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Engagement Ring Financing: Everything You Need to Know

By Mike Fried,

Buying an engagement ring is a significant financial commitment, and while the excitement of the occasion may tempt you to splurge, it’s essential to consider your budget. If you find that paying for the ring outright is not an option, various financing alternatives are available. Online jewelers like James Allen and Blue Nile offer in-house financing options that can be competitive. However, financing should generally be a last resort due to the potential for high interest rates and other fees that can quickly inflate the overall cost of the ring. Some other options include personal loans, credit cards, and layaway plans, each with its pros and cons.

Practical Tips for Engagement Ring Financing:

  1. Budget First: Before even considering financing, know how much you can afford to spend. Financing should not be an excuse to exceed your budget.
  2. Understand the Terms: Make sure you are aware of interest rates, monthly payments, and any potential fees before committing to a financing option.
  3. Shorter Terms Are Better: If you must finance, opt for the shortest term possible to minimize the amount paid in interest.
  4. Online Financing: If you’re buying from reputable online jewelers like James Allen or Blue Nile, look into their in-house financing options which can sometimes offer better rates.
  5. Avoid Financing If Possible: If you can wait and save up for the ring, it is the most financially responsible option.

Remember, an engagement ring is a symbol of your love and commitment, and it should not put you in financial hardship. Choose wisely, and make sure that any financing decision aligns with your longer-term financial goals.

To help you with the diamond buying process we lean on our expertise and experience. The author of this article, our CEO, Mike Fried has over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. Mike started from the bottom, sorting and evaluating hundreds of thousands of diamonds to learn every facet (pun intended) of diamond quality and value. Mike followed that up by spending years buying and selling diamonds on the wholesale market as well as selling tens of millions of dollars worth of diamonds to diamond retailers.

Bottom Line Recommendation:

We suggest not financing an engagement ring if at all possible. Usually, when you’re at the point of proposing, you’re also at a stage of life with other large financial hits coming your way: a wedding, preparing for a family or buying a house. Since the average wedding costs close to $30,000, financing an engagement ring is an easy way to add one additional expense to many others.

If you decide to finance your engagement ring, choose James Allen or Blue Nile financing. These jewelers offer the best deal (while many other jewelers will rip you off). Blue Nile and James Allen are reputable diamond dealers who deliver high-quality jewelry at an excellent price.

How to Finance an Engagement Ring

Financing an engagement ring allows you to purchase a ring that costs more than the cash you have on hand. When you finance, you agree to a payment plan or contract with the loaning entity. Promotional periods, interest rates and monthly payments are agreed upon upfront.

Four main options are available when it comes to financing an engagement ring:

1.  Finance Through a Jewelry Store

Almost every major jeweler offers a financing option. They usually promote interest-free financing for a certain period, such as 6 or 12 months.

It’s easy to be tempted by financing “deals” offered by well-known brick and mortar stores like Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, Kay Jewelers, Shane Co. and Zales. But their financing “deals” often come with a catch. If you don’t pay off the full amount within the promotional period, you’re subject to high interest rates and paying up to 50% more for the ring than its original cost.

As you can read in our reviews, we strongly suggest not purchasing from these jewelers. To see all of our candid reviews of jewelry companies, visit our Diamond Pro Reviews page.

If you do wish to finance through a jeweler, we recommend Blue Nile or James Allen. If you don’t qualify for financing with these two jewelers, the only companies you’re qualifying with are the ones ripping you off.

Blue Nile offers a credit card financing option with three choices:

  • No interest if paid in full within the promotional time period
  • Equal payments and 9.99% APR if paid in full within the promotional period
  • No special terms (with a 25 day grace period if the full balance is paid each month)

James Allen offers special financing to help you purchase the ring of your dreams. You have two choices:

  • Deferred interest if paid in full within the promotional time period
  • 9.90% APR with 24 monthly payments

A jeweler will run a credit report when you apply for financing, so choose your vendor first to avoid multiple inquiries hitting your credit report.

Deal Alert: Get 30% off lab-grown diamonds during a limited time sale at James Allen.

2. Finance Through a Personal Loan

Instead of financing through a jeweler, you can apply for a personal loan. A personal loan gives you the cash you need up front with the ability to pay the amount back over a period of time.

Personal loans come in two varieties: secured and unsecured. Secured loans require a collateral, like a car or a boat, in case you aren’t able to pay back the loan. Unsecured loans don’t require any collateral, but they will look at your financial history and credit.

