Jan 25, 2023

Paying For IVF: Your Complete Guide

The average cost of IVF in the U.S., including everything from medication to doctor’s visits, is around $18,000.

Unlike saving for a house, a wedding, or even college, IVF is usually an unexpected expense people are not financially prepared to handle. Studies show the biggest barrier to starting IVF is financing.

Fortunately, there are options available to pay for IVF, so you can move forward with your dream of starting a family.

Let's take a look at how paying for IVF works and how payment methods compare to a personal fertility loan with Future Family. As a team, we’re focused on making fertility treatment affordable and accessible while serving as a guiding resource to help you make the right decision.

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Paying for IVF: Your Complete Guide

Why Is IVF Not Fully Covered by Insurance?

IVF and fertility treatments are rarely fully covered by private insurance or Medicaid plans. Unfortunately, these treatments are not considered medically necessary by some insurance companies.

But currently, there are 17 states that require insurers to either cover or offer coverage for fertility treatment. This only guarantees some procedures and medications will be covered. Every state carries its own limitations.

Speak with your insurance provider to see what is covered. For any remaining out-of-pocket costs, you can look into five payment options.

5 Ways on How To Pay For IVF and What to Consider for Each

Each fertility payment option has pros and cons. These advantages and disadvantages will weigh differently, depending on your financial situation. We encourage you to read each carefully to make the best choice for yourself and your future family.

Credit Cards

Studies report that over 85% of people pay for fertility treatments with a credit card.

Credit cards are a popular option because of their convenience and speed. It’s also an easy option for those who may not qualify for a loan.

But high-interest rates can make this an expensive choice in the long run:

  • Most credit cards have an average interest rate of 20%. A high rate causes more of your money to go toward paying off interest rather than your fertility treatment.
  • Some people consider charging their IVF treatments on credit cards that offer an introductory 0% interest rate for the first year. Using this type of card can be a great solution if you can pay the total balance off that first year. However, it's best to research the interest rate after the year is up, as it can jump substantially, potentially to 20% or higher.
  • The average American consumer has access to roughly $31,000 in credit between all their credit cards. Since this amount is close to the actual cost of IVF/fertility treatment, putting the fall balance can increase an individual’s credit utilization and negatively impact their credit score.
  • Credit card points or rewards can help cover some costs but rarely the full amount. Consider that points are depreciating assets—they lose value over time. Roughly 40% of Americans have points they didn't use in the last year.

Overall, credit cards are a good option for ongoing, smaller purchases, but heightened credit card use can hurt your credit score. It’s crucial to do your research and ensure you can handle the interest rates before swiping.


Saving money for IVF is a very sound way to pay for IVF because there is no interest rate. A savings account contains accessible money you can apply to your treatment immediately without worrying about a monthly payment or a hit to your credit.

However, suppose you are dipping into your rainy day savings account. In that case, you may be jeopardizing your financial health if an emergency or unexpected expense pops up (e.g., a leaky roof or car troubles).

IVF is one of the few life choices with a specific fertility timeline, which may not match your savings timeline. It can be challenging to save $18,000 or more for IVF if you need to start fertility treatments in the upcoming months.

401(k) or Retirement Account

It is always tempting to borrow money from your 401(k) to pay for IVF.

The CARES Act allows individuals to take funds from a 401(k) without the 10% surcharge tax if COVID-19 has affected them financially.  

However, most financial experts advise against borrowing from a 401(k) for two main reasons:

  • By borrowing money against your retirement savings, you now have to earn money, pay taxes, and then return the funds (plus interest) to the account. When you withdraw it later, you may have to pay income tax again, defeating the purpose of having a tax-deferred account.
  • You're selling your investments when you borrow money from your 401(k). If any of those investments rise in value, you no longer have access to the profits or the compounding power.

Unless you’ve exhausted most other resources, such as emergency accounts or other easily accessible forms of savings, borrowing funds from your retirement account isn’t a great option.

Fertility Treatment Grants

There are more fertility grants available today than ever. Resolve.org, the website of the National Infertility Association, has a great round-up of grants to help people fund their fertility treatments.

Most fertility grants offer between $1,000 and $10,000, which can be a tremendous help toward the overall IVF cost. Check if your grant covers medication and other related expenses that can add up fast.

