Asking for Student Loan Money on Your Registry
If you’re in the throes of wedding planning, one item on your ever growing to-do list might be setting up your registry. Maybe you don’t actually need a lot of the home goods that are traditionally listed on a wedding registry so you’ve been putting it off.
Maybe in the back of your mind, the outstanding student debt you or your partner owe is weighing on you. You’re tempted to ask your family and close friends to give you a cash wedding gift that you can use to accelerate paying off your debt. There’s just one problem—you don’t know how to ask for money for student loans instead of gifts.
After all, many people consider it a social faux pas when a couple asks for a cash wedding gift. If you’re wondering how to ask for money as a wedding gift without offending your guests, we’ve compiled our best tips to help avoid any pre-wedding fallouts.
Luckily, many people understand how difficult it is to manage student debt—even with the best repayment programs and refinancing options—and want to give couples wedding gifts that will help set them up for a happy life together.
If that’s not going to be accomplished with bone china, they want to know. With these tips, you can make your guests feel comfortable and avoid adding to your homeware collection in favor of paying off your student loan debt.
1. Make How You Plan to Spend the Money Clear
Cash can sometimes feel like an impersonal gift. Letting your guests know you plan to use the money to pay off your student loan debt can help your guests feel more connected to your plan and future.
Adding a personal touch to why you’re asking for the money—how it will help accelerate your student loan payments so you can focus on bigger financial goals like starting a family and owning a home—will help make your request for a cash gift seem more intimate.
2. Don’t Make Cash Wedding Gifts the Only Option
In a perfect world, all of your friends and family members would gift you cash for your wedding, and it would be enough money to pay off all your student debt. But that’s not always the case.
While you might not understand why your aunt wants to give you a serving dish instead of cash toward your student debt, the reason is often deeply personal. Maybe one of her aunts gave her a special serving dish on her wedding and every time she uses it she thinks of that aunt.
People who want to give gifts instead of cash often want to provide a couple with a tangible thing that they can have and use throughout their married life that will bring to mind the gift giver. That’s a very sweet sentiment and the last thing you would want to do is make someone feel like that act of love is not appreciated.
Sometimes people want to give gifts because they don’t want the couple to know how much they spent. Your best friend from college who is struggling financially might feel terrible giving you a small cash gift, but would feel better if she put together a gift basket since it would show the thought and care she put into your gift.
Asking for cash gifts while also creating a registry for non-cash gifts gives people the option to choose which they’d prefer to gift you. And by creating a registry you’re making sure that even if they give you a more traditional gift, it’s something you’ll use as you embark on married life.
Consider registering for something like a crockpot, bread machine, or another item that you’ll use frequently and could also save you money down the line. Then put the money you save by making bread instead of buying it toward your student loan debt.
3. Decide How You’re Going to Ask
Weddings are full of traditions and etiquette and if you plan on asking for cash wedding gifts, you’ll want to make sure you do so in an appropriate way. Most people agree the one place your request for cash shouldn’t be included is in the wedding invitation.
You wouldn’t include a link to your registry on your invitation so you shouldn’t add a line asking for cash gifts. Instead, add your cash request to your wedding website where you would usually have a registry anyway.
Another option: add an insert to your wedding invitation suite. As your guests open the invitation and see their RSVP insert, they’ll also see a small note of your cash wedding gift request.
Another resource you should tap into? Your family and wedding party. Make sure to let your parents and wedding party know that you prefer to receive cash gifts for the wedding and ask them to tactfully spread the word. That way if any wedding guests ask your parents or close friends what you would like for the wedding, they are prepared with a polite response.
4. Consider a Student Loan Registry
Wish it wasn’t so hard to figure out how to ask for college money instead of gifts without insulting anyone? One way to make it a little easier is to set it up like a normal registry. Wedding registry sites like Thankful and Zola allow you to add the option for cash funds—you can use the money to pay off your student loans or even fund your honeymoon.
These sites let you tell a complete story so your guests can understand why you’re asking for cash to pay off your student loans. Giving your friends and family members the full picture of how much stress your student loans are causing you or that you want to pay off your loans before you buy a home or start a family, might make them more inclined to give you a cash wedding gift.
5. Thank Everyone
After the wedding, make sure you thank everyone for the gifts you received, regardless of whether or not they gave you cash or a more traditional wedding gift. Send a quick thank you note to each guest that mentions how you plan to use their gift.
If they gave you money toward your student loans tell them how much it means to have that much less stress. And if they gave you something else, thank them for it and tell them how excited you are to try out making bread in your new breadmaker.
A quick handwritten thank you note will take you just a few minutes to write and will go a long way in making each of your guests feel like they were an important part of your special day.
Consider Refinancing Your Student Loans
Another option to consider is student loan refinancing. When you refinance your student loans, you borrow a new loan from a private lender that is used to pay off your existing loans. When you refinance you get a new interest rate, monthly payment, and term.
With a strong credit history and earning potential, you could qualify to lower your interest rate which could cut down the money you spend in interest over the life of the loan.
You could also lower your monthly payments. By refinancing to a lower rate, you could improve your repayment timeline and make the cash wedding gifts go even further toward loan repayment.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.
No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.