Many personal loan companies will make their offerings seem great, but they usually charge initiation fees and high interest rates. We suggest steering clear of using personal loans for an engagement ring purchase if at all possible.

3. Finance Through a Credit Card

Like many other large purchases, like new furniture or appliances, engagement rings can be financed through a credit card. While some credit cards are better than others, you’ll often be subject to paying more for your ring due to interest rates.

If you do decide on a credit card for your engagement ring financing, look for a card that offers zero interest (at least for a promotional period). If you’re not able to find a credit card with zero interest, opt for one with a strong rewards program. You can get cash back or reward points toward things like travel and groceries.

Though we don’t recommend using credit cards to pay for your ring, make sure you can at least make the minimum monthly payments. Otherwise, you’ll be paying for your ring for many years into your marriage.

4. Alternative Financing

If you need assistance in purchasing an engagement ring but don’t want to go with one of the formal routes, consider these alternative options:

  • Borrow cash from a friend or family member
  • Work a side job to save up extra cash
  • Withdraw from your retirement savings
  • Sell belongings you no longer need
  • Scale back on your monthly spending

Receiving financial help for your engagement ring shouldn’t put you at a large disadvantage. If you don’t have enough cash for the type of ring you have in mind, consider lowering your budget or waiting a few months until you’ve saved up money.

Should You Finance an Engagement Ring?

In most cases, when you’re at the point of proposing, you’re at a stage of life with other large financial hits coming: a wedding, buying a house or preparing for a family. There ways to get your dream ring without breaking the bank.

That’s why we don’t advocate financing an engagement ring. Heading into married life together is easier and less stressful without additional debt added to the mix.

If you do need to finance a ring, consider our recommendations below on where to do it. Not all financing options are created equal, so be sure to find the best solution. Start your marriage with the least amount of debt possible.

Jewelry Stores That Finance

Here are some jewelry stores that offer payment plans or finance for engagement rings, and what they offer:

  • James Allen

    • Deferred interest if you pay in full within a 6-month promotional period (minimum $1,000 purchase).
    • 9.90% APR on 24 monthly payments (minimum $2,000 purchase, account must be in “good standing”).
    • 29.99% APR for accounts that do not qualify for the above rate.
  • Blue Nile

    • No interest if paid in full within the promotional period (6 months for purchases $500 – $1,499, 12 months for $1,500 and up, 18 months for Astor by Blue Nile purchases $2,000 and up).
    • 9.99% APR if paid in full in 24, 36, 48 or 60 months (depending on purchase price). Standard variable Purchase APR of 29.99% if not paid in time.
    • No special terms with a 25 day grace period for new purchases.
  • Brian Gavin Diamonds

    • 10-30% APR (based on your credit).
    • Monthly payment options of 3, 6, 12, 18, 24 or 36 months.
  • Tiffany & Co

    • 7.99% APR for a 24 month promotional period (8-21%, depending on your state, after this period if the total amount is not paid in full or if you make a late payment).
    • No interest for a 12 month promotional period (same rules as above if not paid in full).

Consider that the best financing option may not always be the best place to buy a ring. A store may offer attractive financing, but the actual diamonds they sell may be poor quality and overpriced.

Also important to note is that most financing plans become significantly more expensive if you don’t pay off the total amount within the promotional period. Stores may offer 6-12 months interest-free, which sounds fantastic. Until you’re hit with very high interest rates, from the time of purchase, if any balance remains after this time – even just $1.

If you go with financing that has a promotional period like this, be confident that you can pay off the entire amount within the interest-free period. Otherwise, you will end up paying a lot more than the actual price of your ring.

Best Place to Finance Engagement Ring

If you decide to finance your engagement ring, the best places to choose are Blue Nile and James Allen. Both are trustworthy and reliable jewelry vendors, so you can be comfortable you’re getting a high-quality piece of jewelry at an acceptable price.

Blue Nile offers credit card financing with three options to choose from, while James Allen offers special financing with two different choices. The financing offered by each company is reasonable, as long as you don’t overspend your budget.

If you don’t qualify for the financing through Blue Nile and James Allen, the only jewelers you’ll qualify for are going to be ripping you off. For example, we don’t recommend applying for financing through Jared or Zales. Read all of our reviews of the major jewelers to learn more.

While many of these vendors seem like they’re offering you a great deal, you’ll end up paying far more for your engagement ring than you should. At the end of the day, a quality vendor is more important than one with attractive financing options.

How to Buy an Engagement RIng With Bad Credit

Financing can be tricky if your credit score isn’t up to par. Many of the best and most attractive credit plans will require you to have credit in very good standing. If not, the plan will revert to something a lot less attractive.

