Credit Card Late Payment Consequences

Missing a credit card payment can happen to anyone. But a credit card late payment may also come with certain consequences, such as late fees, interest accrued on the credit card balance, and potential negative impacts to your credit score. The longer you go without paying your bill, the more consequences you may experience.

Here’s a look at what happens if you miss a credit card payment and solutions to help prevent this from happening in the first place.

When Is a Credit Card Payment Considered Late?

As soon as you fail to pay your credit card bill by the due date, it’s considered past due. Your credit card company may send you notices about it in the form of calls, emails, letters, or texts. You could also face some financial consequences for being late.

What Happens if You Make a Late Credit Card Payment?

The Credit Card Balance Could Increase

Even if you didn’t use the card to make new purchases during a particular billing cycle, making a late payment could still potentially increase your balance in a few different ways.

With even the first missed due date, the credit card company can charge a late fee of up to $30. If you miss another payment within the next six billing cycles, the late fee can go up to $41.

The silver lining here is that the late fee can’t be more than the minimum amount due on the account. So, for instance, if your minimum payment is $25, your late fee won’t exceed $25.

There’s also a chance the creditor could increase your interest rate if your payment is late by a certain number of days. Increasing your interest rate will also increase your total credit card balance because that new, higher rate (generally referred to as a “penalty APR”) will apply to the entire unpaid balance.

Not all credit card companies have penalty APRs for late payments, so check with your credit card company to verify.

Recommended: What Is APR on a Credit Card?

Your Credit Score Might Be Affected

Your credit score includes information about your credit history, such as your payment history and the standing of your accounts, so a late payment could have a negative impact.

Generally, creditors send information to credit bureaus using different codes to indicate if a payment is current or late. Since there is no credit code for payments that are one to 29 days late, they may use a “current” code.

Once the payment is more than 30 days late, however, creditors generally use the “late” code to denote that the payment is delinquent. But different creditors will send different codes at different times so there’s no way to know for sure when you will see the late payment reflected in your credit report.

Creditors may not report a late payment to credit bureaus until a full billing cycle has gone by with no repayment (typically 30 days). So, for example, if your payment’s due date was the 11th and you paid on the 13th, there’s a chance your credit won’t take a hit.

Although every situation is different, a late payment might end up staying on your credit report for several years. And because credit history is just one factor used to determine your credit score, it’s hard to predict exactly how a late payment will impact your overall score.

The Balance Could Be Charged Off

Another consequence of not paying your credit card bill is that the credit card company may not allow you to continue to use your card for other purchases until your account is in good standing.

What’s more, if your payment is 180 days past due, the credit card company can close your account and charge off the balance. “Charging off” means the credit card company will permanently close the account and write it off as a loss, but the debtor still owes the balance remaining.

Sometimes, credit card companies will attempt to recover what’s owed through their own collection department, but charged-off debts are sometimes sold to third-party collection agencies, which then attempt to get payment from the debtor.

Credit card companies do have leeway to work with their customers. Under FDIC regulations governing retail credit, the creditor can help customers who have had financial setbacks — like job loss or the death of a family member — get back on track.

This leniency is typically shown to people who are willing and able to repay their outstanding debt, and the FDIC encourages creditors to proceed with this step with a structured repayment plan and to monitor the progress of the plan.

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How to Resolve a Credit Card Late Payment

Make a Payment Right Away

If the payment just slipped your mind, don’t panic. Paying the credit card balance in full immediately helps avoid accruing interest charges and potentially saves your credit score from dropping. Alternatively, you might want to ask your credit card company about arranging a payment plan to minimize the damage.

Negotiate Fees

Even though your credit score may not drop because of one missed payment, you may incur late fees or a penalty interest rate (or, more accurately, a penalty APR as mentioned above), which will likely increase your total balance.

However, sometimes credit card companies are willing to work with customers to waive those fees. Calling your credit card company to request a waiver of late fees could be a first step, especially if your account is up to date and you’re not a repeat offender.

