An American website says that the average cost of a wedding has gone up to $ 30,000. Now if you adjust this for purchasing power this is about Rs. 10L (say).
Indian marriages cost much, much more than that. More like Rs. 20 lakhs for a decent wedding to about Rs. 1 crore for a post upper middle class wedding. Let us not go into the destination weddings and things of that genre.
Why do Indian weddings cost so much? Simply because it is the parents of the groom and the bride who do the spending. I cannot imagine the 28 year old groom and the 25 year old bride to be able to put together Rs. 30,00,000 for a grand wedding. Given a choice they would choose to have a Rs. 300,000 wedding and never more than that!
But hey, this is about marriage / wedding debt, right? So let us look at it:
1. Never borrow for a expenditure: borrowing for meeting the expenses of a wedding sounds very stupid, and should be avoided. The worst thing about borrowing for spending on the marriage ceremony is you repay on a monthly basis – and it looks like a cruel reminder of your mistake! This is the best advice…but….you know how it is…
2. Once the marriage ceremony is over, sit down an tabulate all your expenses, and see how much have you borrowed. If you have borrowed from your own company, your parents, your bank and your credit card, decide on the prioritization while repaying. Obviously you will repay the most expensive loans first, but do remember if you are not paying interest on the borrowing, there is a moral obligation to pay it off quickly – parents could be in that list.
3. Make sure that both of you do not borrow for any other luxury / need till this amount is paid off…: whether one of you is paying off the debt or both of you are, make sure that you do not go and borrow for a car, house, vacation…repay fast, because wedding loans are usually very expensive.
4. If you have a big amount of debt and it is on your credit card see if you can take a loan and repay the credit card in full. Normally credit card debt is very expensive. So borrow from anywhere, but make sure that the loan is used to repay the credit card in full, and then start paying the marriage loan EMI. If your parents are rich enough to spare you this amount, even better, but make sure that you pay them interest and repay the loan fast. Making that offer is decency.
5. Tighten your belt and repay as fast as possible.
6. In a worst case scenario if you are going to miss a couple of instalments, be proactive and tell the banker – if possible extend the loan for a longer period or borrow afresh and/ or increase the security lying with them (if any).
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