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The Best Credit Unions for Personal Loans

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A personal loan from a credit union (sometimes called a signature loan) can offer borrowers terms that can often beat those of traditional or online banks. Because credit unions don’t have to answer to anyone but their members, they are often more willing to work with borrowers and offer reasonable terms.

This is important to note for consumers who are seeking emergency funds or looking for an affordable way to consolidate debt, two of the most common uses for personal loans. It’s even more important for borrowers with a poor or limited credit history to shop carefully for these types of loans. Although there are plentiful online loan options for these types of borrowers, they can often come with exorbitant fees and high APRs that can greatly increase the cost of borrowing.

In a new study, MagnifyMoney analysts looked at 50 of the largest credit unions in the country to see which in particular can offer its members one or more of these features.

To determine the rankings, MagnifyMoney compared:

  • Loan terms offered
  • Annual percentage rates for personal and signature loans offered
  • How quickly the funds for the loan become available once the loan is approved
  • If the credit union offered any discounts for using a payroll or automated repayment plan

Rates as of 9/18/2018

Best overall credit unions for personal loans

These credit unions offer their qualifying members the triple crown of personal loans: A lower-than-average APR, same-day funding of the loan and a discount for automating your loan repayment via payroll or share account deductions.

Ent Credit Union

Ent Credit Union was founded in 1957 to serve a Colorado Air Force base named after World War II Gen. Uzal Girard Ent. Today, the credit union serves a large geographic community, including anyone who lives, works, worships or studies in the counties of Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Fremont, Jefferson, Pueblo and Teller, along with parts of Weld County (Firestone, Frederick, Dacono, Fort Lupton, Mead and Erie). You can also qualify for membership if you are civilian or military personnel of the Colorado Air National Guard, Colorado Army National Guard or Buckley Air Force Base. If you qualify for membership, so do your family members.

Once you’ve determined you qualify for membership, you will be able to apply for one of Ent Credit Union’s personal loans. These loans come with no application fee and no early payoff penalties. Terms range from 48 to 72 months, and you can take out as little as $500.

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on Ent Credit Union’s secure website

Visions Federal Credit Union

Based in New York state, Visions Federal Credit Union is a 50-year-old organization that serves parts of New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. You are eligible for membership if you live, work, worship or study in any of the following areas:

  • Broome, Chenango and Tioga counties, N.Y.
  • Syracuse, N.Y.
  • Select parts of Chemung, Rockland and Schuyler counties, N.Y.
  • Select parts of Rochester, N.Y.
  • Bradford County, Pa.
  • Select parts of south Westmoreland and north Fayette counties, Pa.
  • Select parts of Reading, Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, Pa.
  • Bergen and Passaic counties, N.J.
  • Select parts of Essex, Hudson and Union counties, N.J.

You can also qualify if you work for one of the employers listed on the “Eligible Groups” tab. If your parent or sibling is a member, you qualify for membership, too, regardless of where you live or work.

There are no prepayment penalties for either of Vision Federal Credit Union’s personal loans. The general personal loan allows you to borrow $1,000 to $30,000. If you have good credit and sufficient income, you may qualify for the Any Purpose Signature Loan, which allows you to borrow between $10,000 and $40,000, though it does come with a higher interest rate.

Your APR will vary depending on where you live, but the 0.25% autopay discount will be there for you regardless.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Visions Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Logix Federal Credit Union

Logix Federal Credit Union also has ties to aviation. In 1937, the Burbank, Calif.-based financial institution opened to serve employees of Lockheed. Over the years, it has expanded to serve residents of California, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Washington D.C., New Hampshire, Nevada and Virginia. You can also qualify if you have family with membership, though all members must go through a special process if they’ve moved and are now trying to get a personal loan outside of one of these geographic areas. You’re not guaranteed to be approved as the credit union may not be able to legally lend in your state, but you do still have a shot.