If your credit card company seems unwilling to change your rate back to the original amount, you might consider asking if they will do so once you show responsible payment history.

Automate Your Credit Card Payments

To help prevent any late payments in the future, you may want to consider setting up autopay to cover the minimum payment on your credit cards.

This way, if a payment slips your mind, you shouldn’t face any late payment consequences. Setting your bill to be automatically paid in full a few days before the payment is due can ensure you pay your balance in time.

If you would prefer not to sign up for autopay, many credit card companies have an option to sign up for notifications that remind you when your payments are due.

Getting Out of Credit Card Debt

To avoid late credit card payments once and for all, you may want to consider solutions for getting out of credit card debt entirely. Strategies depend on your unique financial situation, of course, but here are some you might want to explore.

Budget to Get Out of Debt

Creating a budget can help you better manage your money so you know what you have coming in and going out. You can use either a simple spreadsheet or a spending tracker app to simplify your efforts.

Once you have a handle on how much extra money you can put toward your debt, you may want to select a debt repayment strategy, such as the snowball method or avalanche method.

With the snowball method, the focus is on paying off the smallest debt balance first and then moving on to the second smallest debt balance, and so on, while still making minimum payments on all debt. This type of method is meant to give a psychological boost.

The avalanche method tackles the debt with the highest interest rate. Since you’re starting with the most expensive debt, this strategy can be a big money saver in the long run.

Open a Balance Transfer Credit Card

If your credit is in good standing, opening a balance transfer credit card could be a solution. Usually, these types of credit cards come with low or 0% APRs for a certain period.

Some companies may offer up to 21 months of interest-free payments during the promotional period. But it’s important to note that while the introductory period might be interest-free, you may still have to pay a balance transfer fee between 2% and 5%.

Ideally, you would pay your credit card balance in full by the time the introductory period is over, which would allow you to avoid interest payments on the debt.

Keep in mind, however, many balance transfer credit cards have restrictions. For example, if you make a late payment, you may lose your introductory rate.

Another limitation may be that your introductory APR only applies to the transferred balance and all other transactions may have a higher rate.

Before taking out another line of credit, understand that it can impact your total credit score. Credit scores are calculated using several factors, including credit history and new credit, both of which could be affected when opening a new account.

Consolidate Debt with a Personal Loan

Another option may be to combine separate payments into one credit card consolidation loan, hopefully for a reduced interest rate. While a loan doesn’t erase your debt, it can help you focus on one monthly payment, which might enable you to pay down your debt faster.

As you compare rates, it’s important to understand how a new loan could pay off in the long run. If your monthly payment is lower because the loan term is longer, for example, it might not be a good strategy, because it means you may be making more interest payments and therefore paying more over the life of the loan. You can use an online personal loan calculator to get an idea of how much interest you could save by using a personal loan to pay off debt.

Recommended: 11 Types of Personal Loans & Their Differences

The Takeaway

Late credit card payments can happen to anyone, but unfortunately, they may come with consequences, like late fees, interest, or a temporary hit to your credit score. And the longer your bill goes unpaid, the more consequences you may experience. Fortunately, there are ways to resolve a late payment, starting with making a payment as soon as you realize one is overdue. If you incurred penalty fees, you can ask your credit card company for a one-time waiver and look into setting up automatic payments to ensure your future bills are paid on time.

Looking into ways to pay down your debt? Budgeting is one solution, as it helps you keep tabs on where your money is going. If combining multiple bills into one fixed monthly payment, at a potentially reduced interest rate, is part of your strategy, then a credit card consolidation loan may be an option to consider. (Debt management is a common use for a personal loan.)

If you are thinking about taking out a loan to consolidate your debt, a SoFi personal loan may be a good option for your unique financial situation. SoFi personal loans offer competitive, fixed rates and a variety of terms. Checking your rate won’t affect your credit score, and it takes just one minute.

See if a personal loan from SoFi is right for you.

FAQ

Can you go to jail for not paying credit card bills?


