What are the best ways to secure IVF financing with bad credit? The cost of IVF treatment can be sky high, and a low credit score can add one major hurdle to finding a way to finance it. In this article, we will explore four avenues you can consider as you search for IVF financing with bad credit.
We will also discuss ways to lower the cost and raise funds apart from financing your IVF treatments, such as using your health insurance, clinic and pharmaceutical discounts, fundraising, and more.
How Much Does IVF Cost?
IVF, or in vitro fertilization is a very common form of treatment that provides possibilities for all types of intended parents. Single men, single women, gay couples, straight couples – IVF can help them all. How much it’s all going to cost comes down to which, and how many, pieces need to be “outsourced,” for lack of a better term.
A quick overview of how IVF works: an egg and sperm are joined together in a lab setting to form an embryo. The embryo is then surgically inserted into the uterus of either the intended mother or a surrogate, where it will hopefully implant and result in a successful pregnancy. Each one of these pieces adds to your overall price tag: if you need donor sperm, donor eggs, donor embryos, or the help of a surrogate, that all adds up. If you require multiple cycles of IVF, the cost will go up.
Alright, so that is the broad view. Let’s dive into some more of the specifics.
It’s no secret that IVF treatment is quite expensive, with a single cycle costing $15,000 or more. One study found that the average amount spent out-of-pocket on IVF is closer to $19,000. Since it’s quite common for patients to go through an average of 2-3 cycles, it’s very possible that your costs could actually be closer to $50,000-60,000.
There are many factors that come into play, however, so costs are going to vary greatly based on your own personal circumstances. For example, will you be requiring help from other sources? For example, will you be needing donor eggs, sperm, or embryos?
Should you need to use donor eggs or sperm in order to create your embryos, that’s going to increase your overall cost as well. Sperm donation, since it’s a smaller “ask” in terms of the procedure involved, is less expensive for intended parents. It can cost anywhere from $300 up to $4000 depending on a variety of factors.
Donor eggs, on the other hand, are quite a bit pricier. These fees can range from $12,000 to upwards of $30,000. The cost varies depending on if the eggs are fresh or frozen. With both donor sperm and donor eggs, the cost can also vary based on the economics of supply and demand.
You can learn more information about the entire IVF process here.
Despite the varying costs based on personal circumstances, most intended parents cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket for their IVF treatment. Afterall, not many people have $50,000 just lying around. Fortunately there are various options available to help cover these costs.
Is IVF Covered by Insurance?
Many hopeful parents wonder if insurance can help cover the costs of their IVF treatments. Unfortunately, the answer to that question is most likely “it depends.” Fertility coverage is not offered across the board in the United States, but it can be an option for you in some instances.
Whether or not IVF is covered by insurance varies and depends greatly on your employer, state, and your individual policy. Many insurance plans offer very limited coverage, if any at all, for IVF treatments. However, it’s certainly worth taking the time to do a little investigative work to see what might be covered. Reaching out to your insurance provider is a great place to start. You might be pleasantly surprised to learn of certain medications or tests that are actually covered, even if your plan doesn’t cover the cost of full IVF treatment.
Some states actually require insurance companies to cover IVF treatment. As of April 2021, 19 states have passed fertility insurance coverage laws with 13 of those including IVF coverage. There are 11 states that now have fertility preservation laws for infertility caused by medical issues. Check here for up-to-date information about your state: Discover Infertility Treatment Coverage by US State.
Certain states are mandated to cover, meaning fertility care is covered for every policyholder. Others are mandated to offer, which means employers have to offer fertility coverage as an option to their employees, but they don’t have to pay for it. In that case, it would be an optional benefit that you could choose to add on for an additional fee. Most employers only allow you to do this during the plan year’s open enrollment, so be sure to plan ahead if this is an option you would like to pursue.
We highly recommend you check out Resolve.org, the National Infertility Association, to learn more about the specific laws and regulations about coverage in your state. Their website also includes valuable information about how to afford IVF and how to advocate for fertility coverage with your employer and in your state.
Having insurance coverage available to you for fertility care can be a total game-changer for many intended parents. Be sure to look into your specific plan to find out what might be covered for you. Thankfully, coverage for fertility treatment is becoming more common, but we still have a long way to go.
Even if it seems that IVF won’t be covered by your insurance, it can still be a good idea to run things through insurance no matter what. You might think blood tests and medical screenings aren’t covered, but sometimes they actually are. Some of the medications that are used for fertility treatments are also used for other ailments and might just be covered or at least half-covered. It’s definitely worth trying and could save you some money.
Is IVF Financing Possible If You Have Bad Credit?