Personal loans through Logix Federal Credit Union come with no prepayment penalties and have terms up to 84 months. Logix’s AutoPay discount is the most generous around. If you set up automatic payments on your loan every month, your APR goes down an entire percentage point.

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on Logix Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Members 1st Federal Credit Union

Members 1st Federal Credit Union is in central Pennsylvania, though you have to do more than live in the region to qualify for membership. You must work for a select employer, go to a select school or attend a select church to qualify.

Or you can become a member through affiliation with the AACA Museum, Army Heritage Center Foundation or Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum. The cheapest option is the Army Heritage Center Foundation, which offers membership for as low as $25.

If your family member or domestic partner belongs to Members 1st, you automatically qualify for membership.

Personal loans at Members 1st Federal Credit Union come in two different tiers. If you are borrowing $25,000 or more, you will pay the interest rate listed above and have terms somewhere between 12 and 60 months. If you are borrowing less than $25,000, your interest rate could be a couple of percentage points higher, with the same terms available.

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on Members 1st Federal Credit Union’s secure website

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union

SchoolsFirst FCU serves employees in the field of education in California. You qualify for membership if you work for a public elementary or secondary school, the County Superintendents of Schools, a community college, an authorized college or university, an authorized education foundation, or a private elementary or secondary school — as long as it is listed in the state’s Department of Education School Directory. You can also qualify if you are a pension- or annuity-collecting retiree of one of these educational institutions, or if you are related to a member.

You can borrow between $500 and $50,000 on SchoolsFirst’s no-application-fee personal loans. You will also not be charged any prepayment penalties, and terms go as high as 60 months depending on how much you borrow.

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on School First FCU’s secure website

Best credit unions for short-term loans

Using payday loans or credit cards to handle an unexpected expense such as a car repair can be a be a difficult treadmill to exit. But many credit unions offer smaller short-term loans at favorable rates that may be safer when you need to fill a short-term funding gap. Below are five credit unions that offer short-term loans (less than 12 months) for less than $1,000.

Security Service Federal Credit Union

Security Service Federal Credit Union was founded in 1956 to serve members of the U.S. Air Force Security Service. Based in San Antonio, the credit union serves service members in select branches, as well as residents, workers, worshippers, volunteers and students in the following areas:

  • San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, Rio Grande Valley and Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Fort Collins, Loveland, Boulder and Broomfield, Colo.
  • Salt Lake and Utah counties, Utah

If you are a member, those in your family also qualify.

Security Service Federal Credit Union’s personal loans come with no prepayment penalties and terms from 2 to 66. Rates will vary depending on where you live, and the amount you can borrow ranges from $250 to $50,000.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Security Service Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Wright-Patt Credit Union

Located in Ohio’s Miami Valley, Wright-Patt Credit Union serves a wide array of individuals and groups. You can qualify based on your employer or if you live, work, worship or study in one of the following Ohio counties: Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Darke, Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Licking, Madison, Miami, Montgomery, Pickaway, Preble, Union and Warren.

Both military and civilian employees at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base also qualify, along with any military and government personnel in the region who may not have a credit union available to them. If you are retired from a position with the U.S. government, you qualify regardless of place of residence — whether you were employed through the military or as a civilian. Students at Wright State University also qualify. If you are a member, your spouse and children qualify for membership as well.

Wright-Patt’s personal loans are available at an astonishingly low minimum of $500. No other credit union offers such a low minimum, and credit unions are known for offering lower minimums than banks. The interest rates are competitive, and depending on how much you borrow, loan terms can be as high as 60 months.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Wright-Patt Credit Union’s secure website

Navy Federal Credit Union

Founded in 1933, Navy Federal Credit Union is the largest credit union, with more than 15 million member accounts. To become a member of this massive organization, you must be an active-duty member of the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy or Coast Guard. Other service members that qualify include those in the Air or Army National Guards, those in the Delayed Entry Program, Department of Defense Officer Candidates, those in the ROTC, Department of Defense reservists, veterans, retirees and those who collect any annuity from the Department of Defense or its affiliated branches.

