Are you willing to bet on your marriage?
A new Seattle start-up company is.
Swanluv, which launches on February 14th, will give you up to $10,000 to have the wedding of your dreams, and you don’t have to pay them one bit. However, if you get divorced, you have to pay all of it back — with interest.
Swanluv determines which couples receive the money and what their interest rate will be based on how likely the couple is to get divorced or stay together. Its website states, “We leverage online data and algorithm software technology to quickly assess applicant risk to determine offers.”
So far, the company hasn’t given much more information than that about its selection process. However, it has revealed that couples with stronger relationships can expect higher interest rates.
Because it isn’t revealing much about its process, how can you know if Swanluv would be willing to put its money on you?
Well, in the United States, about 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. This means that at face value, both you and Swanluv have pretty fair odds. But this doesn’t mean that Swanluv isn’t using statistics to help make an educated choice of whom to pull on the slot machine of love.
For example, a clear indicator of divorce is whether you’ve been married previously. Divorce rates skyrocket based on the number of times you’ve been married before. Sixty percent of second marriages and almost 75 percent of third marriages end in divorce.
Furthermore, the age that you move in together makes a big difference. The younger the couple is when they move in together, the more likely they are to divorce later on.
Other factors, such as race and educational background, can also make a difference in whether you’ll stay together, according to statistics.
While it may seem that this company is attempting to profit off divorce, this isn’t actually its objective. According to Swanluv’s website, 100 percent of the money divorced couples pay back to Swanluv is used to fund other weddings; and the company’s profits are generated through advertising. In fact, Swanluv is hoping to encourage couples to stay together. Swanluv’s co-founder, Scott Avy, told The Washington Post, “Swans, they mate for life. That’s what we’re trying to get behind, everlasting marriage.”
It does seem like the company really is rooting for couples to stay married. The reality of being slammed with a $10,000 debt (in addition to regular divorce fees) isn’t the only way Swanluv is trying to encourage couples to stay together. Swanluv also offers free marriage counseling. Furthermore, there is an escape clause that says an abused partner does not have to pay any of the money back if he or she chooses to leave the marriage — further suggesting that the company really is trying to encourage committment to healthy marriages.
On the other hand, it doesn’t seem possible that this company could stay afloat if none of its clients get divorced.
At the end of the day, Swanluv may provide a great opportunity for couples who believe their marriage is going to last forever. But then again, isn’t that everyone?