Finding ways to fund your IVF journey can be a difficult task for some, especially those with bad credit. Fortunately, there are a number of fertility and personal loan options available. It’s important to note that many lenders do require borrowers to have a minimum credit score in order to receive a loan. The good news is, there are ways to finance IVF with less-than-stellar credit. In this section, we are going to break down these options for you.
When considering financing options, your first step should be determining your credit score. This is going to help you narrow down your options given that most lenders have minimum credit score requirements. If your credit score is below a certain threshold, you may be denied financing with certain lenders.
Your credit score is based on several factors. The most important factor is your history of making payments on time. Other factors include your debt ratio, meaning the percentage of credit you are using. Maxing out all of your credit cards will hurt your overall score, so work on lowering your credit balances if at all possible. The next factors that go into your credit score include the age of your accounts, the type and mix of credit you have (personal loans, student loans, credit cards, mortgage, etc.), and recent credit activity.
The purpose behind the score is to tell potential lenders how likely it is that you will pay them back. A high score = high likelihood that you will pay them back on time. A low score = higher risk that you will make late payments or skip payments altogether. To help recoup the losses of potential non-payment, the lender charges you a higher interest rate.
The good news is that you can take action to improve your credit score. First, be sure to check your credit report closely for any mistakes. You might catch errors in your credit history that can be fixed and in turn improve your credit score. You can access a copy of your full credit report and your credit score for free once a year through major agencies like Equifax, Experian, and Transunion.
While it is sometimes possible to obtain IVF financing with bad credit, there are also actions you can take to begin raising your overall credit score. If you are in a position where you can delay your IVF journey for a little while, it may pay off to make credit score improvement one of your priorities. Learn more: How to Improve Your Credit Score
If you have a lower credit score, there are still loans you can qualify for in many instances, but be aware that your interest rates will typically be higher.
IVF Loan Alternatives That May Suit You
After you’ve determined your credit score, you’ll be able to start shopping around and comparing lenders. There are a number of options available, and it’s important to find the option that best suits you and your needs. Before you make any major financial decisions, it’s always wise to speak with a financial advisor or other professional who can help you weigh your options.
In this section, we will discuss four different types of unsecured loans. These include personal loans and credit cards that are designed to be accessible to people with bad credit. The other major type of loan that may help you afford IVF is a secured loan, such as a home equity line of credit. Learn more about the different types of loans here.
1. Avant Personal Loans
Avant | Quickly Apply Online for Loans & Credit Cards
Though they’re not a dedicated fertility lender, Avant offers personal loans to borrowers with credit scores as low as 580. You’re able to borrow up to $35,000 that can be used however you choose. They’re known for offering quick turnaround with funds being available as soon as the next business day. The downside is that the interest rates are going to run pretty high with rates ranging from 9.95%-35.99%.
With Avant, you will receive the funds directly rather than having them sent directly to the clinic, as with some fertility-specific lenders. The application process is all online, but live customer support is available if you need help.
2. Surge Mastercard
The Surge Secured Mastercard
The Surge Mastercard has a reputation score of 8.5/10 and is a great option for those with bad credit to receive funds and work on improving their credit. The amount borrowed ranges from $300-$1,000 and can be increased as your credit improves. By completing your first 6 monthly payments on time, your line of credit can increase to $2,000.
Unfortunately, the Surge Mastercard does come with some fairly hefty fees. While interest rates range from 24.99%-29.99%, there is an annual fee of $75-$99 and monthly maintenance fees ranging from $0-$10 depending on your credit.
One perk to this card is that it gives you monthly access to your credit report for free, so you can track how your score increases or decreases as you use the card.
3. Indigo Platinum Mastercard
Indigo Card – Pre-Qualify with no Impact to Your Credit Score
The Indigo Platinum Mastercard has a reputation score of 8/10. This credit card is similar to the Surge Mastercard in that it’s designed for people who have bad credit. The Indigo Card allows you to receive funds while working to improve your overall credit. Interest rates for this option are 24.9% with an annual fee ranging from $0- $99 depending on your credit. The downside is that the credit limit is quite low, with a maximum of $300. There is a chance you can increase your limit as time goes on, but if your credit score goes up during that time, you would likely be better off switching to a card with a lower interest rate.
The Surge Mastercard and the Indigo Card are both tools to help you build your credit score back up and should not be used as a long-term solution for financing IVF.
4. Sofi Peer-to-Peer Lending
Great Rates. Great Benefits. SoFi.
