How to Pay for IVF Treatment: From Personal Loans to Credit Cards

 February 22, 2019
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Infertility is a battle that can take its toll on a couple’s mental, emotional and physical health. But infertility can also take a financial toll. The cost of in vitro fertilization (IVF) can be prohibitive for many Americans.

The average IVF cycle costs $12,400, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Because of the financial barriers to IVF, many people opt to borrow money to pay for treatment. According to one Student Loan Hero survey, over half of respondents planned on paying for their IVF cycle with a credit card. Others planned on taking out personal loans, borrowing money from their retirement savings and borrowing against their home to finance the endeavor.

Below, we’ve explored a handful of different ways you can pay for IVF, with an emphasis on one particular strategy: personal loans.

Using a personal loan for IVF treatment


One way to finance IVF is through a personal loan, which is an unsecured loan that can be borrowed in person or via online lenders. The Student Loan Hero survey found that a quarter of respondents were considering paying for their IVF cycle with a personal loan.

Below, we’ve explored the pros and cons of using a personal loan to finance IVF.

Pros

  • Low interest rates. Personal loans typically have lower interest rates than credit cards.
  • Fixed interest rates. Personal loans often have fixed interest rates, which means you won’t be surprised by APRs that suddenly spike.
  • Simple repayment plan. Many consumers like the simplicity of personal loans since repayment involves making just one monthly payment.

Cons

  • Decent credit is required. To qualify for a personal loan, you typically need good credit. Many times, you can secure a personal loan with a credit score as low as 580, but you’ll typically need a score that’s at least in the 600s.
  • You need a good debt-to-income ratio. Your DTI ratio might be checked when applying for a personal loan. This number takes into account your total debts relative to your gross income. A lender will want to know you can handle the additional debt coming your way.

5 personal loan lenders to consider


In the world of personal loans, doing one’s due diligence is imperative. You should always shop around for a loan before selecting a lender. Below, we’ve broken down five popular personal loan lenders worth considering.

Upstart

Upstart, an online lender founded by former Google employees, offers personal loans of up to $50,000.

  • APR: 4.37% to 35.99%
  • Term: 36 or 60 months
  • Borrowing limits: $1,000 – $50,000
  • Credit requirement: 600
  • Origination fee: 0.00% - 8.00% of loan balance

SoFi

A major player in the online lending industry, SoFi is headquartered in San Francisco and offers personal loans, as well as student loan refinancing.

  • APR: 5.99% – 18.85%
  • Term: 24 to 84 months
  • Borrowing limits: $5,000 – $100,000
  • Credit requirement: 680
  • Origination fee: No origination fee

Avant

Avant is an online lender headquartered in Chicago that offers personal loans.

  • APR: 9.95% – 35.99%
  • Term: 24 to 60 months
  • Borrowing limits: $2,000 to $35,000
  • Credit requirement:
  • Origination fee: Up to 4.75% of loan balance

FreedomPlus

FreedomPlus, part of Freedom Financial Network, offers personal loans of up to $40,000.

  • APR: 7.99% – 29.99%
  • Term: 24 to 60 months
  • Borrowing limits: $7,500 to $40,000
  • Credit requirement: Varies
  • Origination fee: 1.99% - 4.99% of loan balance

Earnest

Founded in 2013, San Francisco-based Earnest offers loans with no origination fees.

  • APR: 5.99% – 17.24%
  • Term: 36 to 60 month
  • Borrowing limits: $5,000 – $75,000
  • Credit requirement: 650
  • Origination fee: No origination fee

3 alternative ways to pay for IVF


Credit cards

As stated above, over half of IVF candidates planned on using credit cards to finance their cycle. This is a common way to pay for treatment. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best way.

Pros

  • Introductory APR promotions can be beneficial. If you can secure a credit card with an introductory 0% APR, you could consider this route. Just make sure you can pay off your balance within the introductory timeframe. Otherwise, you could be hit with very high interest rates. (These introductory rate grace periods typically last between six months and a year, but they can extend up to 21 months.)
  • Quick and easy to secure. It’s fairly easy to get approved for a credit card, so if you’re pressed for time, this route could be worth considering.

Cons

  • Potentially high APRs. Credit cards can have high APRs, making them difficult to pay off quickly and efficiently. According to the Federal Reserve, the average credit card APR in the fourth quarter of 2018 was 14.73%. If you struggle to pay off your credit card balance quickly, you could be stuck paying a significant amount in interest for years to come.
  • Variable APRs. Unlike personal loans, which have fixed APRs, credit cards often have variable APRs that can be quite high.

Home equity loan or home equity line of credit

If you hold significant equity in your home, you could consider financing your IVF treatment with a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit (HELOC). In fact, 8% of respondents in the Student Loan Hero survey said they planned on using their home’s equity to finance their IVF. This path comes with both risks and rewards.

