IVF loans are a type of funding specifically designed to help patients finance IVF and fertility treatments. IVF loan providers offer a variety of repayment options and terms, making it possible for patients to find a loan that fits their budget and needs. These types of loans can be used to cover the cost of IVF medications, medical procedures, fertility testing, and other associated expenses. Here, we’ll discuss IVF loans in detail as well as other viable options for funding fertility treatments.

Some IVF loan providers also offer financing for egg freezing and embryo storage.

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What is an IVF loan?

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an expensive fertility procedure that can cost upwards of $20,000 per round. For prospective parents struggling with fertility issues, the cost of IVF, especially when multiple rounds are often necessary, can feel insurmountable. IVF loans are installment loans that can provide the lump sum they need to finance treatment.

How do they work?

IVF loans are personal installment loans. That means they are unsecured loans (no collateral required) with a fixed interest rate throughout the life of the loan. As with other personal loans, lenders approve or deny the loan application based on credit score and credit history. These types of loans are offered at traditional banks, credit unions, and online lenders.

Average cost of IVF and fertility treatments

A single cycle of IVF treatment costs roughly $12,000, but that doesn’t include the cost of prescription medications, genetic testing of the embryos, and surgical procedures to extract the egg. With those costs added in, the price could easily escalate to over $20,000. Unfortunately, the average patient requires three or more rounds of IVF for a successful pregnancy, which can bring the total cost to more than $60,000.

How do I use personal loans for IVF treatment?

Loans for IVF treatments fall under the category of “medical loans,” which are a type of personal loan. That means the borrower is not restricted in how they spend the funds. An IVF loan can be used to pay for the treatment itself, prescription medications, testing, other procedures, or even transportation to and from the facility where the treatment is being performed.

Where do I get a personal loan for IVF treatments?

Loans for fertility treatment can be obtained at a local bank, a credit union, or through an online lender. Applicants will be screened based on the applicant’s credit score and credit history, both of which will help the lender determine the interest rate and terms of the loan.

While an excellent credit history can mean more favorable loan terms, a low credit score does not necessarily mean someone will be denied an IVF loan. In this situation, it may be beneficial to apply with a cosigner who has a solid credit history. This may also be a good idea if you have difficulty getting a loan because you have already stretched your savings to cover previous infertility treatments.

Reasons you may need loans for fertility treatment

The IVF process can be lengthy and complex and there are no guarantees it will work the first time. Participants may need to go back for a second or even third cycle before they see positive results. In fact, a recent study in the UK revealed that parents who underwent six rounds of IVF had the highest success rate. Depending on your financial situation, you may require funding throughout this process. A personal loan for IVF can help stretch out the costs of these procedures.

In some cases, IVF treatment may be covered by insurance as required by some state laws. However, this may only take effect if one has attempted other infertility treatments first. Additionally, insurance may only cover some but not all of the costs related to IVF treatment or may only cover one or two rounds of treatment. In either of these cases, you may need the additional support of an IVF loan to help cover the associated costs.

Additionally, engaging in IVF treatment cycles can mean taking time away from work for necessary testing, procedures, and follow-up visits. If this hinders your financial situation as you go through treatment, medical loans for IVF may help alleviate some of the financial strain.

When is it right to get a loan for IVF treatment? 

There are many instances where it may be right for your family to take out a loan to undergo IVF treatment. However, it’s important to assess your financial situation beforehand and thoroughly research your options before taking on debt.  

For example, check with your insurance provider to understand what is and isn’t covered under your plan. This can help you assess how much additional funding you might need. There are also several IVF grants and assistance programs available that are worth applying for if you meet the criteria. You can also ask your health care provider about payment plans for fertility treatments that may have more favorable terms than a loan.    

Additionally, it’s important to be aware of the potential outcomes of IVF treatment and understand that the initial amount of money you need may not be enough to fund multiple rounds of treatment. If you do decide a loan for IVF is the best option, determine how much you will need and how much you can budget to pay each month to ensure you can afford the loan amount.   

Who are IVF loans best for? 

IVF loans are best for people who are unable to qualify for IVF grants and don’t have the cash to pay for the IVF procedures out of pocket. People who are covered under insurance for some but not all of the expenses associated with IVF may also benefit from IVF loans.  

Is a fertility treatment loan a good idea? 

Only you, along with your medical provider can decide whether or not it is a good idea to pursue a loan for fertility treatment. Fertility treatments have helped many hopeful parents, with 50% of couples who seek fertility treatment becoming pregnant. Before pursuing a loan for treatment, discuss the cost of treatment and the potential outcomes with your provider for your unique situation. 

Pros and cons of IVF loans

ProsCons
Set monthly paymentsOrigination fees up to 8%
Fixed payment and payoff datesHigh credit score required
Low interest rate for high credit scoresAmount may be more than you need

The pros and cons of IVF loans are the same as they are for any other personal loan. Borrowing money is taking on new debt that creates a financial liability, but if you can afford to make the monthly payments, it may help you reach the goals you have for your family.

