Half of wedding borrowers regret saying “I do” to debt

9th June 2014

Nearly half of all people who borrow to finance their wedding end up regretting their decision to take out a loan says new research from the Debt Advisory Centre.

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The survey, which questioned 2,000 people around the UK, found that nearly one in five, at 18.9%, of people have borrowed money to pay for part or all of their special day.

While 53% of those who took out loans or used their credit cards said their wedding was worth every penny, a third wished they had borrowed a bit less and 14% would rather not have borrowed any money at all.

Couples in the East and West Midlands and North East are the most likely to regret borrowing and among the quickest to pay off the debt afterwards. More than half of those that borrowed in the Midlands and two thirds in the North East said they wished they had borrowed less or not at all.

Londoners are the most likely, at 53%, to still have wedding debt hanging over them but they are also the biggest borrowers, with 29% taking out up to £5,000 or more and 8% building up debts of between £5,000 and £20,000. A further 2% of London based couples have borrowed more than £20,000.

Almost three quarters, at 73%, of brides and grooms aged 18 to 24 borrow to fund their wedding, possibly because they have the least amount of time to save. But more worryingly, nearly two thirds of the people in this age group, at 62%, borrow up to £2,500, while those in the next age group, 25 to 34, are the most likely to borrow between £5,000 and £10,000.

Ian Williams, a spokesman for lender Ocean Finance, says: “With the average cost of weddings estimated to be just under £18,000, there is a huge amount of pressure on couples-to-be to make sure their wedding day lives up to everyone’s expectations.

“But while you want it to be a day that you will remember for the rest of your life, you want that to be for the right reasons. Living under the shadow of a large amount of debt is definitely not a good way to start married life.

“Out of control debt is a major cause of rows between couples. So as part of the wedding plans, we would urge people to plan a budget and work out how much they can afford to borrow – and repay – comfortably.”

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