Though you must meet their specified requirements, Sofi is known for offering some of the best rates to their borrowers. They offer loans at rates ranging from 4.74%-19.38% with no hefty fees added on for things like origination or late payments. Your credit score does need to be higher to qualify, however. If your score is below 670 or so, you might be out of luck.
If you can qualify, the SoFi medical loan may be a great choice for financing IVF. This loan gives you a choice in repayment terms, letting you spread payments out over two to seven years. Their unemployment protection adds a nice sense of security as well. If you were to lose your job, Sofi allows you to pause your loan payments and will actually help you find a new position.
What Else You Can Do To Get IVF Treatments
If the options listed above don’t work for you, or if you still need to pull together more funds for your fertility care, there are other alternatives to explore.
Check Your Fertility Clinic’s Payment Plan Offerings
One of the best places to get financial help with your IVF journey is with your fertility clinic itself. Fertility clinics are in the business of helping people achieve the dream of parenthood, and they are acutely aware of how costly it can be. Most have mechanisms in place to help intended parents overcome the financial obstacles.
Ask your clinic about any payment plan options or discounts. Some clinics have special partnerships with fertility lenders or with pharmaceutical companies that can help you save money and afford IVF.
Several clinics offer discounts for active military members and veterans. Others may offer discounts for first responders or other particular populations.
Talk with your clinic about all of the options that may be on the table when it comes to financing IVF, and don’t be afraid to shop around for different clinics that may offer you a better opportunity.
One quick word of caution: be wary of clinics that advertise suspiciously low prices for IVF treatments. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be sure to do your research and check each clinic’s reputation and credibility.
Request IVF Grants Through Non-Profit Agencies
There are some amazing programs out there that provide grants and scholarships to help offset the expenses that come with undergoing fertility treatments. These can range anyone from $500-50,000. Each program does have specific requirements that must be met, and you have to be chosen from among many applicants. While these are not as easy to secure and would take some time and effort to apply- it is certainly worth taking the time to pursue.
You can find an extensive list of fertility grants and scholarships at these two sources:
FertilityIQ: Free IVF: Grants and Charities
RESOLVE: Find Useful Infertility Treatment Grants and Scholarships
When it comes to funding fertility, every little bit helps. As you are looking over the opportunities, be sure to note any special requirements or circumstances that might apply to your story.
For example, there are specific grants and scholarships for cancer survivors, military veterans, Jewish families, and gay men. There are many location or clinic-specific loans. For example, there’s a program specific to people who live within 100 miles of Nashville, another for people living in central Texas, and the state of New York distributes $1 million each year to residents who demonstrate need and earn less than $195,000 per year.
To find some of these more specific grants and scholarships, definitely ask your local clinic. It also doesn’t hurt to ask around in local infertility support groups you may be a part of.
Borrow From Family
We have worked with many hopeful parents who were able to borrow money for fertility care from family members or friends. While it’s never easy to ask others for financial help, you may be surprised at just how many people are willing to help when it comes to starting or growing your family.
Share your store with friends and family (to the extent that you are comfortable), and you never know who might feel called to help you with the financial costs. You may be able to borrow money that you agree to pay back over time, or a loved one may decide to gift you the money.
Other options, if you don’t want to borrow from family or friends, is to crowdsource some of the funding you need to finance IVF. We’ve seen parents raise thousands of dollars with creative ideas such as:
- Hosting fundraising events, like dinners, raffles, car washes, or benefit concerts;
- Holding garage sales;
- Selling items on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or eBay;
- Setting up a GoFundMe or a YouCaring campaign
It can be fun to think outside of the box when it comes to fundraising. We’ve seen people work with local restaurants to host a fundraising night. A portion of the restaurant’s proceeds get donated to a worthy cause, in this case you and your fertility journey.
Is IVF Financing A Good Idea?
In the end, most people end up financing IVF with a variety of methods. Saving up cash, financing IVF with personal loans or credit cards, borrowing from friends or family, securing discounts at your clinic. The list of possibilities is quite long when you are willing to get creative and put in the time and effort to research and share your story with others.
At Family Inceptions, we believe that when it comes to building your family, where there’s a will, there’s always a way. Will it be easy? Not likely! But is anything that’s truly worth having ever that easy?
There ARE accessible ways to fund your fertility journey, even if you are starting out with bad credit. It may take a lot of digging, sacrifice, and patience to make it happen. Do your research, shop around, and be bold when you ask for discounts, special programs, or help from friends and family. We wish you the best of luck on your fertility journey, and as always, the team here at Family Inceptions is always on hand to answer your questions and discuss your options.
CTA – Want to know more about what the IVF journey entails? Read this article to learn more about a key piece of IVF: the embryo transfer.