There it is. The engagement ring of your dreams. It’s shiny and it’s pretty and it’s a rock…okay, more like a pebble…and you are ready to make the leap and marry your long-time high school sweetheart, Janey Sue.
Ahh, crap. Right. High School. You turned 18 and spent money like a drunken sailor, and as a result, your credit score is damn near two digits. Seems bad. How on earth will you ever marry Janey Sue and settle down?
Fear not, dear reader. While the foolish decisions of a misspent youth may have hurt your credit score, you’re not completely out of luck. There are still jewelry store credit cards available to you, even if you have bad credit. It may be harder — and odds are decent that you’re going to have to pay out the nose when it comes to your interest rates — but yes, it can be done.
Jewelry Store Credit Cards For People With Bad Credit Table of Contents
Can You Get Jewelry Store Credit Cards if You Have Bad Credit?
Here’s the thing about bad credit: It isn’t fatal. Even people who made the worst financial decisions of their lives can probably find a way to get a credit card, and this also applies to jewelry stores or other specific store credit cards.
Keep this in mind though: Just like the aftermath of shots night at the bar the other day, there are penalties for past decisions. Bad credit means that companies view you as more of a financial risk than someone with fair, good, or excellent credit. Not as many will be willing to deal with your previous financial shenanigans. Some will, of course. However, they’re going to charge you a small fortune in interest rates, and you may also have to meet other financial requirements.
Fortunately for you, there are specific jewelry store credit cards that you can get — even with bad credit.
What Is Bad Credit?
First, let’s remember what “credit” means here. “Credit” is actually your credit score. All of us have a credit score, a magical three-digit number determined by the three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) who calculate this score. Your score is based on a few different factors, including:
- Payment history — also the most important factor for your credit score — meaning that you made on-time payments.
- How much you owe/how high of a percentage of your debt is when compared with the total amount of debt available to you.
- Your credit history length, meaning how old your oldest card is. Less history means more risk.
- Credit mix, or having a bunch of different types of loans. Having debt isn’t a problem for your credit score. In fact, it can be a good thing.
- Credit inquiries, meaning that you have formally applied for a new card or loan. This has a negative impact on your score, but it’s usually brief and minor.
Bad credit is a category within each credit score. The number depends on which credit bureau you are discussing, but it usually comes as a result of multiple things going wrong, such as a history of missed payments and a high debt load. If you have a poor credit score, you are going to get denied for loans, and you may find that the credit cards you are able to charge you a small fortune in interest rates. This is one of the many, many reasons why it is so important to maintain a good credit score.
What Are Jewelry Store Credit Cards?
A lot of major stores offer specific credit cards that can only be used within the store. These are credit cards that are designed by and probably usable only at the store in question. They extend a limited line of credit that allows you to make a purchase within that store. Many stores also have specific deals with their credit cards that involve more favorable payment terms or discounts that are specific to that store. You have probably seen examples, like the Target REDCard, which can only be used in Target stores but gives customers 5% off of any purchase.
Jewelry store credit cards probably work the same way…minus the discount. That’s a shame. In this case, these credit cards allow people to make the purchase of a major piece of jewelry, such as an engagement or wedding ring. Look at a credit card as a method of financing, not a discounting or marketing campaign by the store.
Buying an Engagement Ring with Bad Credit
Yeah, engagement rings can get expensive. How expensive? Well, the average engagement ring costs $6,000. That…that is not cheap.
First and foremost, don’t be a moron. Engagement rings are important, but you shouldn’t need to donate a portion of your kidney to afford one. Make sure that the cost of the ring is something that you can pay back over time, otherwise, you’re going to be entering your marriage even further behind the financial eight ball!
Let’s say you do find an affordable engagement ring, but you still need to take out a loan or get a credit card to get it — and let’s say that you have bad credit. Don’t worry, you aren’t screwed. Many stores have specific credit cards that are meant for people with bad credit. You may find that the fine print means you have to pay back the loan quickly to avoid the interest hit (more on that shortly), but it can be done.
Buying Wedding Rings with Bad Credit
Buying a wedding ring on bad credit can also be difficult. While wedding rings aren’t usually quite as expensive as engagement rings (usually averaging around $1,000), this can still be a good-sized financial hit.
However, the lower total cost of a wedding ring is probably good news for you: It means that the ring may be more affordable. As such, even people with bad credit may find that they can get a credit card with a very low credit limit and pay off the wedding ring over time.
What Are the Top 5 Jewelry Store Credit Cards for People with Bad Credit
Major jewelry store chains do offer credit cards. This includes:
However, there’s a catch: How bad is your credit? If it’s too low, you may be out of range for any of these credit cards. Alternatively, you may not qualify for some of the discounts, like a promotional period of no interest or balance transfers. In this instance, you may not be able to get a store credit card and may need more general credit cards that are geared toward people with bad credit.
Should I Get a Jewelry Store Credit Card or a Personal Loan?
Tough to say, and the answer completely depends on your personal financial situation.
Jewelry store credit cards are combined marketing and financial tools. This means that the store may give you certain discounts that you just can’t get anywhere else, including reduced interest rates and more favorable terms. Personal loans may be able to do the same, but at the end of the day, it depends on your financial situation.
What does this mean? You’re going to need to sit down and do some homework. Find out the various terms between a personal loan and a jewelry store. Consider the following:
- Promotional periods — how long interest will be deferred or reduced.
- Total interest rate.
- Term of the loan, meaning how long you have to pay it back and how much you’ll pay over the entire life of the loan.
Personal loans are probably going to be easier to get if you have bad credit. However, the interest rate may be destructively high. Jewelry store credit cards may also charge you a small fortune, but they may also have promotional periods that enable you to save money if you can get the loan paid back quickly.
In other words: There’s no set answer. You’re going to have to figure it out with some legwork.
What Should You Look Out for in the Fine Print When Getting a Jewelry Store Credit Card?
“NO INTEREST JEWELRY STORE CREDIT CARD! PAY ZERO INTEREST!*”
Looks great, right? Ahhh, yeah, see that little asterisk? That asterisk can get expensive.
The fine print can be a killer on a credit card, especially those specifically geared toward people with bad credit.
The main trick: the interest-free payment. Let’s say you are able to get a credit card for people with bad credit, and you have a 12-month period to pay back the cost of the credit card. Great news, right? Well, let’s say that you take 13 months, but when you open up your statement on month 13, you see HUNDREDS in interest rates. What happened?
The fine print, my friend. The fine print.
Many of these cards get real cute: If you are a day late, or if you take more than the promotional period, all of the interest calculations will come back to bite you. That’s right, if you are late or take longer than the promotional period, you’ll be expected to pay all of the interest — just like if there was never a promotional period to begin with. This, of course, can be a massive financial hit.
Another common trick is increasing interest rates. You may have a low-interest rate at first, like only 5%. But each month, it gets a little higher. Or, after the promotion period expires, your interest rate hits 20%.
In other words…read the fine print. Make sure you know what you are getting into.
Share this article if you know someone trying to buy an engagement ring, but they have poor credit…
Bad credit? That’s not good, and you should concentrate on getting your credit score improved to better position yourself for financial success. However, sometimes, love can’t wait, and you may need a jewelry store credit card to get the engagement or wedding ring of your dreams. Fortunately, you’re in luck: There are jewelry store credit cards for people with bad credit. Just make sure you do your homework, find a good credit card that charges the most reasonable interest rate you can afford, and read the damn fine print so you don’t get screwed.
Is your bestie trying to buy a ring but can’t figure out how to afford it? Do them a solid: Send them this article, and make sure they know what they are doing before they make the purchase!