If you’re a civilian, you can qualify for membership if you’re a Department of Defense employee, a contractor with the Department of Defense assigned to a government installation, a government employee assigned to a Department of Defense installation, a Department of Defense retiree or if you collect an annuity from the Department of Defense. If you’re a family member of someone with a Navy Federal Credit Union account, you qualify, too.

You can take out a personal loan with Navy Federal Credit Union for as little as $250 and as much as $50,000. Terms are up to 60 months, but you can get a longer term if you’re borrowing money for home improvements. As long as you’re borrowing at least $25,000, your term can extend up to 84 months on these home improvement personal loans, and can be as long as 180 months if you’re borrowing $30,000 or more.

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on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

ESL Federal Credit Union

ESL stands for Eastman Savings and Loan Association, in reference to the legendary George Eastman, who used profits from the company he built — Kodak — to serve as a boon to the local Rochester, N.Y., community. In 1920, he launched Eastman Savings, specifically to serve the financial needs of his employees with a strong emphasis on helping them toward homeownership. In 1996, Eastman Savings became ESL Federal Credit Union.

To become a member of ESL Federal Credit Union, you must live, work, worship or study in Rochester. You can also qualify if you work for any of these employers, or if you are a member, employee, volunteer or retiree of the George Eastman Museum. Individual membership at the museum is $65, though you can gain membership for only $60 if you’re older than 65 or $25 if you’re a student. If your family member belongs to ESL Federal Credit Union, you qualify for membership, too.

ESL’s personal loans have decent rates, though they aren’t the lowest on the market. These rates also go up the longer your term is, which can be up to 120 months. But the lowest amount you can borrow is $250, which is extremely attractive for those who don’t want to borrow and pay interest on more than they need.

LEARN MORE Secured

on ESL Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Patelco Credit Union

Patelco Credit Union was established in 1936 as a financial institution for AT&T employees. Back then, it wasn’t known as AT&T — it was the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co., which is where the credit union gets its name.

To become a member, you must live, work, worship or study in one of the following California counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Marin, Merced, Napa, Placer, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus and Yolo.

You can also qualify if you live in Bakersfield, McKinleyville, Santa Cruz or Eureka. Others who qualify include students at San Francisco State University; the University of California, Berkeley; and California State University, East Bay, along with employees and members of Patelco’s sponsor organization. You can check to see if your employer is one of them here. The final group that qualifies is the family of existing Patelco members.

While Patelco offers the highest minimum loan amount in the rankings, it also offers the lowest potential APR. But this rate is only available if you are borrowing money to pay for back-to-school expenses, with a max loan term of 36 months. If you’re borrowing money to buy a computer or another electronic device, the lowest APR available is 8.80% and loan terms extend to 60 months. Loans for debt consolidation or any other purpose also have a maximum term of 60 months, but the minimum APR is 9.90%.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Patelco Credit Union’s secure website

Best credit unions with automatic payment discounts

“Set it and forget it” is certainly best for keeping your loans current and your credit rating in good shape. And many credit unions offer discounts that knock off as much as a whole percentage point from the rate of your loan. Below are six credit unions offering the deepest discounts for setting up automatic payments.

State Employees’ Credit Union of N.C.

There is a litany of ways to join the State Employees’ Credit Union in North Carolina, and all but one of them are tied to your employer. You qualify for membership if you work for or retired from:

  • The state of North Carolina
  • The federal government, and your job requires you to work together with the state
  • A North Carolinian public board of education
  • The North Carolina National Guard
  • Any North Carolina county as long as your job is in the field of health, mental health, social services or civil defense
  • An agency or department that holds you accountable to North Carolina’s State Personnel Act

You can also qualify as a family member of someone who has an account with the State Employees’ credit union.