No, you can’t be arrested for not paying your credit card bills.

What happens if you never pay your credit card bill?


There are some serious potential ramifications for not paying your bills. The delinquency may be noted on your credit report, which can damage your credit score. You could even face a civil lawsuit if the debt goes unpaid.

Can my creditor garnish my wages for not paying my credit card?


Yes, if your credit card debt has been sold to a debt collector, and the collector has a court judgment, then they can garnish your bank account or wages.


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SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website .

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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What Are College Tuition Payment Plans and How Do They Work?

When it comes to choosing a school, cost is top of mind for many students. In fact, nearly 81% of students and their families eliminated a prospective college based on its price tag, according to a 2022 Sallie Mae survey.

If the cost is a factor you’re considering, it could be worth looking into a college tuition payment plan. These plans allow students and their families to pay tuition and fees over an extended period of time. Qualifying for a plan is usually not difficult, though you may be required to pay an enrollment fee.

Here’s a look at how college tuition payment plans work.

What Is a College Tuition Payment Plan?

Instead of paying for college tuition at the beginning of each year, semester, or quarter, college tuition payment plans — also known as tuition installment plans or deferred payment plans — allow students and their families to spread out the cost of tuition over a period of time.

Depending on the school, the plan may allow payments to be made over the course of the semester or over the full year.

While you’ll generally have to start making payments right away, schools frequently offer the option to spread payments into monthly installments. Some also offer plans that break the payment into a few equal payments throughout the semester.

How Do Payment Plans Work?

Some colleges and schools run their own tuition payment plans. Others use an outside service to administer the plan.

Typically these payment plans only cover the direct costs charged by and paid to the college, such as tuition and fees. Sometimes the cost of housing and meal plans will also be included. The cost of things like textbooks and school supplies are not usually included in these plans.

Many tuition payment plans require an enrollment fee, which may run around $50 to $100, although it could be lower. These plans don’t usually charge interest, which can make them less expensive than taking out a student loan, as long as you are able to make the monthly payments. There generally isn’t a credit check.

What Types of Schools Offer Payment Plans?

Many schools offer some sort of tuition payment plan. Generally, qualifying for the plan isn’t very difficult. However, some schools do have specific enrollment periods. Check with your preferred school to determine when you need to enroll in a payment plan and what is required to do so.

Colleges and Universities

Tuition payment plans are offered at most, though not all, colleges and universities. Check your school’s website for details on available installment plans and see if there’s one that fits your needs and budget.

Graduate Schools

Many graduate programs offer payment plans. Enrollment dates can vary, so contact your program to find you when you’ll need to sign up.

Community Colleges

Community colleges typically offer payment plans for students and their families who are unable to pay costs upfront. Similar to plans at other types of schools, installment plans at community colleges may only cover certain costs, such as tuition and fees.

Trade Schools

On average, trade school tuition can range from $3,674 to nearly $16,000, according to data from the Department of Education. Some schools may offer a payment plan so students can pay the tuition and fees in installments.

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What if My School Doesn’t Offer a Payment Plan?

If your preferred school doesn’t offer a payment plan, you can explore independent plans offered through private organizations. Your school’s financial aid office may be able to provide referrals.

Of course, even with a payment plan, the burden of tuition can still be too high for some students and their parents. Consider some of the following options when planning to pay for college tuition. While these ideas alone might not be enough to help you cover the full cost of tuition, a combination of a few could do the trick.

Federal Aid

Federal aid for college encompasses grants, scholarships, student loans, and work-study. To apply, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year.

The schools you apply to will use this information to determine how much aid you receive. You’ll typically receive an award letter detailing what types of federal aid you’ve qualified for and the amounts.

Federal Student Loans

Federal student loans can be either subsidized or unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are awarded based on need. The Department of Education covers the interest that accrues on these loans while you are in school at least part-time, during the grace period after leaving school, and during periods of deferment or forbearance.

