Dec 01, 2022

Paying for IVF with Credit Card vs. Loan: 5 Factors to Keep in Mind

If you’re stuck on this, you’re not alone. How to pay for IVF is a big and complex question many prospective parents face. After all, the financial side of fertility treatment is a significant part of the process, and roughly 75% of people do not have IVF coverage.  

As a trusted fertility lending expert, we want to offer you helpful insights—not only to help you find a practical and realistic solution to cover your costs but also to make your entire IVF journey less stressful and more joyful.

Learn the key differences between paying for IVF with a credit card versus a loan—and what the better option might be for you in the long run.

How Much Does IVF Cost?

The average cost of one IVF cycle typically ranges from $10,000–$15,000. These values do not include medication costs, which can be anywhere from $5,000–$8,000.

Making financial trade-offs and saving for IVF is ideal. But we understand this may not be possible, which is why many people look into credit cards and loans.

What’s the Difference Between Paying for IVF with a Credit Card Versus a Loan?

There are five key areas to consider when choosing between credit cards and loans.

1. Interest Rates

Credit Cards

Credit cards typically come with variable interest rates, meaning the interest fluctuates depending on the market.

For example, the Federal Reserve has been pushing interest rates higher amid its battle against inflation. When the Fed hikes rates, credit card interest rates tend to move with it.

Though some credit card companies offer appealing promotional rates in the beginning, those rates typically jump to onerous heights (20% or higher). Bear that in mind as you weigh your options.

Loans

Fertility loans generally come with fixed interest rates ranging from 0.00%–17.99%. Though the Federal Reserve push also impacts fixed interest rates, a fixed rate you’ve locked in will not change for the loan’s entire term. So in the long run, this might prove more advantageous in terms of cost and stability.

The fixed interest rate for your loan depends on various factors such as:

  • The clinic providing your care
  • Your credit score, income, and credit history
  • Your borrowing amount
  • The length of your loan

2. Payment Process

Credit Cards

You are usually required to make a monthly payment to keep your credit account in good standing. Making the minimum payment every cycle ensures you don’t carry incur:

  • Late fees
  • Penalty APRs
  • Negative marks on your credit report

Keep in mind, credit card issuers continue to charge interest until your balance is paid in full. So even though making minimum payments ensures good standing with creditors, it also prolongs the payment timeline (sometimes by several years).

Loans

Your monthly payment depends on the loan amount you qualify for, and the interest rate. For instance:

  • If you take out a loan for $18,000 with a fixed APR of 7.99% on a 60-month term, Future Family will pay out $18,000 to vendors on your behalf. You will then make 60 monthly payments of $364.89.

Each average payment Future Family provides covers a portion of your principal and interest. Our median payment term is 60 months—this allows payments to be smaller and spread out over a longer period of time. There is also no prepayment penalty.

Have a holiday bonus you want to pay toward the principal? You can do that directly on Future Family’s website. There is no prepayment penalty!

3. Impact on Credit Score

Credit Cards

Using a credit card for fertility treatment can both help and hurt your credit score. Establishing credit history is good, but watch your credit utilization—the amount of credit you are currently using, compared to how much you have available.

Expressed as a percentage, your credit utilization rate is a component creditors assess to determine how risky you are.

A low credit utilization rate indicates you’re doing a good job managing your credit assets. A high credit rate indicates to lenders/creditors you’re having trouble managing your finances.

The general rule of thumb is to keep your utilization rate under 30%. This may be challenging to do, as the cost of treatment tends to be close to credit limits (more on this in the next section).

Loans

Some are hesitant to apply for loans due to a hard credit check, which typically knocks off a few points from your credit score. The good news is, applications from fertility lenders like Future Family do not impact your credit score in any way.

Staying committed to your monthly loan payments can help build credit in the long term. FICO and VantageScore consider payment history as the most essential factor in calculating credit scores.

And with the interest rates incorporated into monthly payments, you don’t have to worry about fluctuating costs, helping you stay on track throughout the loan duration.

4. Credit Limits

Credit Cards

As aforementioned, credit limits tend to be similar to the cost of treatment. For example, the average person in the U.S. has access to roughly $31,000 in credit limits across all their credit cards.

So if an IVF treatment cycle costs $19,000, this means:

  • Your credit utilization rate jumps to 61% and your credit drops.
  • If you don’t pay off your credit card balance in time, you may not have enough credit to pay for a subsequent cycle.

Loans

Credit limits and utilization rates are based solely on revolving credit. So taking out a fertility loan would not impact your credit limit.

Additionally, fertility lenders understand IVF may involve multiple cycles, which is why they offer loans that provide funding beyond a single attempt.

5. Long-Term Savings

Credit Cards

Credit card companies offer reward programs that accumulate points over time. These earn cash rewards which can help foot the bill for your fertility treatment.

However, 40% of credit card holders have points they did not use in the past year. Points depreciate over time, so when life gets busy, you gain less value from them by the time you redeem the points.

Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an inflation rate of 7.5% from January 2021 to January 2022. This means for every $1,000 in rewards earned at the beginning of that period, the buying power is now closer to $925.

Loans

Future Family loans save you money right away with lower, fixed interest rates from the get-go. These fixed rates keep your payments steady and help you save more money in the long run.

Better yet, fertility lenders offer unique opportunities such as:

  • 0% Interest Rate Financing which provides a 0% interest rate for up to 12 months. Eligible patients pay the same amount as a cash purchase, but with the flexibility of spreading out payments over time.
  • Friends and Family Plan which offers the chance for a family member or friend to take out a loan on your behalf. They can help you cover the cost of treatment.

How Will Future Family Help Me Save Money?

As indicated above, going with the right fertility loan keeps the payment process simple. Interest rates and payments are fixed so you have more control over your finances—and can rest assured you can pay off fertility costs in time.

The Future Family team provides borrowers access to a personal fertility care team. In addition to the financial commitments, we understand IVF is a physical and emotional investment as well. Thus, we offer our clients a holistic package that includes a personal nursing care team.

Learn more about the best way to pay for IVF.

Get Pre-Approved for an IVF Loan Today

If you’re interested in pursuing an IVF loan, see if you prequalify today. Applicants can be pre-approved within two minutes, and this process does not impact your credit score.

If you have any questions, please contact financing@futurefamily.com.

Learn how Future
Family can help you

Flexible financing plans and dedicated support for IVF and egg freezing