While this credit union does offer a fairly steep APR discount for autopay or even having your payment deducted from your paycheck, the starting rates are not incredibly competitive — even if you account for that discount. The lowest rate you could possibly get on a personal loan from this credit union is 10.75% APR as of Sept. 13, 2018.

LEARN MORE Secured

on State Employees' Credit Union (NC)’s secure website

OnPoint Community Credit Union

OnPoint Community Credit Union serves communities in northwestern Oregon and southern Washington. You qualify for membership if you live or work in Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Washington or Yamhill counties in Oregon, or in the counties of either Clark or Skamania in Washington state. If your family member qualifies, so do you.

This credit union does give you a good APR discount for signing up for automatic payments, but even with the discounts, the rates are nothing to write home about. As of Sept. 13, 2018, they range from 10.00% to 16.00% APR — and that’s after accounting for the discount. Terms are up to 60 months, and you can borrow up to $25,000.

LEARN MORE Secured

on OnPoint Community Credit Union’s secure website

Police and Fire Federal Credit Union

If you are an active or retired police officer or firefighter who serves or served in Philadelphia, you qualify for membership at the Police and Fire Federal Credit Union. So do your family members. In fact, the credit union issues referral coupons that can earn both you and your family member $400 each when they join.

If neither you nor any of your family members meet these criteria, you can check to see if your employer is one of Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s member groups, which would also qualify you for membership.

While it is encouraging to see the larger APR discount for setting up automatic payments, it should be noted that personal loans at this credit union come with a higher APR than the best on the market. As of Sept. 13, 2018, the best rate you’d be able to get after applying the autopay discount is 9.90% APR on loans up to $30,000. The max term available is 60 months.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Police And Fire Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Digital Federal Credit Union

DCU, or Digital Federal Credit Union, was chartered in 1979. Today, it’s the largest credit union in New England, but it serves members far and wide outside of its Massachusetts home. You are eligible for DCU membership if you live, work, study or worship in Lowell, Worcester, the northern portion of Chelmsford or the western portion of Tewksbury in Massachusetts. In the state of Georgia, Cumming, Gainesville and Norcross are also eligible locales.

Other ways to qualify for membership include working for an eligible employer or living in specific condominium communities. DCU also works with several Massachusetts-based organizations to offer banking services to those organizations membership. If you want to join the credit union but don’t qualify in any other way, the least expensive way to do so is by getting a $10 membership with a nonprofit called Reach Out for Schools.

DCU’s APR on personal loans starts at 7.50%, and that’s only if you have direct deposit set up on your DCU checking account, which would be used for automatic payments. If you don’t, your potential rates would start at 9.50% APR. Terms can be as long as 60 months, and there are no prepayment penalties.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU)’s secure website

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union earned a spot in our best overall list partly because of its generous auto pay discount. Scroll above to learn more about SchoolsFirst.

Logix Federal Credit Union

This credit union has the most generous discount of all, which helped earn it a spot in our best overall credit union list. Scroll up to read more.

Methodology

MagnifyMoney collected the rates and terms from the 50 largest credit unions by assets in July 2018. To determine the rankings, MagnifyMoney compared loan terms, the annual percentage rates for personal and signature loans offered, how quickly the funds for the loan become available once the loan is approved, and if the credit union offered any discounts for using a payroll or automated repayment plan.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here

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Best Options for Covering the Cost of Adoption

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Disclosure : By clicking “See Offers” you’ll be directed to our parent company, LendingTree. You may or may not be matched with the specific lender you clicked on, but up to five different lenders based on your creditworthiness.

adoption

You can’t put a price on the value of your child, but for couples who wish to adopt, the process can be quite costly. If you feel you are ready to start or grow your family through adoption but don’t have the funds to cover all the fees and expenses, you may want to consider an adoption loan.

What is the cost of adoption?

