Consider this: a loan of up to $10,000 towards your wedding, which you don’t have to pay back – unless you get a divorce. And then, you’re paying it back with interest. Would you take it? This is the premise of new company SwanLuv, and yes, it’s for real (as reported by Business Insider UK).

The Seattle-based enterprise is taking applications from engaged couples and hopes to start doling out the funds in February. Using online data and algorithm software to assess the strength of your relationship, your interest rate will depend on their results.  

The catch? Your funds are being basically being provided by the payments of couples who haven’t made it. Awkward.

I’m not sure what I think about it all, but I do know that it does make me feel uncomfortable. On the one hand, the people behind this could be marriage advocates who want to reward and encourage commitment, and perhaps make divorcees pay. Or they could be money-hungry individuals who realise that couples don’t start out with the intention of divorce but in a huge number of cases they will break up. Talk about making money from others’ misfortune.

Which leads us to another interesting question: will SwanLuv really be selflessly loaning money to those with “stronger” relationships, or will they approve the “weaker” couples instead and so support their own business interests?

Don’t get me wrong, there will definitely be those who argue that this loan system benefits marriage. For example, it might make a couple think about whether they are really in it for the long haul, or if they assume that divorce is a normal passage of life. Because of course, this would be a very silly offer to take if you were expecting a less-than-lifetime relationship!

Also, SwanLuv offers free marriage counseling. Perhaps this motivates couples to take this route before throwing in the towel – I certainly think that good counseling has the potential to save a rocky marriage. Not to mention that a bit more thought might go into the end of a relationship if a couple knows that there will be a hefty bill to pay at the end of it all, or if it makes them remember the optimism with which they started out.

But at the end of the day, it promotes the wrong attitude. It reduces a relationship to money, which, as my husband aptly put it, should be at the bottom of anyone’s motivation list when it comes to getting married or getting a divorce. A marriage shouldn’t start with the gamble of putting your money on the line, so to speak. And the extra bill at the end of the relationship sure adds insult to injury.

With weddings so pricey these days however, couples are sure to want this loan. The business is not even up and running and there are already so many brides-to-be posting excitedly on their Facebook page. For those couples who get the loan and stay together, all the best – but I do think it’s something I’d personally avoid.

What do you think? Great idea or just horrible?

Tamara El-Rahi is an associate editor of MercatorNet. A Journalism graduate from the University of Technology Sydney, she lives in Australia with her husband and two daughters.