IVF Loans: How to Finance In Vitro Fertilization
Infertility affects about 1 in 7 couples, many of whom turn to in vitro fertilization (IVF) to help them get pregnant. But fertility services aren’t usually covered by insurance, so many potential parents-to-be will have to pay out of pocket. And you’ll need to have deep pockets: A single cycle of IVF treatment costs about $23,000, according to fertility research and education website FertilityIQ, making it out of reach for many who need it.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to pay for fertility treatment — including IVF loans, which allow you to borrow money from a financial institution or fertility clinic and repay it over time. Learn more about these loans and your other options in the analysis below.
|Financing option||Potential APR*||Good option if…|
|IVF loans||2.49% to 35.99%||You have a good credit score and prefer fast loan funding.|
|IVF financing from fertility clinics||2.99% to 35.99%||You’re creditworthy but prefer working directly with your clinic or its third-party lender.|
|IVF grants||Not applicable, but be aware of application fees||You can meet eligibility criteria to receive IVF financial assistance without having to repay it.|
|Credit card with 0% introductory APR||0% (for up to 21 months) 11.99% to 24.99% (after intro period ends)||You have the cash flow or savings to pay off your IVF costs within your (prospective) credit card’s months-long promotional period.|
|Auto-secured loan||6.94% to 35.99%||You can’t access an unsecured IVF loan or could net a much lower APR this way (and don’t mind using your car as vulnerable collateral).|
|Home equity loans, line of credit||1.89% to 11.75%||You have equity in your home and can stomach the idea of losing it if you struggle in repayment.|
*APRs based on range as of Feb. 15, 2022.
Where can you get IVF loans?
An IVF loan is a type of personal loan used to pay for fertility treatment, whereby funds are disbursed directly into your bank account to deploy as you see fit. Here are some top-rated online lenders and financial institutions offering personal loans for various credit profiles.
|Lender||APR Range||Min. Credit Score||Best For...|
|Achieve||7.99% - 29.99%||620||Applicants with excellent credit|
|Best Egg||8.99% - 35.99%||600||Seamless online prequalification|
|LendingClub||9.57% - 35.99%||Not specified||Applying with a co-borrower|
|LendingPoint||7.99% - 35.99%||640||Borrowing small loan amounts|
|LightStream||7.99% - 25.49% * with autopay||Not specified||Wide variety of repayment term durations|
|OneMain Financial||18.00% - 35.99%||Not specified||Option of a secured personal loan|
|Prosper||6.99% - 35.99%||640||Fast loan funding|
|Happy Money||11.52% - 24.81%||640||Refinancing credit card debt|
|SoFi||8.99% - 25.81%||680||Unemployment protection during repayment|
|Upstart||5.20% - 35.99%||300||Borrowers with thin credit histories|
You can also check out LendingTree’s personal loan marketplace, which lets you see if you prequalify for multiple loan offers by filling out one form. Doing so won’t affect your credit.
Can you get an IVF loan from your fertility clinic?
Since IVF is such an expensive medical treatment, fertility clinics are accustomed to having patients who can’t pay up front. As a result, some clinics offer in-house payment plans or partner with medical loan providers to give their patients a way to finance IVF treatment.
Unlike the lenders listed above, medical loan providers work directly with fertility clinics to certify your loan amount and make payments on your behalf. Just be aware that you might be borrowing from a middleman: New Life Agency, for example, advertises IVF loans but outsources lending and servicing to LightStream (listed above).
Borrow from $2,000 to $50,000
Discounted multi-cycle packages
“ARC Success Program” refunds unused cycles if you “get pregnant and have a live birth”
Offers educational and care-related resources
Your doctor must work in a participating clinic across 38 states
Outsources its lending, at least in part, to LendingClub (see lender table above)
“Bundle” costs of multiple treatment cycles in one loan
Option of “risk protection packages” that award partial or full refunds if treatment is unsuccessful
Creditworthy applicants may be offered 12 months of interest-only payments
Approved fertility centers are located across 11 states
Outsources lending, servicing to One American Bank and StrivePay
Works with borrowers of all credit profiles
Receive loan approval within 24 hours
No prepayment penalty
Repayment terms of 1 to 4 years
Working with an approved fertility center is required
$25 non-refundable application fee
$75 to $150 document preparation fee
Get preapproved without committing
Low ceiling on APR range
No prepayment penalty
Borrow $5,000 to $50,000
Funding in as soon as 24 hours after approval
Get connected with a “Fertility Coach”
Option to add a co-borrower
Membership, concierge fees
United Medical Credit
Low floor on APR range
No prepayment penalty
Loans can be used for various fertility procedures
Option to add a co-borrower
Your doctor might have to be in UMC’s network
Exact eligibility criteria will vary by UMC lending partner
How IVF loans work
Personal loans come with a fixed interest rate and consistent monthly payments, making them a predictable way to pay for IVF treatment. With a personal loan, you know exactly how much interest you’ll pay throughout the life of your loan, as well as when you’ll pay off your loan.
You can take out a personal loan from a bank, credit union or online lender to pay for IVF treatment. Most personal loans are unsecured, so you don’t risk losing an asset like your home or car if you default on the loan. With no collateral to secure the loan, though, your eligibility will depend on your credit score, income and outstanding debts, among other items.
|Before you sign on the dotted line…|
|It’s important to read over the potential terms. You may get a better financing offer by shopping around for loans with the lowest possible interest rate for your situation. |
When looking over a lender or fertility clinic financing offer, make sure you analyze:
Borrowers with good or better credit — meaning a credit score of 670 or higher using the FICO model — will have the best approval odds. And the higher your credit score is, the better your chances are of qualifying for a personal loan with a low interest rate. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of using a personal loan to pay for IVF treatment below:
Pros and cons of personal and IVF loans
You’ll have predictable monthly payments and interest costs.