Unsubsidized federal loans are awarded independent of need. Borrowers are responsible for paying the interest that accrues on these loans while they are in school and during periods of deferment.

Payments are not required on either unsubsidized or subsidized loans while you are actively enrolled more than part-time in school.

There are also PLUS loans available to parents who are interested in borrowing a loan to help their child pay for college.

Work-Study

The federal work-study program provides jobs for undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate financial need. The amount of work-study you receive will depend on factors like when you applied, your level of determined financial need, and the amount of funding available at your school.

The money earned for work-study won’t count against you when you fill out the FAFSA, so it shouldn’t jeopardize future financial aid awards. Each time you fill out the FAFSA, it’s worth indicating that you’re still interested in receiving work-study as part of your financial aid award (that is, if you are still interested).

And it’s important to remember that your financial aid award may change from year to year, depending on your and your family’s circumstances.

Scholarships and Grants

Scholarships and grants don’t typically have to be repaid, which makes them one of the best options for students trying to pay for school. Some scholarships and grants are awarded by schools based on the information you provided in the FAFSA, but there are scholarships and grants available that aren’t based on financial need.

Taking some time to comb through online scholarship search tools could prove helpful. Each scholarship will have different application requirements. Some might require an essay or additional supplementary materials, but the effort could be worth it if you’re able to fund a portion of your tuition costs.

Private Student Loans

Sometimes federal aid, scholarships, and your savings aren’t enough to cover the full cost of tuition. In those cases, private student loans could be an option. Unlike federal student loans, which are offered by the government, private student loans are offered by banks, credit unions, or other private lenders.

The private student loan application process will vary slightly based on lender policies, but will almost always require a credit check. Lenders will review your credit score and financial history as they determine how much money they are willing to lend to you.

In some cases, students might need the help of a cosigner to take out a private student loan. This could be the case if they have little to no credit history.

Some parents may also be interested in taking out a private loan to help their child pay for their education.

The Takeaway

Tuition payment plans, which extend the payment for college tuition over a fixed period of time, can be helpful for parents and students as they navigate how they’ll pay for the cost of education. Spreading tuition payments over the semester or year can help make them more manageable. Check if your preferred school offers a tuition payment plan. Many do.

Sometimes, the burden of tuition is still too high, even with a payment plan. Scholarships and grants, work-study, and federal aid can help you cover the cost of tuition. If you’ve exhausted all federal aid options, private student loans can fill gaps in need, up to the school’s cost of attendance, which includes tuition, books, housing, meals, transportation, and personal expenses.

Cover up to 100% of school-certified costs including tuition, books, supplies, room and board, and transportation with a private student loan from SoFi.

FAQ

Are college tuition payment plans the same thing as tuition installment plans?

Yes, college tuition payment plans are also called tuition installment plans.

Do college tuition payment plans cover all school-related costs?

Typically, payment plans only cover tuition and fees. This means you may be responsible for the cost of books, supplies, housing, food, and transportation. Check with your preferred school to find out what its plan covers.

Do college tuition payment plans charge interest?

These plans don’t typically charge interest. However, you may be required to pay a modest fee to enroll.


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SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


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Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs. SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility-criteria for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

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What Are the Effects of Carrying a Balance on Credit Cards?

There’s no doubt that most Americans love their plastic.

When used responsibly, credit cards can be one way to build credit.

However, many people run into issues when it comes to paying off their credit card balance each month. Some 46% of credit card holders carry some sort of debt from month to month, according to a 2023 Bankrate survey. And as of December 2022, the typical American owed around $7,279 in credit card debt.

Although carrying the balance isn’t necessarily an issue, not paying it off every month may cause interest to accrue. That in turn could make a balance more challenging to pay off.

But by understanding the effects of carrying a balance, you can start to figure out a strategy to paying off your credit card debt.

The Effects of Carrying a Credit Card Balance

Carrying a balance on a credit card comes with some potential financial consequences. Let’s take a look at them.

