Bottom Line Up Front - Whether you buy online or in-store, there are multiple engagement ring financing options. Some of these include 90 days same as cash, layaway, store financing, deferred interest, and installment plans. Returns vary by each retailer, but most offer at least 30 days.
If you can’t afford to pay for a ring in full, there are several financing options available. Or, perhaps it makes more fiscal sense for you to make smaller payments over time for other reasons. Either way, we’ve got you covered.
Before you go down this path, it’s worth asking yourself if this makes sense, or if you should lower your budget to a more affordable ring. Some men feel pressure to break the bank. We get it, we did too. While this varies, person to person, our general advice holds true: don’t hamstring your future financial stability over a ring that is outside of your budget. At the end of the day, you want a happy marriage. Spending outside your budget on a ring isn’t going to make it any happier.
There are a variety of different financing options, and they differ whether you purchase in store or online.
Common brick and mortar store financing options
90 days same as cash
90 days same as cash is a common in store financing option for jewelry stores as well as furniture and electronic stores. It’s pretty simple, but there is a catch. If you are able to pay the full amount within 90 days, then this is a no-brainer option for you. Paying in full, within 90 days will not incur you any additional interest or payment.
But, if you have a remaining balance after 90 days, you will have to pay interest on the full purchase price, not just your remaining balance. For example, if you purchase a ring for $6,000 and pay $5,000 by 90 days of your purchase date, you will then have to pay the remaining $1,000 and interest on the $6,000. Therefore, be very careful when choosing this type of financing. You should be 100% confident that you can repay the full amount within the allotted 90 day period.
Layaway is a very common financing method that’s been around since the 1930’s. When someone buys a ring on layaway, they agree to make smaller payments for the item, but they do not receive the item until they have fully paid. In return, the store will agree to take it off the shelf and keep it on “layaway” for you. If you ever change your mind or cannot complete the payments, the money is usually returned to you, minus a fee from the store. Some stores may also charge a fee to keep it on layaway. Each store is different, so be sure to ask for details if you buy in person.
There are several types of in-store financing such as deferred interest, installment plans, and layaway (covered above). Deferred interest plans are similar to 90 days same as cash, but you only pay interest on the remaining balance. Installment plans require a downpayment for the ring, followed by monthly payments. If you’d like to read more, this article covers these financing options in great detail.
Common online purchase financing options:
Deferred Interest if Paid in Full within 6 Months
Deferred interest loans are great when you pay the whole thing off in the allotted time. So if you are able to pay the full ring purchase off within 6 months, you just got an interest free loan for a big ticket item – that’s awesome!
But, if you are unable to pay the loan off within 6 months, you will have to pay the interest that has accrued since day 1 of the purchase. And it will likely be at a high rate (probably over 20%). We recommend reading the fine print to know what you are getting into with this financing option. But if you are confident you can pay it back within 6 months, it’s a great option!
As discussed above, this is identical to what many brick and mortar stores offer. You essentially make a downpayment on the ring, and then agree to pay monthly installments until it is paid in full. These monthly installments pay back the original price of the ring, plus interest. The interest rate for these varies, but is usually around 9-10%.
What happens is she doesn’t like her ring? Can I return it?
Isn’t this what every guy is thinking about? We certainly were. We did all of our research and landed on the perfect ring four our girlfriends. But that thought was always in the back of our minds…what if she doesn’t like the ring we picked out?
If you’re buying the ring in secret, there are at least some ways you can reduce this risk. Maybe she has dropped hints on certain styles and settings. You can creep on her pinterest board for inspiration. Or perhaps you can ask a close friend of hers for any tips – just make sure the friend doesn’t spill the bean!
But even if she doesn’t like the ring you picked out, jewelry companies know this can happen and they have your back. All major stores may differ slightly in policy, but they generally offer a 30 day return policy for undamaged rings. So what does this mean for you? Try to plan the proposal shortly after buying the ring so that you have a grace period for her to let you know if she wants a different one.
And guys, just remember this. Even if your girlfriend doesn’t like the specific ring you picked out, she LOVES you and she will love being proposed to – that’s what matters. As long as you have a window to return the ring, you’ve got nothing to sweat about.