You’ll know exactly when your IVF treatment will be paid off.
You may qualify for a low interest rate, depending on your creditworthiness.
You may have to pay an origination fee, up to 8% of the total cost of the loan.
You may need good to excellent credit to qualify, especially for a loan with a low interest rate.
You’re borrowing a fixed amount of money, which may be more or less than you need.
How to apply for an IVF loan
Applying for a loan to pay for IVF treatment can be done entirely online in just a few steps:
- Check your credit score. You can get your free credit score and credit monitoring services on the LendingTree app.
- Prequalify through multiple lenders. Many (but not all) lenders let you check your potential loan eligibility and interest rates with a soft credit pull, which won’t affect your credit score.
- Compare loan offers. If you received multiple loan offers, compare them by estimated APR, loan amount and loan length. These will all factor into the total cost of the loan, as well as the monthly payment.
- Formally apply through a lender. Once you’ve decided on a personal loan offer, you’ll complete your application. This involves a hard credit inquiry, which will temporarily lower your credit score.
- Receive your loan funding. You may receive a loan decision the same day you apply. If approved, the funds from quick loans will be deposited into your bank account, typically within a few days of being approved. You can then use this money to pay your IVF treatment bills.
Can you get an IVF loan with bad credit?
It’s possible to find IVF financing if you have bad credit, but interest rates will likely be high. That’s because unsecured loans are backed only by your promise to repay the lender, so it’ll want to see a history of good financial habits when deciding whether to extend a loan offer. While your credit score isn’t a perfect measure of your financial responsibility, it does reflect your on-time payment history as well as the amount of debt relative to the credit you have available.
If you have at least fair credit, consider applying for credit union personal loans. If you’re a credit union member, applying with your existing financial institution could help you qualify at a reasonable APR. That’s because credit unions are more likely to take into account factors beyond your credit score, such as the length of time you’ve held savings accounts under its roof.
If you have bad credit and no co-borrower or cosigner to speak of, you might consider your alternative IVF financing options, such as IVF grants and secured loans. See details below.
Other ways to pay for IVF treatment
IVF loans aren’t the only way to pay for fertility treatment. Think about all your options, from IVF grants to medical credit cards. Here are a few things you should consider before committing to an IVF financing method:
- Search for IVF grants through nonprofit agencies
- Charge a medical credit card or 0% APR credit card
- Look for secured financing options
Search for IVF grants through nonprofit agencies
Some nonprofits are dedicated to helping individuals and couples achieve parenthood by administering IVF grants. With these types of grants, you’re typically required to meet specific eligibility requirements (such as location, level of insurance coverage and financial need) and fill out an application. Some grants are issued by random selection, while some grant winners are chosen based on their application.
The table below features a few nonprofits that offer IVF grants to parents-to-be nationally and regionally. You should also do your research to see if there are any nonprofits in your area that specialize in helping people with the cost of fertility treatment. CoFertility maintains a database of IVF grants by state.
3 nonprofit programs that help with IVF costs
|Program||What it does||Eligibility|
|Baby Quest Foundation||Baby Quest offers grants to individuals and couples seeking IVF treatment. |
Grants vary in amount based on individual need and are disbursed twice per year.
|Applicants must be located within the United States and: |
|Footsteps for Fertility Foundation||Footsteps for Fertility offers IVF grants and in-kind donations that are awarded via random selection. Monetary grants are typically $5,000.||Applicants must live in the United States and: |
|Chicago Coalition for Family Building||The Chicago Coalition for Family Building offers IVF grants to residents of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin and Iowa. |
Grants are offered in the form of monetary grants and IVF cycle grants. The maximum financial grant is $10,000.
|Applicants must live in an eligible state and: |
Charge a medical credit card or 0% APR credit card
Credit cards let you borrow exactly what you need to cover IVF treatment since you’ll charge expenses as they arise, though they tend to come with high interest rates that make borrowing costly. However, you may be able to qualify for low-interest or no-interest IVF financing using a medical credit card or a traditional credit card that has a 0% APR introductory offer.
Certain medical credit cards offer deferred-interest financing, which can save you money on interest as long as you stick to the payment schedule. But if you miss a payment, default on payments or, in some instances, don’t pay in full before a promotional period ends, you’ll be charged standard purchase APR back to the date of purchase, which can be extremely costly.
People with good or excellent credit may qualify for a traditional credit card that has a 0% APR introductory period. These offers typically last up to 18 months, but some may last longer. If you can repay the balance during this time period, you may be able to finance your IVF treatment and avoid paying interest altogether.
When using a credit card to pay for IVF treatment, make sure you account for annual fees, credit limits and repayment schedules.
Look for secured financing options
Eligibility for unsecured financing is based on an applicant’s financial history, including their credit score. It’s difficult for borrowers with bad or fair credit to qualify for unsecured financing, but it’s not the only option when it comes to IVF financing. Secured loans, including auto-secured personal loans and home equity loans, may present an alternative for fair-credit borrowers seeking fertility treatment.
These personal loans are secured by your car, and are typically easier to qualify for than traditional unsecured personal loans. They may offer lower interest rates, though many lenders don’t offer them. You can, however, find a few options for auto-secured loans via lenders like Avant, OneMain Financial and Upgrade, among other industry competitors.
Home equity loans or home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)
This version of an IVF loan lets you borrow against the equity in your home, and it may be a better option for people who can’t qualify for a traditional unsecured personal loan. Home equity loans and HELOCs tend to come with low APRs since your home secures them. However, the main drawback is that you could lose your home if you don’t repay the loan.
Use LendingTree’s home equity calculator to see how much you’re eligible to borrow.