Without mincing words, fertility treatments can be expensive. But luckily, LGBTQ+ parents have a wide range of fertility financing options, plus potential grants and scholarships to help ease the financial burden.
The resources below can help get you up to speed on how to pay for IVF and other reproductive procedures using insurance, fertility loans and more.
According to the most recent research by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 15 states have laws requiring private insurers to cover some fertility treatment costs. However, members of the LGBTQ+ community may have trouble qualifying for covered services. Some state laws effectively exclude queer parents, and others ensure that queer parents can’t meet the definition of infertility. The health insurance struggle for LGBTQ+ families remains real.
If you have private health insurance, a call to your member services department can help determine if your health plan offers fertility treatment coverage. From there, you can sort out what’s covered and the steps necessary to qualify.
And if you happen to work for a company listed on the HRC’s annual Corporate Equality Index, your insurance might offer more inclusive fertility treatment coverage than most.
• Pros: Coverage of some of your fertility treatment costs.
• Cons: Coverage varies by state, and laws can make it difficult for queer parents to qualify.
You can easily find lenders specializing in fertility loans online or through your reproductive clinic. There's an application process, and your loan terms and interest rate will depend on the amount you borrow and your credit history. If your credit is less than stellar, don’t worry—fertility-specific lenders typically work with people with a wide range of credit histories.
With fertility loans, you won’t receive the funds directly. Instead, your lender will send the funds directly to your clinic.
• Pros: Added convenience since lenders send funds directly to your clinic; Loans available to borrowers with a wide range of credit histories.
• Cons: Potentially higher interest rates if your credit isn’t tip-top.
You can find personal loans from various sources, from your local bank or credit union to online lenders. The trick is figuring out which type of lender best suits your credit profile and borrowing needs.
Local banks tend to be better for borrowers with top-notch credit and an established relationship with the bank.
Credit unions often have more flexible approval guidelines and can better evaluate loan applications on a case-by-case basis.
Online lenders are plentiful in supply but can run the gamut in terms, interest rates and costs. You may also stumble across application fees that banks and credit unions typically don’t charge.
• Pros: A wide variety of lender types so you can compare costs, interest rates and funding speeds.
• Cons: Varying approval guidelines and some lenders charge application fees.
If you own a home, you could tap between 85% and 90% of its equity to pay for your fertility treatments. You’ll have two options: a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or a home equity loan.
HELOCs work a lot like credit cards. Your lender will approve you for a line of credit—say $15,000—and you’ll draw on the credit line as needed to pay for your fertility expenses. You’ll only pay interest on the funds you use. Once you repay the funds, your entire credit line is available to use.
Home equity loans are fixed-term loans. You’ll borrow a lump sum, secured by your home’s equity, and repay the loan at a fixed interest rate over a fixed term. For example, you might borrow $15,000 at 7.9% for a 10-year term. Once you’ve repaid your loan, you’ll need to reapply for additional funds.
Both HELOCs and home equity loans typically require an appraisal to determine your home’s current value.
• Pros: Lower interest rates than credit cards.
• Cons: Lengthy application process; Appraisal and origination fees can add to your total costs.
If you have great credit, you might score the best possible interest rate for your fertility financing needs using a credit card—either a current card or by applying for a new card.
Using a current card could be an option if you have a strong, established payment history. You can call your card issuer to ask if they can offer a promotional rate for an upcoming large purchase.
Applying for a new credit card with a promotional rate offer could also help you finance fertility treatments at a lower cost. Look for credit cards with 0% APR offers for a fixed number of months for new cardholders. Promo periods are typically between 12 and 18 months and may only apply to balance transfers. To score the promo rate, you can charge treatments on a current card and transfer the balance to the new card.
• Pros: Potential for 0% interest financing for a fixed term to save on interest costs.
• Cons: Not a good option for those still building or rebuilding their credit histories; You’ll need a plan for any remaining balance after the promotional period expires.
Believe it or not, you could qualify for free money to pay for your fertility treatments through fertility grants and scholarships. However, each opportunity will have different qualifying criteria and often limits on where and how they can be used, including limits on income, where you live and which clinics you can use for treatment.
It’s also worth noting that some programs have application fees. So before you apply, review all the qualifying criteria for each program and its application fees. This will prevent applying to programs where you’re not a fit and lost costs on app fees.
Family Equality publishes a helpful list of queer-friendly fertility grants.
Pros: Who doesn’t like free money?
Cons: Many grants have limits, so some LGBTQ+ parents won’t qualify.
Finally, you could find financial help for your fertility journey by creating a crowdfunding campaign. While you’ll pay platform costs—which get deducted from the total amount you raise—you’ll have a powerful way to share your family goals with your community and ask for financial donations.
To get started, sites like GoFundMe have special landing pages where you can review campaigns from other parents raising money for their fertility-related expenses for inspiration. You can also explore other crowdfunding platforms to compare costs so the most money possible makes its way to your bank account.
• Pros: A potentially easy way to raise awareness and funds for your parenthood journey
• Cons: Platform and payment processing costs can vary and eat into the amount you receive from your community’s generous donations.