offering this type of loan, it could relieve you and your future spouse of some of the stress and allow you both to fully enjoy your special day.

Why do people use wedding personal loans?

Celebrating a marriage is a momentous occasion and many couples want to embrace the opportunity to create a truly memorable event for family and friends. That said, it does come with considerable expense. But if you do decide you want to take out a wedding loan to help cover the cost of your dream wedding, be sure you have the means to meet the loan repayments.

When you think of what goes into making a wedding a success you quickly realise that the costs add up very quickly. According to Moneysmart.gov.au, the average Australian wedding costs $36,000. Some of the many services you'll likely need to consider when planning a wedding include:

  • Venue hire fees
  • Food and beverage catering costs
  • Photography and videography
  • Celebrant fees
  • Music and entertainment
  • Wedding attire
  • Floral arrangements and other decorations
  • Transportation to and from the venue
  • Wedding rings
  • Hair and makeup

Budgeting for a wedding can seem daunting at the beginning, but the best way to start is to reach out to vendors directly for quotes on their services and start compiling a list of expenses. Once you've done your calculations, you'll have a better idea of whether a personal loan is the right option or if it's just odds and ends that your credit card might be able to cover. Either way, ensure you have a plan in place to pay off the debt within a reasonable timeframe to avoid excess interest charges.

How do I compare wedding personal loans?

Obtaining a wedding loan is a relatively straightforward transaction between you and a lender. Once you have an idea of the loan amount you wish to borrow, it's time to start shopping for a loan that best suits your needs. Here are some of the factors to consider when comparing your options:

  • Interest rate: Finding a competitive interest rate personal loan is understandably at the top of the list for most. However, it's important to not only consider the interest rate, but the fees and charges as well, as they can add a significant amount to the overall cost of the loan.
  • Comparison rate: An easy way to get an understanding of the total cost of the loan is to compare different comparison rates. A loan's comparison rate incorporates both the interest rate and the main fees charged.
  • Fixed interest rate or variable rate: Fixed rate loans provide certainty as your repayments will remain the same throughout the loan term, while the interest payable on variable rate loans can fluctuate with the market.
  • Secured vs unsecured personal loan: Secured loans are, as the name suggests, secured on an asset that's used as collateral. Unsecured loans don't have collateral attached, but are seen as a higher risk for lenders and therefore typically come with a higher interest rate.
  • Loan term: The length of time you have to pay off the loan is known as the loan term. Personal loans often have loan terms of one to five years in length.
  • Fees and charges: Some of the common upfront or ongoing fees you might be charged on a personal loan can include application fees, establishment fees, extra repayment fees, early repayment fees plus other monthly fees.
  • Features: Some personal loan products will offer extra features that might be useful to you. For example, if you want the flexibility to make extra lump sum payments when you've got the cash to pay down the loan faster, you might want to consider a loan that offers unlimited extra repayments.

It's important for borrowers to make comparisons between what a variety of lenders offer and gain a good understanding about fees for applying and setting up the loan.

What are the pros and cons of wedding loans?

As with all financial products, it's important to weigh up the pros and cons before deciding what's right for you.

  • Can help you realise your expectations so that you both have an amazing day to remember.
  • Might come in handy when paying deposits to secure your favourite vendors well ahead of time, as you may not have had a chance to build up your savings at this point.
  • Could be a more manageable option than charging your credit card, as personal loans typically have lower interest rates.
  • It's likely you'll be paying off your loan during the beginning of your marriage, so it's crucial that you've got a budget in place to meet the repayments and avoid financial strain.
  • You'll essentially be paying for the wedding after the fact, so keep that in mind when deciding what's actually important to you and what you might be willing to skip.

How can I find the best wedding loan for me on RateCity?

Once you know what you're looking for in a wedding loan, it might be worth utilising RateCity's personal loan calculator. Our personal loan calculator can provide you with a weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayment estimate based on your preferred loan amount, loan term, interest rate and credit score. It can even estimate the total interest payable over the life of the loan. Having this information can allow you to ensure the repayments will fit comfortably within your budget before you submit an application.

Using a comparison table like the one on this page can also be helpful, as you can filter down your search results to see loans that best suit your needs. You can even click straight through using the 'go to site' button to check the eligibility criteria and apply now.

And if you're interested in checking your credit history before applying for a new credit product, consider visiting our credit score hub.

If you'd like more information specific to your personal financial situation, consider speaking to a financial broker or adviser.

Frequently asked questions

What is a personal loan?

A personal loan sits somewhere between a home loan and a credit card loan. Unlike with a credit card, you need to sign a formal contract to access a personal loan. However, the process is easier and faster than taking out a mortgage.