Pros

  • You’re borrowing against yourself. Taking out a home equity loan or HELOC can be an effective way to pay for IVF treatment. After all, you’re borrowing against yourself.
  • Lower interest rates and longer terms. Home equity loans and HELOCs will likely have lower interest rates and longer terms than personal loans or credit cards.

Cons

  • Your home is on the line. There is only one major risk when it comes to financing your IVF with a home equity loan or HELOC, but it’s a big one: Your home is used as collateral. If you don’t repay the loan, you risk losing the roof over your head.

Retirement accounts

According to the Student Loan Hero survey, 14% of respondents planned on financing their IVF cycle by borrowing against or making a withdrawal from their 401(k) savings. This strategy can be effective, but you should proceed with caution.

Pros

  • The process is simple. Because you’re borrowing against your own savings, the process is typically fairly quick and simple with low interest rates.
  • Your credit isn’t checked. You don’t have to worry about a credit check when you take out a 401(k) loan.

Cons

  • Your retirement is on the line. If you can’t repay your loan, you jeopardize your retirement, which is something you’ve likely been contributing to for years, if not decades.
  • If you lose your job, you could be in deep water. If you lose your job for any reason, you could be required to pay back the loan by October of the following year, if not sooner.

If you’re considering IVF but are strapped for cash, take a deep breath. There are multiple ways you can finance IVF treatment. Just make sure you do your due diligence to find the path that is right for you.

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Student Loan Hero is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). Student Loan Hero does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

Student Loan Hero is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). Student Loan Hero does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

RATES (APR)loan amount
5.99% – 18.85%1 $5,000 to $100,000
4.37% – 35.99% $1,000 to $50,000
5.94% – 35.97%* $1,000 to $50,000
99.00% – 199.00%2 $500 to $4,000
5.99% – 24.99%3 $5,000 to $40,000
7.99% – 29.99%4 $7,500 to $40,000
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1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 18.85% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of March 19, 2020 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your creditworthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
  2. To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.
    See Consumer Licenses.
  3. Minimum Credit Score: Not all applicants who meet SoFi’s minimum credit score requirements are approved for a personal loan. In addition to meeting SoFi’s minimum eligibility criteria, applicants must also meet other credit and underwriting requirements to qualify.
  4. If you lose your job through no fault of your own, you may apply for Unemployment Protection. SoFi will suspend your monthly SoFi loan payments and provide job placement assistance during your forbearance period. Interest will continue to accrue and will be added to your principal balance at the end of each forbearance period, to the extent permitted by applicable law. Benefits are offered in three month increments, and capped at 12 months, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. To be eligible for this assistance you must provide proof that you have applied for and are eligible for unemployment compensation, and you must actively work with our Career Advisory Group to look for new employment. If the loan is co-signed the unemployment protection applies where both the borrower and cosigner lose their job and meet conditions.
  5. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Opploans.

Opploans Disclosures

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Opploans currently operates in these states: . *Approval may take longer if additional verification documents are requested. Not all loan requests are approved. Approval and loan terms vary based on credit determination and state law. Applications processed and approved before 7:30 p.m. ET Monday-Friday are typically funded the next business day.

  1. To qualify, a borrower must (i) be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; (ii) reside in a state where OppLoans operates; (iii) have direct deposit; (iv) meet income requirements; (v) be 18 years of age (19 in Alabama); and, (vi) meet verification standards.
  2. NV Residents: The use of high-interest loans services should be used for short-term financial needs only and not as a long-term financial solution. Customers with credit difficulties should seek credit counseling before entering into any loan transaction.

  3. OppLoans performs no credit checks through the three major credit bureaus Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. Applicants’ credit scores are provided by Clarity Services, Inc., a credit reporting agency.

  4. Based on customer service ratings on Google and Facebook. Testimonials reflect the individual’s opinion and may not be illustrative of all individual experiences with OppLoans. Check loan reviews.

  5. Rates and terms vary by state.

3 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.

Payoff Disclosures

  1. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. Currently loans are not offered in: MA, MS, NE, NV, OH, and WV.
4 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.

FreedomPlus Disclosures

  1. The loan terms presented are not guaranteed and APRs presented are estimates only. To obtain a loan you must submit additional information and documentation and all loans are subject to credit review and our approval process. The range of APRs is 7.99% to 29.99% and your actual APR will depend upon factors including your credit score, usage and history, the requested loan amount, the stated loan purpose, and the term of the requested loan. To qualify for a 7.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan for an amount less than $12,000.00, and with a term equal to 24 months. Adding a co-borrower with sufficient income; using at least eighty-five percent (85%) of the loan proceeds to directly pay off qualifying existing debt; or showing proof of sufficient retirement savings, could help you also qualify for the lowest rate available. All loans are made by Cross River Bank and MetaBank®, N.A., Members FDIC.
* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 5.94%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 2.9% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early. Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank or designated account within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes the transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days. Funds sent directly to pay off your creditors may take up to 2 weeks to clear, depending on the creditor. Personal loans issued by Upgrade’s lending partners. Information on Upgrade’s lending partners can be found at https://www.upgrade.com/lending-partners/.