IVF Loans: Financing Options For In Vitro Fertilization
Hanna Kielar5-Minute Read
October 05, 2021
Paying for medical treatments can be a nightmare when you don’t have health insurance, and even if you do, there are certain procedures that are rarely covered by it. IVF is one such procedure that often receives limited or no coverage by insurance companies. The average cost of this procedure can be $10,000 – $15,000, or sometimes more.
For many Americans, that’s not an easy price to pay out of pocket. If your insurance plan doesn’t cover IVF, you may have to seek outside financial assistance. Fortunately, there are a number of options for IVF loans available to those in need. This article breaks down your best options when it comes to IVF financing so you can see for yourself what loans would best suit your situation.
What Are IVF Loans?
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a medical treatment for infertility that gives parents unable to conceive the chance to have biological children. As previously mentioned, this fertility treatment can be very expensive and isn’t always covered by an insurance plan – only 17 states mandate that insurers provide coverage for IVF.
IVF loans are a type of medical loan that can help pay for all or some of an IVF treatment. They’re offered through private lenders, credit unions and by lenders who specialize in financing fertility treatments. In addition to loans, IVF can be financed through qualifying grants and other means.
How To Get A Loan For IVF
Having a good or excellent credit score is perhaps the most important factor when getting a loan, for IVF or anything. Lenders will feel more comfortable lending to you if they’re confident they’ll see their money returned. Building your credit up can open up more financing options for you to explore, and can offer you more advantageous rates and terms for a loan. Keeping your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) low will also help you find the financing you need.
It’s also important to have some cash set aside for fees associated with loans. Personal loan lenders may charge an origination fee, for example. You should also consider if a loan will require a down payment or collateral. Your credit score may also take a hit if a hard inquiry is involved, but you can repair that by keeping up with your monthly payments.
When applying for a loan, you’ll usually be asked to provide personal information, such as your name, address, Social Security number and income information. You should have bank statements, pay stubs and tax forms ready to submit as well. Your income data will help prove to a lender that you’re creditworthy.
Options For Fertility Loans
Let’s take a look at some financing options for fertility treatment.
A personal loan is a lump sum you can borrow and use to pay for almost anything you need it for. Personal loans are typically unsecured (meaning they don’t require collateral), so you have one less thing to worry about when paying back the loan.
In order to get a personal loan, you should be able to prove your creditworthiness to a lender. Getting the best rate and term deals will depend largely on your credit score and DTI. A credit score of 650 or higher can usually net you a good interest rate, and the preferred DTI should be at or below 36%. Get prequalifications from multiple lenders to ensure you find the best deal possible. Once you’ve found who you want to work with, submit an application and any required documents.
If you’re approved for the loan, you can expect to receive your funds in just a few business days, sometimes up to a week.
Fertility Specialist Loans
Some lenders specialize in financing fertility treatments and can work directly with a clinic when funding an IVF procedure. You can often apply for this type of financing right at the clinic, or have the lender send your funds directly to them.
While convenient, fertility specialist loans tend to have a high starting annual percentage rate (APR), and often charge an application fee. Your approval is again based on your credit, as well as the loan amount you request and the terms you ask for. Another downside is that you may be limited to clinics within the lender’s network.
Home Equity Loans Or HELOCs
Home equity loans take the equity you’ve built up in your home and convert it into a lump sum you can borrow as a loan. Similarly, you could consider a home equity line of credit (HELOC) that takes your equity and makes a revolving line of credit you can borrow from and pay back over time.
Both of these loan types are secured loans, typically using your home as collateral, so you could qualify for decent rates even with a lower credit score. However, if you fail to repay what you borrow, you could lose your home to foreclosure.
Though it isn’t recommended – in part because of the higher interest rates attached to them – you could always charge the cost of your IVF treatment to a credit card. If you sign up for a new card with a 0% APR promotional period, you could have 12 – 18 months to pay back your loan interest-free. Once that promo period ends, though, those high interest rates could potentially bury you in even more debt if you haven’t paid back the loan in full yet.
Alternative IVF Financing Options
If loans and credit cards don’t sound like your best options, you can also consider one of these alternative financing means.
Some foundations and treatment centers offer IVF grants to cover all or part of a fertility treatment that you wouldn’t have to pay back. Eligibility and other requirements can differ by location and insurance coverage, and there is usually an application fee and deadline.
IVF Payment Plans
You can also ask your medical provider about a payment plan option. There are no interest rates to worry about, but a clinic may have set monthly payment amounts not based on your income or credit. You could find yourself spending more every month than you’re comfortable with or can afford.
HSAs Or FSAs
A health savings account (HSA) and flexible spending account (FSA) can help you set aside money for medical procedures and treatments, tax-free. If your account approves IVF treatments, you can use the funds saved up in your HSA or FSA to assist with the costs of the procedure. However, HSAs and FSAs have annual contribution limits, typically no more than $4,000. With the high cost of IVF, your total savings may only pay for a small portion of the treatment.
Your Savings Account
If you have a savings or emergency fund set aside, an IVF could warrant breaking the bank. Just be careful you don’t deplete your savings completely. After all, you could have a baby on the way soon, and you’ll want to be financially prepared when that day comes.
FAQs About IVF Financing
Below are some questions commonly asked regarding IVF loans.
Are there IVF loans for bad credit?
Having a lower credit score could still get you a personal loan, but you risk higher interest rates and less favorable terms. Secured loans are an option for those with lower credit, but you’re risking assets like your home if you default. Working to improve your credit is the best way to open yourself up to more loan opportunities.
Do employers offer IVF financing benefits?
Some companies now include infertility benefits for employees under their health coverage plans. Talk to your employer about your insurance coverage, and see if IVF is covered under your plan.
You shouldn’t have to hold off on raising a family if the time feels right. If paying out-of-pocket for fertility treatment just isn’t possible, though, consider your IVF loan options. Every financing option has its own benefits and conveniences, but it’s most important that you go with the best one for your situation.
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