In vitro fertilisation, or IVF, is a fertility treatment that can help you conceive. As common as these procedures are, they are also expensive. While Medicare and private health insurance can help you cover the costs, you’ll still be left out of pocket. If you’re considering IVF but cannot afford the gap payments, you could consider an IVF loan.
What is an IVF loan and how does it work?
An IVF loan is a type of personal loan that you can use to cover the cost of IVF treatments. It’s essentially a fertility loan for couples who are trying to conceive through IVF, but who may not be able to pay for the cost of the treatment upfront.
IVF loans work the same as any other personal loan. You can borrow money, either as a lump sum or on a revolving basis, and repay it with interest. Personal loans also carry fees, such as establishment fees and ongoing account management fees. Depending on the loan, you may have a set repayment period or you may have to make minimum repayments only.
Does Medicare cover IVF treatments?
If your doctor refers you for fertility treatments, then Medicare will cover eligible treatments. While there is no limit on how many rounds you can have, there will be costs you will have to cover yourself. Medicare will only cover the cost for part of the treatment, not its entirety. You can also get a Medicare Safety Net to help you out when you meet the threshold. Keep in mind that you will need a referral from your GP. The rebate per IVF cycle can come up to 50% of the total cost. The costs that you’ll have to account for are: any costs Medicare doesn’t cover, the gap after Medicare rebate and any additional fees the clinic charges.
Does private insurance cover IVF treatments?
If you have gold tier health insurance, private insurance can help cover certain costs. These include inpatient services that are Medicare approved, prescriptions, and any inpatient services related to complications. You’ll have to be an in-patient to qualify for coverage from private health insurance. You can read more about it here.
What is the cost of IVF?
The median cost of IVF is around $8,015 per cycle. The cost will vary depending on the providers. This does not include extra expenses like hospital admissions, consultant fees and other medical procedures you might need.
Some of the treatments both Medicare and private insurance cover include egg collection, transferring embryo to uterus, and the preparation of frozen embryos. They do not cover ovulation induction and freezing, and storing of embryos or sperm. You can read more about it here.
How can I finance IVF?
There are a number of ways you can fund IVF treatments. These include:
- Secured personal loan. A secured loan requires an asset to be put up as loan security. You can generally use the funds however you wish, but you may only be able to borrow up to the value of the asset. You can use a vehicle or home equity to secure the loan. Some lenders also accept jewellery or art as security. The asset must have a value greater or equal to that of the loan. Secured loans generally come with lower interest rates and higher borrowing limits. But if you default on the loan, your asset can be repossessed. You can borrow from $1,000 up to $100,000 with a secured loan.
- Unsecured personal loan. An unsecured loan does not require an asset as collateral. Because of this, the interest rates are higher and borrowing amounts smaller. You can use the loan funds for any purpose, including paying for IVF treatments. You can borrow from $1,000 up to $50,000 with an unsecured loan.
- Medical loans. Specialised medical financing companies offer loans to cover a range of medical treatments, including IVF.
- Payment plans. Your health provider may offer you a payment plan, which can help you break down the cost of IVF treatment and pay it in instalments. Some providers have also partnered with buy now pay later services, where you get to pay in instalments without interest. You should talk to your health provider to find out more.
- Overdraft. An overdraft facility can be set up with your current bank and linked to your existing transaction account. This facility allows you to overdraw your account up to the given limit. This limit will be agreed upon by the applicant and the bank, and will depend on the financial position of the borrower. Some banks offer overdraft facilities in excess of $25,000. With overdrafts, you only have to pay for what you borrow. Interest charges will apply. If you have a good relationship with your bank, you may be able to get an overdraft even if your credit isn’t perfect.
- Line of credit. This is a form of revolving credit. Here the lender gives you ongoing credit up to a certain limit. You can borrow when you want and pay for what you’ve borrowed, not the entire credit limit. Interest charges apply on the amount you’ve borrowed. In contrast to lump sum loans like secured or unsecured loans, you can borrow the money as and when you want it.
