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What You Need to Know About Fertility Financing

What You Need to Know About Fertility Financing
Lauren Ward

Lauren Ward

Updated June 17, 2022
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Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
Having a child is expensive, but it becomes even more costly when fertility treatments are needed to help with pregnancy. The average cost for one in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle is more than $12,400, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Many patients undergo multiple rounds of IVF. And, not all states require insurers to cover these medical costs, leaving many would-be parents responsible for most, if not all, of the bill.If you’re exploring fertility treatment but don’t have enough savings to cover your out-of-pocket costs, you may want to look into fertility financing. Fertility loan options include specialized fertility financing companies, general personal loans, payment plans offered by fertility treatment centers, home equity loans, and credit cards. Here’s a look at how each one of these financing options work.

What Is Fertility Financing?

Fertility financing is designed to help individuals cover the costs that come along with reproductive health treatments. Many fertility treatment centers partner with specialized lenders that offer financing specifically for IVF, fertility medications, storing eggs, and related treatments. You can also find specialized fertility lenders online and apply to them directly.Another option for fertility financing is to take out a general personal loan. Typically, a personal loan can often be used for any purpose, including covering the cost of medical and fertility treatments. In some cases, a general lender might offer a slightly lower interest rate than a specialty fertility lender, so it can be worthwhile to shop around and compare loan rates before deciding on a fertility loan.

How Does Fertility Financing Work?

Fertility and personal loans generally work the same way: You borrow a lump sum of money (the loan principal), then pay it back – plus interest – in equal monthly installments over a set period of time (the loan’s term). These loans typically come with a fixed interest rate, which means it won’t change during the loan’s term.To get a more accurate sense of what a fertility loan will cost you, you generally want to take a look at the annual percentage rate (APR), which includes both the interest rate plus any loan fees. This allows you to make an apples-to-apples comparison of different loan offers.

What Can a Fertility Loan Be Used for?

A fertility loan or personal loan can be used to cover the many different costs involved in fertility treatment, including:
  • Fertility and genetic testing
  • Medications
  • IVF treatments
  • Egg storage
There’s a lot of leeway in terms of the ways to use a personal loan or other personal financing, so you can often use the funds to cover treatments, as well as anything else that comes up. You usually don’t need to report to the lender on how you spend the money.  If you choose a fertility loan from a specialized IVF lender, however, you will likely only be able to use it to pay for your treatment.

Are There Fertility Loans for Bad Credit?

Yes. It is possible to get a personal loan for bad credit and use it for fertility treatments. However, you can expect to pay a higher interest rate when your credit score is below average, which means your monthly payments will likely be higher. In some cases, a lender may require you to get a secured loan to compensate for a low credit score. That means you’ll need to use an asset, such as a savings account, car, or your home, to use as collateral for the loan. The collateral is at risk of being taken by the lender if you default on the loan. But the advantage is that you may qualify for a lower rate with a secured loan. 

What Are the Requirements for Fertility Loans? 

Getting approved for a personal loan or another type of fertility finance product is similar to getting approved for any type of loan or credit. There are three main factors that a lender looks at:
  • Annual income Lenders typically have minimum income requirements to ensure borrowers have the means to repay a loan. You may be asked to provide evidence of income, such as recent tax returns, monthly bank statements, pay stubs, or signed letters from employers.
  • Credit score Your credit score plays a large role in whether or not you get approved for a fertility or personal loan, as well as what your interest rate will be. A personal loan for fair credit, for instance, will typically come with a higher rate than one for excellent credit.
  • Debt-to-income ratio This compares your monthly debt payments to your monthly pre-tax income, and impacts how much you’re able to borrow for your fertility loan. Lenders have a maximum percentage of your monthly income that can go towards debt payments. Your new monthly payment on a fertility loan, plus your existing debt load, needs to stay under this max.
With online lenders, you can often pre-qualify for a loan and then review rates without impacting your credit score.

Fertility Loan & Other Financing Options 

Personal Loan 

Personal loans are available from online lenders, credit unions, and banks. And, in some cases, they offer funding amounts as much as $50,000. Banks sometimes have restrictions on how you can use the funds from a personal loan, however, so before applying with a bank, you may want to make sure you can use the funds to pay for fertility treatments. With most personal loans, the interest rate is fixed, which means you can rely on consistent monthly payments. An unsecured personal loan means you don’t have to put up any collateral to get approved for funding. A secured personal loan requires you to use some sort of personal property as collateral.

Credit Cards 

The average American has four credit cards, making it a tempting option to use for fertility financing. However, with the average APR ranging between about 14% and 19%, this can be a costly way to finance fertility treatment. One affordable way to use a credit card for fertility financing is to find one that offers a 0% introductory APR  for at least 12 months. If you’re able to pay off the balance before the promotional rate ends, it could end up being a zero interest fertility loan. 

Payment Plan

Many fertility clinics offer their own in-house financing to help clients pay for their treatments. Just like other lending options, your application will be evaluated based on your credit score, debt, and income. Instead of receiving loan funds to pay your own bills, the money goes straight to the clinic to pay for your fertility treatments.Some medical providers will also offer fertility payment plans. Payment plans allow you to spread out the cost of treatment over a certain period of time in order to make it more manageable. And, because these aren’t loans, there isn’t any interest. However, these plans typically offer shorter time frames and higher monthly payments than fertility loans.

HSA/FSA

Using a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) can be a great way to pay for fertility treatments. Since both types of accounts have tax advantages, going this route can make the treatment more affordable. HSAs are available to people with high-deductible health plans, while FSA are available to anyone. You can open these accounts on your own or through your employer, if offered.

Home Equity Financing 

If you have a good amount of equity built up in your home, you may be able to take out a home equity loan or line of credit to finance your fertility treatment. This type of financing uses your home as collateral, so you can often get a low interest rate. However, you’ll need to watch out for potentially high fees. Also keep in mind that, should you have trouble paying back the loan, you could risk losing your home.Recommended: Home Equity Loans vs Personal Loans: Pros and Cons Comparison 

Where to Get a Fertility Loan

You can borrow the money you need for fertility treatment either from a specialized fertility financing company or from a bank, credit union, or online lender that offers general personal loans. To find the best deal, it’s a good idea to shop around and compare each option side-by-side. With Lantern by SoFi’s lending marketplace, you can access personal loan offers from multiple lenders with just one short application.
Photo credit: iStock/BreakingTheWalls
The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice. SOLC0122040

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get fertility loans with bad credit?
What are the requirements for fertility loans?

About the Author

Lauren Ward

Lauren Ward

Lauren Ward is a personal finance expert with nearly a decade of experience writing online content. Her work has appeared on websites such as MSN, Time, and Bankrate. Lauren writes on a variety of personal finance topics for SoFi, including credit and banking.
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