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When it comes to financing in vitro fertilization, most Americans can’t afford to pay out of pocket for the full procedure. The average cost for one cycle of IVF is from $10,000 to $15,000, according to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, and currently only 17 states have laws that require insurers to either cover or offer coverage for fertility treatments.
Making financial trade-offs and saving for IVF is the best-case scenario, but for those eager to move forward without adequate savings, financing may be the answer.
How to pay for IVF
If insurance doesn’t cover your IVF treatments, here are other ways to finance the costs and who they’re best suited for.
Fertility specialist loan
Who it's best for: Those who want a lender that works directly with their fertility clinic.
Lenders that specialize in funding IVF loans often partner with fertility clinics and health care providers to offer IVF financing. There’s typically an application fee, and your approval for a loan is based on factors including your credit and the loan amount and term you request. The money for these types of IVF loans goes directly to the fertility clinic rather than the patient.
CapexMD and ARC Fertility are examples of lenders that offer IVF loans. Both facilitate IVF financing between participating fertility clinics and patients.
Credit union loan
Who it’s best for: Existing credit union members or those with imperfect or thin credit histories.
Credit unions offer personal installment loans, typically with low interest rates and flexible terms, to their members. They’re good options for borrowers with fair or bad credit (a credit score of 689 and below) because credit unions consider your whole financial situation, including credit history and your reputation as a member, when assessing your loan application. A credit union loan will be paid to you directly; you can then use the proceeds for fertility treatments.
Online personal loan
Who it’s best for: Patients with good to excellent credit who want convenient and fast funding.
Online personal loans allow you to pre-qualify, apply and receive funding online, often within a week or less. They can be an expensive way to finance IVF treatment, with annual percentage rates generally between 6% and 36%. Borrowers with good or excellent credit (a credit score of 690 or higher) typically receive the lowest rates.
Pre-qualifying allows you to compare multiple online loans without affecting your credit score.
$1,000 to $40,000.
8.30% - 36.00%.
$5,000 to $100,000.
6.99% - 23.99%.
$1,000 to $50,000.
6.50% - 35.99%.
$5,000 to $100,000.
7.99% - 22.73%.
$2,000 to $45,000.
7.73% - 29.99%.
0% interest credit card
Who it’s best for: Patients who qualify for a 0% APR and can pay off the balance within the promotional period.
Good- or excellent-credit borrowers may qualify for a 0% APR credit card, which offers free financing over an introductory period, typically 15 to 21 months. You can use the credit card to make fertility treatment payments at your provider. But you must pay off the credit card balance before the intro period ends to avoid interest charges.
Who it’s best for: Individuals who may not qualify for lower rates on a personal loan or credit card.
If you own a home with sufficient equity, a home equity line of credit allows you to potentially borrow up to 85% of your home’s appraised value. A HELOC works similarly to a credit card. You can spend up to your limit, and pay interest only on what you borrow.
HELOCs generally have an average rate around 5%, and they're secured by your home. If you can’t pay it back, you could lose your home.
» EXPLORE: The best HELOC lenders
Who it’s best for: Individuals who meet the eligibility criteria and application deadlines for IVF grants.
If loans or credit cards aren't an option for IVF financing, there are foundations, organizations and some treatment centers that offer grants — money that doesn’t need to be repaid — for infertility treatments.
Some grants may cover a portion of IVF treatment, while others pay for an entire cycle.
Grants typically have eligibility requirements related to location, insurance coverage and need. They may also require you to complete an application by a specified deadline and wait four to eight weeks to learn if you're selected for a grant.
You can use a service like CoFertility to find grants you may be eligible for by state. Here are a few examples of IVF grants:
Hope for Fertility Foundation: This nonprofit organization awards one grant each year and offers financial assistance to cover the costs of IVF treatments, surrogacy or adoption.
Baby Quest Foundation: This nonprofit awards grants twice a year that can go toward IVF and surrogacy expenses.
CNY Fertility: Each month, this fertility clinic awards a grant to cover a cycle of IVF, hotel stay and related medications. Recipients receive care through a CNY clinic in Colorado or New York.
How to compare IVF financing options
If you decide to finance your IVF treatments, it’s a good idea to research and compare multiple options.
Check your credit score. Understanding your credit score can help identify which financing options are best for you. Good or excellent credit scores mean a 0% credit card or personal loan can be a lower-cost option, while borrowers with fair or bad credit scores can take a look at credit unions or HELOCs. You can get your free credit report with NerdWallet or at AnnualCreditReport.com.
APR range. The APR, which includes interest and any fees, can be the best way to do an apples-to-apples comparison between financing options. Typically, the option with the lowest APR is the least expensive.
Fertility-specific lenders. It's a personal choice whether you’d like a dedicated fertility lender. Often these lenders can be convenient and make direct payments to the fertility clinic, as long as it’s a participating partner. A personal loan, on the other hand, can be used for almost any purpose, including IVF treatments.
Who it's best for
Fertility specialist loan
Those who want a lender that works directly with their fertility clinic.
Varies based on credit history, income, debt obligations and the lender.
Existing credit union members or those with imperfect or thin credit histories.
6% to 27%.
Patients with good to excellent credit who want convenient and fast funding.
6% to 36%.
Patients who qualify for a 0% APR and can pay off the balance within the promotional period.
12% to 25% after a 0% introductory period.
Individuals who may not qualify for low rates on a personal loan or credit card.
4% to 5.2%.
Individuals who meet the eligibility criteria and application deadlines for IVF grants.
Application fee plus other costs vary by organization.
Other considerations for IVF financing
Jim Marrocco, a certified financial planner, advisor and founder of Thinking Big Financial, a New York-based financial planning firm, has worked with clients seeking to finance IVF. He's shared factors individuals should consider as they think about how to pay for IVF treatments.
Know the potential IVF cost ranges. On top of APR costs with a loan and fees, Marrocco advises clients to understand the scope of total IVF costs. IVF treatment packages may not always include additional necessary procedures, appointments and other related expenses.
“If you go through IVF, and round one doesn’t take, what’s the cost of round two? Or is pricing inclusive of multiple attempts?” Marrocco says. Being aware of the entire cost can help you create a solid strategy to finance IVF.
Be realistic about what you can afford. Before making a financing decision, you need to know if you can comfortably manage the monthly payments. Marrocco advises clients to consider how long it will take to pay back the funds and if the payment fits with their current cash flow.
Plan for life after the birth. Marrocco reminds clients to also think about the overall costs of raising a child. “Do you have to move? Are there child care costs? What does that look like? Really be mindful that it’s not just about getting to the point of paying for IVF, but it’s also about paying for things once the baby is in the picture, too,” Marrocco says.