- Credit card. You can also use a credit card to pay for your IVF treatments. Depending on your limit, you may be able to cover your costs. Keep in mind that interest rates on credit cards are higher than other personal loans. There is also no set repayment period, so you may fall into debt if you don’t keep on top of your payments.
How much can I borrow?
This will depend on the type of loan you apply for. For a secured loan, you can borrow up to $100,000, while the limit for an unsecured loan is $50,000. You can get lines of credit up to $75,000, and overdrafts up to $30,000. How much you can borrow with a credit card will depend on your credit card limit. Likewise, how much you can borrow with a personal loan will depend on your income, credit score and ability to repay the loan.
How do I compare my IVF loan options?
Here’s what you need to consider when comparing your loan options:
- How much does the loan cost? How much you have to pay back will depend on how much you’ve borrowed, and the interest and fees charges. So when comparing loans, look at both the interest rate and the comparison rate. The comparison rate is presented as a percentage and it will give you an indication of the true cost of the loan. Comparison rates are inclusive of interest and associated loan fees. Checking the fees is important as some loans come with low interest rates, but high fees. This drives up the cost of the loan and may offset the savings you make with low interest rates.
- Can I afford the loan? Does the loan sit comfortably in your budget or will you be left out of pocket? If it looks like you’ll be struggling with repayments, you should consider another loan.
- Does the loan amount cover my IVF costs? Check the minimum and maximum borrowing amounts. This should help you understand whether or not the loan will give you sufficient financial coverage. You can also speak to lenders to get a better idea of whether the loan amount is suitable for your needs.
- Do I want the funds in a lump sum or on an ongoing basis? If you want funding on a revolving basis and not in one go, then a loan which allows this may be the best option.
- Am I eligible for the loan? Check what the lender’s requirements for the borrower are. You should only apply for a loan if you tick all the boxes and meet the lender’s minimum requirements. If you don’t meet their criteria, your application is likely to get rejected.
- Will I be able to get the funds in time to pay my bill? Most lenders now have online applications. Keep an eye out for their application processing time and how long it will take for you to receive the money. The important thing to consider is whether you’ll receive the money when you need it.
- Are there additional features I would like to have? For instance, can you repay the loan early or make additional repayments?
What should I avoid with IVF loans?
- Getting into debt you cannot afford. Check the cost of the loan and make sure you can afford it. You should be able to comfortably include your repayments in your budget. You should also avoid borrowing more than you need.
- Disreputable lenders. Unfortunately, there are disreputable lenders that offer what appear to be attractive rates or financing for bad credit applicants. You should be wary of any offer that seems too good to be true. It’s best to check if the lender is reputable and what their history is. You should also be wary of loan sharks that charge extremely high interest for desperate borrowers. You should check the lender's website and make sure they’re a reputable company. Also check if they’re registered with ASIC. Plus, they should be easy to contact.
- Multiple applications. Every loan application shows up on your credit report. Several applications within a short period can have a negative impact on your credit score. This can make it harder for you to get a loan in the future. Select a single loan and lender that you’re eligible for and that suits your needs and apply with them.
- Long-term repercussions and legal issues. Once you sign a loan agreement, you are bound to its conditions. You will have to pay the loan and all the fees. Keep in mind that for unsecured loans, the lender can initiate legal proceedings against you if you don’t repay the loan. It can also report the debt to a credit reporting body like Equifax and use the services of a debt collector. For secured loans, your asset could be repossessed if you default.
How can I apply for an IVF loan?
🤔 Work out what type of loan you need, how much you need to borrow and what you can afford.
🔎 Start comparing lenders and loan products. Don't forget to compare interest rates, fees and eligibility criteria. You can use Finder’s comparison table to help you.
✅ Select a lender. Click “Go to site” to be directed to the lender’s page, or “More info” if you want to read about the lender.
🖨️ Organise and prepare the required documentation. This will make the application process easier.
📱 Apply. Most lenders have their applications online.
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