The cost of adoption can range enormously, based on factors such as whether you are adopting domestically or internationally, whether you are going with an agency or choosing a private adoption or whether you are adopting from foster care. The cost of going through an agency can be as much as $40,000, while an independent adoption is not that much less, at $34,000, according to AmericanAdoptions.com. An international adoption can run as high as $45,000, depending on the country from which you are adopting. The average cost of foster care adoption, however, is significantly less, at $2,744.

Whichever method you decide to choose, you may need some financial assistance. That is where an adoption loan can come in.

What is an adoption loan?

An adoption loan is essentially a personal loan you can take out to use for adoption-related costs. There are many personal loans on the market, so you shouldn’t limit your options as long as the loans you are considering are low-interest, have no or low fees and offer flexible repayment terms.

If you search online for the term “adoption loans,” you may find a few offers, but it’s best to search first for personal loans to broaden your search and help you locate the best loan option for you.

Here, to help you get started, are some of the best personal loans to use for adoption.

What to watch out for

Before you choose a loan for adoption costs, there are a few things you need to watch out for. Consider a realistic amount, for one. You may be able to cover some of the costs on your own, but some lenders who offer personal loans for adoption may encourage you to take out more than you need.

When taking out a loan, only you know how much you truly need, so it’s important to research the process thoroughly and formulate a realistic amount of expenses you can’t cover with your savings.

Another thing to watch out for is how some lenders may prey on couples’ vulnerability and eagerness to adopt. Companies who send out messages like “your child’s life is worth any cost” should be examined with caution.

When you take out a personal loan, you should always look at how affordable it will be. Is the interest rate low? Is there an origination fee, or any hidden fees? How short or long are the terms? Is there a prepayment penalty?

Ask yourself all of these questions and make sure you are positive about the answers and comfortable with them before you take out a loan. As with any loan, you’ll ideally want something low interest, with no fees and no prepayment penalties.

Be wary, too, of lenders promising affordable loans for people with bad credit, as this is almost never possible. In order to secure a low interest rate for your loan, you generally need to have good credit.

Affordable adoption loan requirements

LightStreamallows you to borrow anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000 with fixed APRs that range from 3.99% to 16.99% (with autopay). Terms range from 24 to 144 months, and the shorter your term is, the lower your rate may be. No origination fee means your loan costs will be lower. There will be a Hard Pull of your credit report upon applying.

APR

3.99%
To
16.99%

Credit Req.

Not specified

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 144

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

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LightStream is the online lending division of SunTrust Bank.... Read More


*Your APR may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount, which is only available when you select AutoPay prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay may be higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 3.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $295.20.

America’s Christian Credit Union specializes in adoption loans and lends up to $50,000, which should be more than enough to cover adoption expenses. Annual percentage rates start at 5.99% but can range from 8.90% to 10.90% for most borrowers. Borrowers have up to 84 months to pay back their loan, and the loan is good for domestic and international adoptions. This lender also offers home equity loans, with no closing costs or annual fees, to use for adoption costs. This includes a quarterly adjustable HELOC with a current starting APR of 3.5% and an annual adjustable HELOC with a current starting APR of 4%.

America’s Christian Credit Union
APR

8.90%
To
10.90%

Credit Req.

0

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

84

months

Origination Fee

0.00% - 0.00%

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on America’s Christian Credit Union’s secure website

SoFi is a popular lender offering a variety of personal loans at competitive rate and terms. Borrowers can receive anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000 with fixed APRs ranging from 5.99% to 17.67% and variable APRs ranging from 6.40% to 12.70% as long as borrowers sign up with autopay. Terms are 24 to 84 months, and there is no origination fee required.

SoFi
APR

5.99%
To
17.67%

Credit Req.

680

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 84

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

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SoFi offers some of the best rates and terms on the market. ... Read More


Fixed rates from 5.990% APR to 17.67% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.60% APR to 14.700% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of August 7, 2019 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 credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.60% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.27% plus 3.08% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. 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.