Loan sizes typically range from several hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, while loan terms usually run from one to five years. Personal loans are generally used to consolidate debts, pay emergency bills or fund one-off expenses like holidays.

What is a bad credit personal loan?

A bad credit personal loan is a personal loan designed for somebody with a bad credit history. This type of personal loan has higher interest rates than regular personal loans as well as higher fees.

Can I get a personal loan if I receive Centrelink payments?

It is hard, but not impossible, to qualify for a personal loan if you receive Centrelink payments.

Some lenders won’t lend money to people who are on welfare. However, other lenders will simply consider Centrelink payments as another factor to weigh up when they assess a person’s capacity to repay a loan. You should check with any prospective lender about their criteria before making a personal loan application.

Can I get guaranteed approval for a bad credit personal loan?

Few, if any, lenders would be willing to give guaranteed approval for a bad credit personal loan. Borrowers with bad credit histories can have more complicated financial circumstances than other borrowers, so lenders will want time to study your application. 

It’s all about risk. When someone applies for a personal loan, the lender evaluates how likely that borrower would be to repay the money. Lenders are more willing to give personal loans to borrowers with good credit than bad credit because there’s a higher likelihood that the personal loan will be repaid. 

So a borrower with good credit is more likely to have a loan approved and to be approved faster, while a borrower with bad credit is less likely to have a loan approved and, if they are approved, may be approved slower.

How long does it take to get a bad credit personal loan?

In the best-case scenario, an application for a bad credit personal loan can be made within minutes and then be approved within 24 hours. However, if a lender needs more information or needs more time to verify the provided documents, the application process may take longer.

Which lenders offer bad credit personal loans?

Several dozen lenders offer bad credit personal loans in Australia. These are generally smaller lenders that aren’t household names.

What interest rates are charged for personal loans?

Lenders aren’t allowed to charge interest on loans of $2,000 and under. Instead, they make their money by charging a one-off establishment fee of up to 20 per cent and a monthly account-keeping fee of up to four per cent. Lenders might also ask you to pay a government fee.

For loans between $2,001 and $5,000, lenders can make their money in only two ways: a one-off fee of $400 and annual interest rates of up to 48 per cent.

For loans of $5,001 and above, or for loans that have terms longer than two years, lenders can charge annual interest rates of up to 48 per cent.

Those fee caps don’t apply to loans offered by authorised deposit-taking institutions such as banks, building societies or credit unions, although such institutions are highly unlikely to charge interest rates of anywhere near 48 per cent.

What are the pros and cons of personal loans?

The advantages of personal loans are that they’re easier to obtain than mortgages and usually have lower interest rates than credit cards.

One disadvantage with personal loans is that you have to go through a formal application process, unlike when you borrow money on your credit card. Another disadvantage is that you’ll be charged a higher interest rate than if you borrowed the money as part of a mortgage.

What are the pros and cons of bad credit personal loans?

In some instances, bad credit personal loans can help people with bad credit history to consolidate their debts, which can help make it easier for them to clear those debts. This is because the borrower might be able to consolidate several debts with higher interest rates (such as credit card loans) into one single debt with a lower interest rate and potentially fewer fees.

However, this strategy can backfire if the borrower spends the loaned funds instead of using it to repay the new loan. Another disadvantage of bad credit personal loans is that they have higher interest rates than regular personal loans.

How are personal loans regulated?

Personal lenders in Australia are regulated by ASIC (the Australian Securities & Investments Commission) and must follow responsible lending rules. That means they can’t lend money without making “reasonable inquiries” about a borrower’s financial situation and ensuring the loan is “not unsuitable” for them.

Can I get an easy/instant personal loan?

Some lenders are able to approve applications with little documentation and within minutes. However, there is a catch. People who take out easy/instant loans generally pay higher interest rates and are restricted to lower amounts than people who follow a traditional borrowing process.

Where can I get a personal loan?

The Australian personal loans market contains dozens of lenders offering several hundred different products. Personal loans are available through a range of institutions, including:

There are three main ways to access personal loans. You can go through a comparison website, such as RateCity. You can use a finance broker. Or you can directly contact the lender.

What is a secured bad credit personal loan?

A bad credit personal loan is 'secured' when the borrower offers up an asset, such as a car or jewellery, as collateral or security. If the borrower fails to repay the loan, the lender can then seize the asset to recoup its losses.

How do you get a bad credit personal loan?

You can get a bad credit personal loan by applying directly to a lender, by going through a mortgage broker or by using a comparison website like RateCity.

How much can I borrow with a personal loan?

It’s unusual for a lender to provide a personal loan of above $100,000, although there is no formal limit. As with all lending products, each lender sets its own policies, while each borrower is assessed on a case-by-case basis.