The excitement of starting a family can turn into despair if you face difficulty getting pregnant. Thankfully treatments including medications and surgery can make parenthood a possibility for couples having trouble conceiving on their own. But, these treatments may not be covered by medical insurance.
In vitro fertilization or IVF is one procedure in particular that insurance may not cover. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, a cycle of IVF can cost $12,400 on average. Because success with IVF may require more than one cycle, the entire process can get quite expensive.
Instead of paying for fertility treatments out-of-pocket, a low-interest personal loan may be a solution for financing medical care. Here are a few personal loans to consider:
SoFi – starting at 5.17% APR
SoFi offers personal loans from $5,000 to $100,000 to cover medical costs. Loan terms are 3, 5 or 7 years. Both fixed and variable interest loans are available. A variable interest loan means your interest will fluctuate based on an index. SoFi does have a variable interest cap for personal loans. Generally, you should stick with a fixed-interest personal loan because your rate will stay the same throughout the entire term.
A variable interest loan is only worth considering if you can pay off the loan quickly. In this scenario, you take advantage of very low interest for a short time and then pay off the loan before interest changes. SoFi has no prepayment penalty, so you can do this without incurring a fee.
SoFi doesn’t charge for origination either. If you lose your job, SoFi has a unique borrower benefit as well. You may be able to pause payments until you find another position.
Earnest – Starting at 5.25% APR
Earnest offers loans from $2,000 to $50,000. Loans have competitive interest and a streamlined online application process. Terms are 1, 2 and 3 years. There are no application or origination fees. If you pay off the loan early there are no pre-payment penalties either.
Earnest takes a look at your entire financial profile including your savings habits and earning potential to qualify you for a loan. Most approved Earnest applicants are employed or have an offer letter, have at least a month worth of expenses in savings and enough monthly income to support their regular expenses and loan payments. Earnest will do a hard pull of your credit report upon applying.
Lending Club – Starting at 5.99% APR
Lending Club is a peer-to-peer lender that offers fixed-rate loans. You can borrow $1,000 to $40,000. Loan terms range from 2 to 5 years. Once approved for a Lending Club loan you get a credit rating and loan options to choose from. After accepting your loan terms, the loan appears in the marketplace where investors select loans to invest in.
Lending Club does charge an origination fee of 1% to 6%. How much you’ll pay for origination depends on the credit rating that Lending Club assigns you. The credit rating is determined using factors including your credit history and credit score. Lending Club has no prepayment penalties.
LightStream – Starting at 4.19% APR (with auto pay)
You can borrow $5,000 to $100,000 from LightStream for family planning including fertility treatments and adoption. Loan terms are 2 to 7 years. To qualify for the lowest rates with LightStream you need to have at least 5 or more years of positive credit history, no delinquencies, a stable income and money in savings.
The LightStream loan is transparent with fees. There are no fees for origination or early payment of the loan. LightStream also has a “rate beat” program. If you get approved for a personal loan by another lender with a lower interest rate, LightStream will try to beat that rate. The competitor loan must meet certain requirements to qualify for the program. LightStream doesn’t offer pre-approvals at this time and will do a hard pull on your credit history at application.
Upstart – Starting at 7.39% APR
Upstart has personal loans from $1,000 to $50,000 that can cover various life expenses including medical bills. Loans are available for 3 and 5-year terms. Upstart takes into account more than your credit history to decide whether or not you qualify. Your education and job history will also be considered.
At a minimum, you need a 640 credit score to qualify for this loan. You must also have no more than 6 inquiries on your report in the last 6 months. Like Lending Club, Upstart charges an origination fee. You’ll have to pay 1% to 8% for loan processing. Depending upon your risk profile, interest rates can be as high as 29.99% APR.
While all of these loans have competitive interest, the loans without an origination fee are ones you may want to consider first because of the savings. Remember, you need to have an excellent credit score and a positive credit history to qualify for the very lowest interest rates with any of these companies.
Upstart and Lending Club could be good fall back options if you have trouble getting approved elsewhere. Both may qualify you with a credit score below 650.
Each lender on this list allows you to prequalify for a loan without a hard pull on your credit history, except LightStream and Earnest. Take this into consideration while shopping for loans. A recent hard pull could negatively impact your chances of getting approved by other lenders, however, shopping around within a 30-day window will ultimately count as one hard pull and impact your credit score as such.