(Closed) Paying for a wedding with student loans?

posted 4 years ago in Money
Post # 16
Member
95 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

DH and I have loans, and we got married this year.  We told ourselves that if it didn’t fit our budget, we weren’t going to have it, rather than dip into our loan money. Now that the wedding is over, I wish we’d spent less on the wedding, and actually paid back more of our loans.  When you’re planning a wedding, you place so much importance on irrelevant things (like charger plates, menus, favors, etc), thinking that everyone else is going to notice them.  I’d rather have saved the $4 per person for the charger plates, and put that towards our loans. If we’d been more frugal with the wedding, we could’ve made a larger payment on the loan.  Also, and I’m not sure what your plans are, but after the wedding, you may want to buy a house, and have a kid.  You’re not going to want to pay back your loans if you need money to make a down payment.

My point is, there’s always going to be an event in your life that’s going to need your money, and unfortunately, the loans are always going to be there unless and until you pay them off.  You are getting money from your parents, make do with what you have.  If it’s too expensive in your city, can you do a wedding on the outskirts?

Post # 17
Member
62 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

I also receive student loans while finishing my doctorate, I will be graduating in May and our wedding is in July. My fiancé and I refuse to use any money coming from my student loans to pay for anything because what if something happened where we actually needed the money?! Not a smart idea to use what is supposed to be for living expenses and emergencies. I personally took a small part time job to make sure I could have everything I wanted in the wedding and we only use our credit card to pay for wedding vendors just so we can dispute it if we ever have to. Once we charge something it’s immediately paid off. The only time I could see using the card is for last minute expenses where you can pay them right after the wedding. Have the wedding you can afford and it will be far less stressful years later when you’re still repaying loans 

Post # 18
Member
2849 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

This is probably something I would have done if I had been low on cash when planning my wedding, but DH would have never allowed it. Looking back I’m so so glad we didnt go into debt for the wedding. It was worth it to cut back on expenses and just have the wedding we could afford.

Money is a big stressor in marriage, it wouldnt have been a great start to our marriage to be even more debt than we were before.

Post # 19
Member
403 posts
Helper bee

View original reply
stephyhansen :  This idea is beyond dumb. If anybody in the School Loan Dept. got wind of this you could be in BIG TROUBLE. don’t risk it. You could end up paying back everything now, get cut off and might face some kind of fraud charges.

Post # 20
Member
3164 posts
Sugar bee

If we had to use credit or loans we wouldn’t have had the party. The marriage was always more important than the wedding to me anyways. I agree with PP who recommended simply downsizing your expenses by he % you are chipping in. I don’t really understand why this isn’t your number 1 priority 

Post # 21
Member
82 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Wow, just wow. No.  This is such an astoundingly bad idea and I find it extremely concerning that a 30 and 35 year old would even consider doing something like this.  You don’t have the money to do this.  Be a grownup and deal with it.  Don’t misuse your loans, don’t put it on a credit card.  You have no idea what might come up in the future even when you do have a more stable income. Believe me, if you want to buy a house or have a kid or you need a new car or you get injured and can’t work, you will regret spending money you didn’t have on photos or flowers or whatever else for your party, because yes, your wedding is just a party.  Either wait and save up more or cut your costs.  Financial issues are the number one issue for married couples and to be honest, that neither of you sees this plan as anything other than a trainwreck makes me worried.  Don’t start off your marriage with added debt and stress.  Yikes.

Post # 22
Member
8993 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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stephyhansen :  I have a friend who went into debt to pay for her wedding and she seriously regretted it. not only is paying interest for a party a bad money move but then they couldn’t do things like buy a house or have an extended maternity leave because that money went to a party the year before. 

Post # 23
Member
356 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

I know this is not the answer you want to hear, but no no no no no. Do not stress yourselves financially to pay for a wedding. Make concessionss somewhere. I knew my parents could not contribute much financially for my wedding, so my H and I went with what we could afford, which meant we only had 60 guests. Not to mention financial issues really put stress on a relationship. Do you really want to start out your marriage with a boatload of debt? Go with what you can afford and enjoy being newlyweds!

