This topic is of great interest to me. I will start out by saying that I am old school (because I am old) when discussing consumer debt. I was raised in a small Midwestern town of 3000 back in the fifties and sixties. Our mantra was, cash is king! We were taught if you didn’t have the money, don’t buy it! If you used a credit card, make sure you paid the balance off each month. I know that sounds unrealistic in today’s impatient-want the best now-consumer culture.
I apologize for coming across as a little “preachy” but hear me out. Buying an engagement ring is one of the most emotional decisions of your life. Forget for a moment about the technical details of the 4C’s (clarity, cut, color and carat weight). An engagement ring is a public declaration of your love and devotion to another human being. You will no longer be autonomous but united together as one. Decision making is now a process of collaboration.
I have been married twice. My first wife passed away months after we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. I was remarried the next year and we will be celebrating our 8th anniversary in January of 2022.
When I purchased my first engagement ring, I was a college student working a full-time job. The ring was purchased at K-mart (really!) I paid $100.00. It was a quarter-carat round diamond solitaire in yellow gold. That was a good amount of money back in the early ’70s. The minimum wage was just a little over a dollar an hour. During our forty years together, I updated the ring several times. Each time I paid cash. The same thing happened when I remarried. It is my humble (but usually correct) opinion that starting off a relationship with consumer debt is not the most prudent way to start. Especially when one of the top reasons for couples to divorce revolves around the mishandling of money.
Now you understand where I am coming from. I thought it would give you some perspective before I discussed the nuts and bolts of this subject. That’s the fun of writing for Rare Carat. They allow you to get under people's skin a little if it will help them. Telling the truth is not always popular but someone has to do it (I rather enjoy it)! Ha! Ha! Here are a few guidelines to follow if you do decide to finance your engagement ring.
Do What Is Right For You!
I have lived 68 years on this planet. When I was younger, I was more concerned about what others thought than I am today. Some of you had affluent parents. They provided a nice home and you didn’t have to worry about pinching pennies. It most likely took them many decades to build up their wealth unless they had a large inheritance.
You might be experiencing some pressure from your friends to buy that Mac Daddy engagement ring. If you have the resources great! But if you are like most of us, you will be living on a budget. The key here is communication with your future spouse. You must devise a spending plan both of you can live with. When it comes to major purchases, it is imperative that you are in agreement. Forcing your future mate to go against their will sets a dangerous precedence.
Shop For The Best Rates
If you decide to finance your engagement ring, make sure you get the best interest rates based on your credit history. Some types of credit cost more than others. Here are some options beginning with the most expensive:
• Revolving Credit. This is the most easily obtainable type of credit. It is typically offered by retailers. Because they want you to spend money with them, approval parameters are relaxed. For this privilege, they will charge you the double-digit interest rates. Use this type of credit sparingly and don’t carry a large balance.
• Personal Unsecured. A loan that requires no collateral. It can be used to rebuild, establish credit or make purchases.
• Secured Credit Card. Like a debit card. The credit limit is determined by money in a holding account.
• Unsecured Credit Card. A line of credit based on your payment history and income.
• No Limit Credit Card. These require excellent credit and substantial income.
• Bank Or Credit Union Loan. These loans are the hardest to qualify for and offer the best interest rates.
• No Interest Short Term Loans. These are usually offered by shopping channels or PayPal. You divide the amount borrowed and pay it back over a period of months.
• Family And Friends. These are the easiest loans to qualify for. However, they should only be used as a last resort. Make sure payback terms are in writing.
Do Your Homework
There are so many options when it comes to financing your engagement ring. The good news is there are plenty of great online resources like Rare Carat. If at all possible, pay cash. If not, get the best possible terms. Engagement rings are expensive and you don’t want to add excessive interest to the cost!
Learn about the financing options offered at Rare Carat HERE. If you still have questions, click on that little bubble over on the right of the screen to chat with one of our graduate gemologists.