Alternatives to IVF loans

IVF loans aren’t the only way to pay for IVF treatments. In lieu of paying cash or using a personal loan to cover IVF, you might consider one of the following:

1. HELOC or home equity loan

Homeowners can use the equity in their home to take out a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC). This is essentially taking out a second mortgage on your home, which means defaulting on your payments could lead to the loss of your home. However, home equity loans and lines of credit often come with more favorable interest rates than personal loans.

Related: Home Equity Loans vs. HELOC

2. HSA or FSA

An HSA (health savings account) or FSA (flexible savings account) are savings accounts that can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses, including IVF treatments. If you have one of these accounts, which are available through some employers, you may be able to use the funds to cover the cost of IVF.

3. Zero interest credit card

Using a zero-interest credit card is another way to pay for some IVF-related costs. However, these credit cards are usually limited to those who have high credit scores. Additionally, the “zero-interest” is usually limited to a promotional time period, typically lasting 12-18 months. So, if you can’t afford to pay off the card’s balance within this time, it will begin to accrue interest, and quickly. It’s also important to note that credit cards come with limits, so you may only be able to use them for smaller expenses, such as medications.

4. Credit union loan

If you belong to a credit union, you may be able to secure a loan with more favorable terms. The credit union may also be able to help you find alternative sources of financing that are only available to members. To learn if a credit union loan can benefit you, you can inquire about a rate on an IVF loan and compare it to those of traditional banks and online lenders.

5. IVF grant or Fertility grant

There are several grants available for IVF treatments that can help reduce the cost. Some places that offer grants include the Nest Egg Foundation, the Compassionate Care Program, the Baby Quest Foundation, The Tinina Q. Cade Foundation, and Hope for Fertility. Each of these programs offer grants for qualified IVF participants.

6. IVF payment plan

Some fertility clinics offer their own internal financing systems. These payment plans could help distribute the cost of the IVF treatment across several months or years. These plans may come with interest or fees, so it’s important to read the terms and conditions carefully and compare them to traditional loans and other financing options.

7. Savings account

If you have the savings to cover the cost of fertility treatment or have time to save up for fertility treatments, this can help you avoid taking on new debt. Weigh the difference between what you’re making in interest on those savings and what you’ll pay in interest for the loan to determine which option makes sense for your family.

How will an IVF loan impact your credit score?

Taking out a loan can impact your credit score in a few ways. At first, the hard inquiry the lender does during the application process will temporarily lower your score by a few points. However, the largest impact on your credit score will depend on whether you make your payments on time and in full each month. If you do, you will benefit your credit score, but if you don’t, you will hurt your credit score.

IVF loans for bad credit

Having a low credit score will not necessarily disqualify you for an IVF loan, so don’t give up if you’re refused the first time you apply. There are many lenders online who specialize in bad credit borrowing. Interest rates might be higher and there could be some fees involved, but there’s likely a lender out there who can help you get that IVF loan you need. If you are having trouble securing a loan, consider applying with a cosigner who has better credit.

Additionally, you might consider applying for a smaller loan amount at first and make regular payments to help improve your score before taking on more debt.

Pros and cons of IVF loans for bad credit

ProsCons
Approved funding for IVFExpensive loan origination fees
Costs for IVF are spread outHigh interest rates for bad credit borrowers
Fixed monthly paymentsHigh monthly payments

How do I qualify for a fertility treatment loan?

Qualifying for a fertility treatment loan will be a process that involves applying and having your application screened by the lender. They’ll be looking at your credit score, your credit history, and your verifiable income. If these three factors fit their lending criteria, you’ll be approved for the loan. If not, you may need to find another lender or alternative source of financing.

How do I compare IVF loan lenders?

The best way to compare IVF lenders is to get preapproved with multiple online lenders. Most online lenders offer pre-approvals that don’t hurt your credit score, as they only make a soft inquiry on your credit history. In doing this, you can receive several offers tailored to your financial needs that you can then compare by interest rate, fees, and terms.

How do I apply for IVF loan?

You can apply for an IVF loan in person at your local bank or credit union or online with various financial institutions. Be prepared to provide personal information, including your name, address, phone number, email address, social security number, and proof of income. If you’re applying online, have digital copies of your driver’s license and recent W2 forms handy to upload. Many online lenders will approve or deny a loan application in minutes.

FAQs

Yes, many people require a personal loan so they can afford to pay for IVF treatments.

Traditional lenders prefer scores of 670 or better. However, online lenders often approve loans for individuals with lower scores. That said, the higher your score, the more favorable the loan terms will likely be.

You may lose a few points on your credit score during the approval process, but consistent on-time payments on the loan should eventually raise your credit score. That said, if you default on the loan or miss payments, an IVF loan will hurt your credit score. For this reason, it’s critical to ensure you can afford the loan before taking it on.

The cost of an IVF loan is the total interest you will pay over the life of the loan added to any origination or processing fees. For this reason, it’s important to shop around at various lenders and compare interest rates and fees before taking out an IVF loan.

IVF costs can be in the thousands, but one way you can be financially prepared is by doing research into both your and your partner’s insurance coverage and any potential benefits you have through your employer. It may be worth looking into jobs with fertility benefits. After understanding what benefits you have through your insurance and employer, you can begin to prepare your finances. Start with a budget up front so you know how much you’re willing to spend, and consider an IVF loan to help cover additional expenses.

Related: Financial planning for fertility journey