Post # 24
Member
915 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

Using credit/loans is a slippery slope and while I know this is not what you want to hear: I highly recommend you do not use your student loan money to pay toward your wedding.

Any “extra” money should be immediately repaid or refused. I know it seems like a good idea because it’s low interest but the interest on multi thousand dollars loans adds up really quick – next to my house, the most money I owe is to the government for federal loans.

Cut down on your wedding. Instead of a big to-do, have an intimate wedding with just immediate family and go out to dinner after. Splurge on the photography but keep everything else low. I’m two months out from my wedding and desperately wish I would have just bought my dress, rented his tux and eloped with a great elopement photographer – and my father paid 100% of my wedding, minus incidentals (hair, jewelry, other nonsense).

It may not seem as “fun” but at the end of the day it’s the marriage and not the wedding that matters.

Post # 25
Member
5155 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2010

The answer should be to downsize the wedding: have the wedding you can afford without using your loans. Using student loans to fund a wedding is a horrible idea, and a wedding is not a “living expense”. Believe me, you would regret using them in the future when staring at your loan balance owing and realize now you have to give up other things because of repayments, or you can’t take a dream job because it pays a little less and you won’t be able to make your repayments, and so on. Don’t set yourself up to fail.

 

Post # 26
Member
2625 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

You really need to just downsize the wedding to something you can afford.  80% of your wedding is being paid by others, so it shouldn’t be too hard to make some cuts to make it work and still have a lovely wedding.

Post # 27
Member
7509 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

You know that the FAFSA is run by the Dept of Education, which is funded by the taxpayers, right?

 When you take aid from the Feds, it comes from a limited supply, so if you put your wedding as a “living expense” and get a grant or a loan for it, you’re taking it away from someone who wants to actually pay for their education with it. And that’s not what the taxpayers want it spent on. Even if you intend to pay it back, you’re still taking education money that could go towards someone else’s education.

If you want to live beyond your means, that’s entirely your decision, but leave the taxpayer-funded student aid out of it.

Post # 28
Member
1565 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

I’m firmly in the “a wedding is a party, therefore you shouldn’t go into debt for it” camp. I’m also big on having emergency savings built up before you start spending frivolously. Here’s the thing: life is full of unexpected emergencies that can hit you financially. Just when you think you’re set to be financially stable, something crazy comes out of the blue and knocks you and your bank account for a loop. While planning and saving for our wedding, some idiot on heroin smashed into my husband’s parked car and totaled both his car and my car that was parked behind it. Of course we didn’t get anywhere near enough money from insurance to replace them with anything decent. Had to dip into savings and I still had to take out a small car loan, which I’ve never had to do in my life. Needless to say, we cut back some of our wedding plans to accommodate. A few years ago my brother, who lives in Hawaii, got deathly ill and wound up in the ICU. They weren’t sure he would live. Say goodbye to thousands of dollars as I booked a last-minute flight out there, paid for a hotel in one of the most expensive tourist destinations in the country, and lost a week of work to be by his side. It’s stuff like that that you can’t plan for. My husband used to work as a foreclosure investigator and so many of the people he met with had heartbreaking stories of falling behind on their mortgages because of unexpected emergencies like job loss or illness. Why do you think so many people end up drowning in debt? It’s because they thought they had it covered so charged things or took on loans that they thought they could afford in their existing circumstances. And then those circumstances changed through job loss, sudden emergencies, health issues, etc. Please don’t bank on a potential future situation to justify poor spending habits now.

Since you’re lucky enough to have financial help with your wedding, why not do more to stick to that budget? You can have a fantastic wedding on a small budget! As a PP said, if photography’s a priority for you then figure out where else you’re OK cutting back. We prioritized food, drink, and photography for our weddding. For everything else we DIYd, shopped around, or just omitted it altogether. We didn’t have elaborate decor, a three-tiered wedding cake, or even a DJ. My dress was $99 from David’s Bridal and it wasn’t my top pick, but it made me look great and I don’t regret choosing the bargain option. Now that the wedding’s over, I’m even more grateful that I didn’t spend a ton on a dress I only wore for a few hours. My husband wore a suit he already had. I made 120 cupcakes instead of buying a cake, I made our centerpieces, and we bought a cheap DIY invitation kit at a closeout store and printed our own. Was every detail exactly what we would have chosen if we’d had a bigger budget? Heck no. But none of our guests knew that so they all thought it was a beautiful day.