All rates, terms, and figures are subject to change by the lender without notice. For the most up-to-date information, visit the lender's website directly. 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.

SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Minimum loan requirements might be higher than $5,000 in specific states due to legal requirements. Fixed and variable-rate caps may be lower in some states due to legal requirements and may impact your eligibility to qualify for a SoFi loan.

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.

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)

Upstart offers quick and easy approvals for loans up to $50,000 with APRs ranging from 4.73% to 35.99%. Borrowers need at least a minimum credit score of 620 to qualify. Loan terms are 36 & 60 months, and there is no early repayment fee. There is, however, an origination fee of 0.00% - 8.00% to keep in mind.

APR

4.73%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

620

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 & 60

months

Origination Fee

0.00% - 8.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Upstart is an online lender created by ex-Googlers.... Read More

Adoption grants

Before you look into loan options, you should see if you qualify for any grants to help fund the costs of adoption. An adoption grant can help provide you with partial funding throughout the adoption process to ease the financial burden.

There are quite a few adoption grants available, but most have specific criteria. For example, in order to qualify for a grant, you may need to adopt through a licensed agency, or adopt within the country.

National Adoption Foundation. This organization has very few strict requirements, and considers single adults who wish to adopt. The program has no exclusions based on race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation or income, and awards grants ranging from $500 to $2,000 depending on the needs of the family and the circumstances surrounding the adoption.

HelpUsAdopt.org. This organization awards grants to couples, singles and LGBT applicants who are U.S. citizens and wish to adopt. Recipients can use the funds for private, agency or domestic adoption, and award amounts range from $500 to $15,000. The organization awards grants in February, May, August and September.

A Child Waits Foundation. If you are adopting internationally and your annual household income does not exceed $130,000, you may qualify for an adoption grant from this agency, as long as you are a U.S. or Canadian citizen. Applicants can apply for a grant no sooner than three to four months prior to when their family makes their final adoption trip. There is a $20 application fee and grant amounts typically do not exceed $7,000.

Bottom line

If you need funding to help you adopt a child, it’s best to consider all your options and try to obtain a grant along with a low-interest loan to help cover the rest of your financial needs. You can take a look at more personal loan options for adoption all in one chart with our comparison tool.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Chonce Maddox
Chonce Maddox |

Chonce Maddox is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Chonce at [email protected]

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Personal Loans

5 Personal Loans for Fertility Treatments

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Disclosure : By clicking “See Offers” you’ll be directed to our parent company, LendingTree. You may or may not be matched with the specific lender you clicked on, but up to five different lenders based on your creditworthiness.

stephanie pregnant_lg

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. However, these treatments may not always be covered by medical insurance; whether all or part of an infertility procedure is covered will depend on your insurance plan and where you live (some states have laws mandating coverage).

In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is one procedure in particular that insurance may not cover. A cycle of IVF can cost $12,400 on average, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. 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. Here are just some of the many available personal loans to consider.

SoFi – Fixed rates starting at 5.99% APR

SoFi offers personal loans from $5,000 to $100,000 to cover medical costs. Terms are 24 to 84 months. 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 it off quickly. In this scenario, you take advantage of very low interest for a short time and then pay off the loan before the 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.

SoFi
APR

5.99%
To
17.67%

Credit Req.

680

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 84

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

SoFi offers some of the best rates and terms on the market. ... Read More


Fixed rates from 5.990% APR to 17.67% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.60% APR to 14.700% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of August 7, 2019 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 credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.60% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.27% plus 3.08% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. 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.

All rates, terms, and figures are subject to change by the lender without notice. For the most up-to-date information, visit the lender's website directly. 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.

SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Minimum loan requirements might be higher than $5,000 in specific states due to legal requirements. Fixed and variable-rate caps may be lower in some states due to legal requirements and may impact your eligibility to qualify for a SoFi loan.

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.