Impact on Credit Score

Can your credit score take a hit when you fail to pay off a credit card balance? Possibly. Nearly one-third (30%) of your FICO score is based on how much you owe to creditors, which is often referred to as a credit utilization ratio. This ratio is the amount of revolving credit you’re currently using divided by the total amount of revolving credit available to you.

You may notice that when you carry a balance on a credit card, your credit score could dip by a few points. Often, the drop is temporary and your score may start to go up again once you pay off the balance.

Accrued Interest

If you’re carrying a credit card balance, you may also want to be mindful of accrued interest. This is the amount of interest that builds up in between payments. Most credit cards charge compounding interest, and the majority of credit cards compound interest daily. Therefore, if anything is owed after the payment due date, the balance can easily start climbing.

The amount that accrues will depend on the balance and the interest rate. You can use a credit card interest calculator to get an estimate of how much interest has added to your balance.

If the balance is paid off in full, interest won’t accrue (not until the next charge is made, at least).

Strategies to Help Reduce Credit Card Debt

Depending on how much you owe, paying off credit card debt can seem like an uphill battle. But fortunately, with planning, commitment, and tools, it can be achieved. Here are a few strategies you may want to consider.

Budget to Repay Credit Card Debt

When you’re looking to pay down credit card debt, rethinking or creating a budget can be a natural starting point. You can record this information in a spreadsheet or a spending tracker app, whichever is easier for you.

You may also want to incorporate a debt repayment strategy into your budget to accelerate the process. If you’re someone who is motivated by seeing fast results, you may want to consider the snowball method of repayment. This strategy prioritizes paying off credit cards with the smallest balances first. Once you pay down the smallest balance, you move on to the second smallest balance.

The avalanche approach, on the other hand, calls for prioritizing paying down credit card balances with the highest interest rates. Once you pay off the balance with the highest interest rate, you move on to the next highest interest rate, continuing until all debt is repaid (while making at least minimum payments on all other balances, of course).

Both debt repayment strategies have advantages and disadvantages. It’s a good idea to consider which method you’ll be most able to stick with, or use them as inspiration to create a plan that will work for you.

Open a Balance Transfer Credit Card

Another option to consider is to open a balance transfer credit card. The idea is to open a new credit card with an introductory interest rate that is significantly lower than your current credit card interest rate. This can allow you to pay off your credit card balance at a lower rate as long as you pay it off in the introductory time frame.

You can potentially pay off your balance within a shorter time while saving money on interest. It’s important to note that the low-interest rate on balance transfer credit cards is usually only offered for an introductory period, usually between six and 18 months. Once that period expires, the rates typically increase.

If you plan to repay the balance before the introductory period ends, a balance transfer credit card might be worth pursuing. Make sure to account for a balance transfer fee, which is usually 3% to 5%.

As with any other credit card application, your credit history will determine if you qualify and what rate you’ll receive. If your credit isn’t ideal, this might not be an option.

Make Extra Payments

If you don’t want to open a new credit card, you can make extra payments to reduce interest costs. Again, credit card interest is typically calculated on the account’s daily average balance. Therefore, by making one or more extra payments throughout the month, you can lower the total interest accrued by the time your bill is due.

Even if you can only put a few extra dollars toward each payment, it can help minimize the interest cost.

Use a Personal Loan

If you have high-interest credit card debt, a debt consolidation loan could be an option worth considering. Consolidating your debt into a single loan may help streamline finances and include other benefits, but it isn’t a magic cure-all. A loan will not erase your debt. However, it might help you get to a fixed monthly payment and reduced interest rates.

It’s important to compare rates and understand how a new loan could pay off in the long run. If your monthly payment is lower because the loan term is longer, for example, it might not be a good strategy, because it means you may be making more interest payments and therefore paying more over the life of the loan.

The Takeaway

Having a balance on a credit card doesn’t pose an issue, but not paying it off every month can have an impact on your finances. Interest can accrue, which in turn could make a balance more challenging to pay off. And depending on your credit utilization ratio, your credit score could temporarily hit if you carry debt from one month to the next.