Don’t forget, if something seems too good to be true – it is. This is particularly true in finance.

Here are some options to buy an engagement ring if you have bad credit:

Save Up and Pay Cash

This is by far the best option to buy an engagement ring if you have bad or no credit. Many lenders will invite you with the opportunity of financing on bad credit, but they’ll almost always come with exorbitantly high interest rates, that you’ll be paying for well into your marriage.

That’s why it’s a smarter option to bite the bullet and save up until you have the amount needed to buy your ring in cash.

You may need to make sacrifices in order to do this, but it will work out a lot better in the long run than taking out a predatory loan. These sacrifices may be money (giving up some luxuries like eating out while you save up) or time (working a little extra, such as a side job, or waiting a little longer to get married).

Lower Your Budget

If you have bad credit and little cash up front, you may have to be realistic about your budget. You probably can’t afford an expensive, lavish ring, but that doesn’t have to be your only choice. By shopping smart and going through reputable vendors, it’s possible to find a beautiful, meaningful ring that won’t cost the earth.

Financing Through a Jewelry Store

Jewelry stores will do a credit check too, so if your credit is really bad, this still may not work for you. However, many are a little more lenient in offering credit, compared to other credit card issuers. You may be able to qualify for a store credit card such as Blue Nile’s – just be careful to read the terms on your deal, and pay your balance within the promotional period.

Credit Cards with No Down Payment

Many credit cards can be opened with no down payment and an introductory period with 0% interest. While financing on a credit card is not a great idea, due to the interest rates accrued on a large purchase like an engagement ring, if you’re certain you can pay the amount off within the promotional period, this can be a decent solution.

Buy Second-Hand

If your finances are not in a good situation, it’s not going to help if you run out and spend a ton on an expensive ring. It will be best for you and your fiance to keep costs down and buy second-hand instead of splashing on a new ring. Discuss this with your fiance to see if this is right for the both of you.

Best Financing Options for Engagement Rings

What is really the best way to finance an engagement ring?

Ideally, you should save up enough to pay for the ring up front. Any time you finance a purchase as big as an engagement ring, it’s risky. Many people before you have wound up paying for the ring well into their marriage, due to finance plans that add a ton of interest on top of the purchase (which is already expensive). All it may take is to delay the purchase a little while you save up.

If you do need help financing an engagement ring, the finance options offered by James Allen and Blue Nile are the best. Both offer 6-12 months deferred interest, allowing you to pay nothing extra on top of the purchase price. As a bonus, these are the most reputable online jewelry vendors, so you can be confident you’re getting a good deal on the ring itself.

If you go down this route, ensure you are not borrowing an amount of money outside your means. You should know that you will be able to pay off the entire amount within the promotional period. Otherwise, you’ll end up with interest charged back to the purchase date, and a big bill on your hands. 

If you’re not confident that you can repay the cost of the ring within the promotional period, make sure that you understand how much interest you’re likely to pay in total. You can do this by using a calculator and entering the amount you plan to borrow, the interest rate and your repayment schedule.

How to Determine How Much to Spend on an Engagement Ring

Building a budget for your engagement ring can be tricky. You may have heard that you should put two months’ salary toward an engagement ring purchase. But this spending “rule” was constructed by marketers and jewelers in order to get buyers to spend more on rings.

Instead, your budget should be based on your unique financial situation and the desires of your fiancé (check out our tips on what to consider when choosing a ring). For help in setting your budget, read our article on how much to spend on an engagement ring.

Determining the Style of Ring She Wants

Gather information about what type of ring she desires (i.e. the setting, style, a diamond vs. a gemstone) to help you in your search for the perfect engagement ring. Follow our expert tips in this guide to determine the type of ring that will make her dreams a reality.

Final Thoughts on Financing an Engagement Ring

Overall, we encourage against financing an engagement ring if at all possible. Going with Blue Nile or James Allen financing will give you the best choice, though, if you decide to go with financing.

If you want to discuss shopping for an engagement ring, email our experts.

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab-created diamonds online.
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free International Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
  • One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
  • Free ring inscriptions
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging
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Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well-known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high-quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. 
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment
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About the author

Mike Fried Mike Fried Mike Fried has over 25 years experience in the diamond industry working with Leo Schachter Diamonds, Moshe Namdar Diamonds, and joining The Diamond Pro in 2007. He is recognized as an industry expert and has been quoted in publications such as Us, People, Page Six, The Next Web and more.

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