Keep in mind that most grants:

  • Have specific qualifications, from location to an income cap to being evaluated by a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist. These requirements often require additional research to find a grant for your specific circumstances.
  • Are limited to a certain number of individuals. Organizations like Parental Hope Family Grant and The Fertility Foundation of Texas award grants once or twice each year rather than awarding them year-round. Thus, you would need to factor these grant timelines into your treatment schedule.

Fertility Treatment Loan

A fertility loan is borrowed funds used to pay for a portion or all of your fertility treatment. The amount, terms, and conditions of a loan typically depend on your credit score. The higher your score, the more easily you can qualify for a low-interest IVF loan.

A loan is an excellent solution for a bigger one-time investment, like IVF or a new car. The interest rate is usually lower with fixed monthly payments over a specific amount of time, which means there are no financial surprises.

At Future Family, we believe the smart way to cover costs is a personal fertility loan, allowing you to start your treatments immediately. Personal fertility loans have much lower interest rates than most credit cards, typically between 0.00% and 17.00%.

Is an IVF Loan an Option for Me?

Making financial trade-offs and saving for IVF is ideal. But we understand that may not be possible, depending on your circumstances. For those eager to pursue IVF with minimal savings, financing your fertility treatment may be the best option.

Whether you can get a loan for IVF generally depends on the following:

  • Your credit score
  • Your income level

We recommend gathering all the relevant information before taking out an IVF loan. This process may include:

  • Reaching out to your healthcare insurance company to determine if you qualify for any fertility coverage.
  • Calculating how much you’ll have to spend on the treatment total (depending on how much your insurance will cover). Keep in mind that a large patient population may need one IVF egg retrieval but could need multiple embryo transfers. Embryo transfer cycles are significantly cheaper than a full IVF cycle, which includes egg retrieval.  

If you take out a loan, you want to ensure you can pay it off. Consider your other debts, cost-of-living expenses, and savings. Use these considerations to help you assess whether you can realistically take on an IVF loan.

How Can I Make IVF Cheaper?

The cost of IVF isn’t negotiable, as it’s based on the treatments needed to increase your chances of conceiving and carrying a pregnancy. But to make sure your IVF loan covers everything, Future Family works with you and your fertility clinic to determine the exact amount your whole IVF treatment will cost. We take into account any necessary treatments like medication or genetic testing.

By taking a more thorough approach to the estimation process, we help reduce the risk of unexpected additional costs. You can go to your fertility clinic or pharmacy for treatment without worrying about payment arrangements.

Future Family Fertility Loans

Future Family IVF plans are dedicated to not only saving you money but lowering your IVF-related stress.

Future Family’s membership includes:

  • Bill Pay Management: Your payment specialist at Future Family handles all your bills—from medication to clinic appointments. You can make your monthly loan payment each month via the convenient bill pay management platform.
  • Personal Fertility Coaching and Care Team: Future Family members receive access to a nurse help desk, where they can schedule a time to talk to a fertility coach to answer any additional questions about fertility treatments or medication.

Future Family’s Fertility Coaches are registered nurses with years of experience in fertility healthcare and have helped thousands of women through IVF and egg freezing. Get to know our nursing care team.

What Is the Typical Duration of an IVF Loan?

Fertility loans typically offer 12-, 24-, and 36-month repayment timelines. At Future Family, our median term is closer to 60, keeping monthly payments lower and allowing patients to spread the repayment over a longer period.

Future Family loans also have no prepayment penalty. If you want to pay a holiday bonus toward your principal, you can do that directly through the billing platform.

Do You Have to Pay Again If IVF Fails?

The answer to this question depends on the fertility clinic or lender. Some clinics offer full or partial refunds to eligible patients if IVF treatment is unsuccessful. Others provide advantages, such as directly applying any unused funds to the principal loan amount to shorten the loan term and reduce the total interest.

Learn More about How Future Family Can Help

In the end, you have to make the financial decision that works best with your life and financial situation.

If you have questions or would like more information about how Future Family can provide a fertility loan for your specific needs, please feel free to email us at financing@futurefamily.com. Or, prequalify for a loan at Future Family. Prequalification takes two minutes.

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