How to Pay for an Engagement Ring

A man wraps his arms around his fiance as she shows off her new engagement ring that he financed.

A wedding—and even more so a marriage—is supposed to be fun, but before you get there, one-half of the couple usually springs for a ring. Unfortunately, buying an engagement ring can be a complicated process for some, especially since the average cost of an engagement ring was $5,900 in 2019, according to The Knot 2019 Jewelry and Engagement Study.

There are less expensive—especially non-diamond—alternatives worth first considering. But if you're set on something specific, here are some options to consider for financing your engagement ring.

Paying with Your Savings Account

One of the easiest ways to purchase an engagement ring is to buy it outright, using money that you’ve saved up to do so. If you’re going to go this route, make sure that you’ve set a (realistic) budget, and that buying a ring with cash won’t completely drain you of your liquid assets.

With a little forethought, the best way to buy an engagement ring with personal savings is to set your budget, open up a savings account specifically for the ring (shop around for one with a good interest rate), give yourself an approximate timeline to save, and then put a little away each month in order to reach your goal. Bolster your savings even more by putting any money from a raise, bonuses or cash gifts into the savings account, as well.

Opening a 0% Introductory Card

Without the cash to cover the cost of an engagement ring, some people might turn to credit cards. Of course, going into debt to purchase a ring isn’t a great idea, and it’s not a great way to head into wedding planning or marriage, either. The best-case scenario for using a credit card to purchase an engagement ring would be to open one with a 0% introductory interest offer. These cards allow you to make purchases that you don’t have to pay interest on for a certain number of months. It’s an easy way to buy a ring upfront and take your time to pay for it, without paying a ton in interest charges.

If you do want to apply for one of these cards, be sure to read the fine print to ensure you understand how they work—missing a payment or paying late could make the offer void, meaning you’ll start paying interest. Also, the one catch about these types of cards is that you usually have to have a pretty good credit score to be eligible for the offer. If you’re interested in going this route, check your credit score first. If you’re in the bad or fair range, you should probably work on increasing your credit score before applying to increase your chances of acceptance.

Paying with Jeweler Financing

Another option for engagement ring payment is to look for a little help directly from the source—your jeweler. In some cases, you might be able to find a jeweler who is willing to work with you on a payment process. Some even offer deals similar to the 0% interest credit cards, allowing you to defer full payment of the ring for a certain number of months, paying it off in installments before you owe interest.

Like a 0% interest card, be sure to ask about all the details before signing on any dotted lines. Try to go through this process before finding a ring that you love, too. It can be hard to walk away from something you have your heart set on getting if, in the end, the jeweler won’t work with you to finance it.

Taking Out a Personal Loan

When all else fails, you can always consider taking out a personal loan to obtain an engagement ring. This will have a higher interest rate than the other options, but in most cases, a personal loan can offer a decent rate compared to regular credit cards, with reasonable payback terms. As with the 0% interest credit card, the better a financial candidate you are (with a good or excellent credit score), the more likely you’ll be to get loans with the best rate offers.

Popping the question can be nerve-wracking, but financing an engagement ring doesn’t have to be. With a little research and planning, anyone can purchase the ring of their dreams, without going into debt to do so.

The views expressed by the author are not necessarily those of Fifth Third Bank, National Association, and are solely the opinions of the author. This article is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute the rendering of legal, accounting, or other professional services by Fifth Third Bank, National Association or any of their subsidiaries or affiliates, and are provided without any warranty whatsoever. Deposit and credit products provided by Fifth Third Bank, Member FDIC.