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)

Earnest – Fixed rates starting at 5.99% APR

Earnest offers personal loans from $5,000 to $75,000. Loans have competitive interest and a streamlined online application process. Terms are 36 to 60 months. There are no application or origination fees. If you pay off the loan early, there are no prepayment 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’s 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 when you apply.

Earnest
APR

5.99%
To
17.24%

Credit Req.

680

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 60

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Instead of offering credit-based loans, Earnest has taken a very nontraditional approach using a merit-based system.... Read More

Lending Club – Fixed rates starting at 6.95% APR

Lending Club is a peer-to-peer lender that offers fixed-rate loans, and also promotes fertility loan options. You can borrow $1,000 to $40,000. Loan terms are 36 or 60 months. Once approved for a Lending Club loan, you get a credit rating and loan options from which to choose. 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 1.00% - 6.00%. How much you’ll pay for origination depends on the credit rating Lending Club assigns you. That credit rating is determined using factors including your credit history and credit score. Lending Club has no prepayment penalties.

APR

6.95%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 6.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingClub is a great tool for borrowers that can offer competitive interest rates and approvals for people with credit scores as low as 600.... Read More

LightStream – Fixed rates starting at 3.99% 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 24 to 144 months. To qualify for the lowest rates with LightStream, you need to have at least five 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 preapprovals at this time and will do a Hard Pull on your credit history at application.

APR

3.99%
To
16.99%

Credit Req.

Not specified

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 144

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

LightStream is the online lending division of SunTrust Bank.... Read More


*Your APR may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount, which is only available when you select AutoPay prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay may be higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 3.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $295.20.

Upstart – Starting at 4.73% APR

Upstart has personal loans from $1,000 to $50,000 that can cover various life expenses including medical bills. Loans are available at 36 & 60 month terms. Upstart takes into account more than your credit history to decide whether you qualify. Your education and job history will also be considered.

At a minimum, you need a 620 credit score to qualify for this loan. You must also have no more than six inquiries on your report over the past six months. Like Lending Club, Upstart charges an origination fee. You’ll have to pay 0.00% - 8.00% for loan processing. Depending upon your risk profile, interest rates can be as high as 35.99% APR.

APR

4.73%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

620

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 & 60

months

Origination Fee

0.00% - 8.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Upstart is an online lender created by ex-Googlers.... Read More

Other options to pay for IVF

There are options besides personal loans to help you pay for IVF if you can’t afford to pay out of pocket. Here are a few.

  1. Health savings account (HSA). An HSA is a tax-advantaged savings vehicle that allows you to contribute pre-tax dollars to a fund you can tap for out-of-pocket medical expenses. If you have a high-deductible health insurance plan, you should have access to an HSA. If you’ve saved up a good amount in your HSA, these funds can be used to help pay for your IVF treatments. There are limits to how much you can contribute each year; in 2019, the limits are $3,500 for an individual and $7,000 for a family.
  2. Home equity loan. If you own your home and have a decent amount of equity, you might consider taking out a home equity loan, or applying for a home equity line of credit, to pay for your IVF treatments. Keep in mind the risks involved, however. If you cannot repay your home equity loan, you are putting your homeownership in danger. Only consider taking out such a loan if you know you can repay it with no problem.
  3. Credit card. Paying for your IVF treatment with a credit card may not be the best option, as the interest rates can be very high. However, if you are able to obtain a 0% interest card and pay all or most of the charges off before the promotional period ends and your rate rises, using your credit card may be the right choice.

Bottom line

While the loans noted here have competitive interest rates, it’s best to first consider those without an origination fee. 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 fallback options if you have trouble getting approved elsewhere. Both may qualify you with a credit score below 650.

You can also turn to RESOLVE, the national infertility association, for an extensive current list of infertility financing programs. These include CapexMD, EggFund and Prosper Healthcare Lending.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Taylor Gordon
Taylor Gordon |

Taylor Gordon is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Taylor here

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