I hate to use this example since it’s obviously an extreme situation that I’m sure doesn’t apply to you, but my husband was married before and he and his ex took out a loan to pay for their wedding. They planned to live off of her income and pay it off quickly with his. Turns out she was cheating on him and the marriage barely lasted six months. Eight years later he finally finished paying that loan off. Point being, you never know what reality’s going to do to your plans.

Post # 29
Member
5002 posts
Bee Keeper

Nope, nope, nope. 

I’m also confused by your attitude that you wouldn’t just be using the money “haphazardly for fun.”  Just what do you think this big ol’ party is?  The only requirements to get married are a license and two willing people to stand in front of someone authorized to sign off on it.  In most states a license is under a hundred dollars.  So yeah,  anything you so above and beyond is a luxury item for fun.  So if you were hoping to find people to say that’s a smart decision, you’re not going to find any fiscally responsible person who will say that.  Only you know if that’s the amount of risk you’re willing to gamble on.  And it sounds like you are willing, but want the internet to validate your choice to mitigate the responsibility of making that choice.

Personally, I would have never accepted the loan money for living expenses if it wasn’t needed and only authorized the amount for tuition and books.  And I say this as someone doing exactly this right now.  I work and go to school and can cover my living expenses with my earnings so I did not accept the full amount i was authorized for because it would have been unsubsidized and accrue interest (low as it is) this whole time compared to my subsidized ones that cover my tuition and doesn’t accrue until 6 months after I finish.  If you took the money thinking you might need it or want the cushion and then discovered it wasn’t necessary, then the smart thing to do is send that money back as a payment towards the principle to reduce your payments once you HAVE to start paying them back.  Heck, any extra money I have now goes to it to reduce my principle and lower my future payments.

So weigh the risks and figure out if you’re willing to live with the consequences  (positive or negative).  Doing it will never be the SMART decision. Doesn’t mean it won’t work out,  but it isn’t the smart decision. 

Post # 30
Member
1515 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

You really should only take as much student loans as you absolutely will need to LIVE. Because compound interest is no joke and student loans are such a scam.  

The banks have NO risk involved because if a borrower defaults on a federally-backed loan, the taxpayers are on the hook for that money… Even so, they still have the interest rate set at 6.8% (and that’s for federal loans, private student loans have even higher rates).  This high of an interest rate makes NO SENSE because again, banks have NO RISK because student loans, unlike even gambling debts, ARE NOT DISCHARGEABLE IN BANKRUPTCY. Banks can do this because they know that the demand is inelastic, meaning people will borrow no matter what, being under the impression that any college debt is “good debt.”  

You’re going to hopefully be a teacher. If you’re working for a public school system then you can catch a break with PSLF (Public Service Loan Forgiveness), which is TRUE loan forgiveness after being on income-based repayment for 10 years. Don’t be fooled by private sector salaries that MAY be higher, because regular ol’ IBR (income-based repayment) is barely a step above defaulting, because first of all it’s 25 years, you’re likely not paying back enough to even pay down the interest, and at the end of it you have to pay income taxes on the full amount “forgiven”, all at once. 

I get it. Even though you have student loans you still have to live your life.  But it does mean that not everything can be just the way you want it.  I understand having things like photography being a high priority.  What I would do in your situation is grit my teeth and postpone my wedding by one more year, even though I know you and your Fiance have already been together for 9 years so I know you have waited a long time. You’ve already waited 9 years so you can do 1 more, and then have the wedding you really want. 

Sometimes in life there is just no “ideal” solution and you do have to make some painful decisions to preserve your highest priorities.  I don’t think our bodies LIKE having our fingers and ears and tip of the nose falling off when we freeze, but that’s us deciding that our heart, lungs, and brains are more important.  

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