If you’re looking to reduce a credit card balance, there are strategies that can help. Examples include creating a budget, making extra payments, or opening a balance transfer credit card. If you have high-interest credit card debt, a debt consolidation loan could help streamline finances into a fixed monthly payment.

If you are thinking about taking out a loan to consolidate your debt, a SoFi personal loan may be a good option for your unique financial situation. SoFi personal loans offer competitive, fixed rates and a variety of terms. Checking your rate won’t affect your credit score, and it takes just one minute.

See if a personal loan from SoFi is right for you.


SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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Exploring IVF Financing Options

The average cost for one in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle in the United States is $12,400, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. That alone is a hefty price tag, and many patients go through several cycles of IVF before conceiving or attempting other options. Many clinics also charge fees for add-on procedures (some of which are necessary,) which can bring the total cost of a single treatment to well over $20,000.

If you’re wondering how you’ll be able to pay for IVF, the good news is that you have a number of different funding options. These include budgeting and saving, insurance coverage, flexible spending accounts, IVF financing, loans, and grants. Read on for a closer look at ways to make the cost of IVF treatment more manageable.

Options for Financing IVF

For many would-be parents, that high cost of IVF is worth it for the chance to have children. But how can people afford to pay for treatment? Here are a few ideas for funding IVF.

1. Tapping into Your Health Insurance

A good first step is to check whether your health insurance will cover IVF. There are currently 21 states that require insurance companies to cover infertility treatment, but only 14 include IVF in the requirement.

You can contact your insurer to find out your specific benefits. Depending on where you live, coverage can run the gamut. Some plans will cover IVF but not the accompanying injections that women may also require, while other plans will cover both. Some insurers will only cover a certain number of attempts. And some plans do not cover IVF at all.

If you have the option and if the timing works out with your enrollment period, you might consider switching your insurance plan to one that covers, or partially covers, IVF.

2. Using Your Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account

A health savings account (HSA) allows you to put pre-tax money aside for medical expenses. Typically, you get an HSA in tandem with a qualifying high-deductible health plan. If you have funds in your HSA, you can use them to pay for IVF and related medical expenses. As long as you paid for the expenses after you opened the HSA, you can reimburse yourself for them at any time — it doesn’t have to be in the year that you incurred the costs.

If your employer offers a flexible spending account (FSA), you can also use those funds to pay for IVF. You don’t need a qualifying health plan to have and use this account. However, you can only use the funds for medical expenses incurred during the plan year. Also, if you don’t use all of the money you set aside, you generally lose it. However, you may be able to carry over a certain amount to the following year.

Bear in mind that there are annual limits on how much money you can contribute to either kind of account. For 2023, the individual cap on HSA contributions is $3,850 and the family cap is $7,750. Health flexible spending account limits are $3,050 for 2023.

3. Budgeting and Saving

If you’re planning to pay for IVF out-of-pocket and you don’t just have that kind of cash lying around, the most basic financial move is to save up, the way you would for any major expense. You may want to open a high-yield savings account dedicated to your IVF fund, then set up an automatic recurring transfer from your checking account into that account each month.

Depending on your timeline, you may need to cut back on discretionary expenses, such as meals out, streaming services, a gym membership, and non-essential purchases, at least temporarily. Any expense you cut can now get diverted into your IFV savings fund.

4. Borrowing From a Loved One

If you have a friend or relative who is financially comfortable, you might consider asking them for a loan. There may be people in your life who would be happy to support your efforts to build your family. If you go this route, however, it’s a good idea to set out the terms of the loan clearly, including whether you’ll pay interest and, if so, at what rate, and when and how you’ll repay the loan. Setting out clear terms, and honoring those terms, can help ensure that the loan doesn’t damage your relationship in any way.

5. Getting a Medical or Fertility Loan

Some fertility clinics work with lenders that specialize in IVF financing. This allows you to pay for your out-of-pocket IVF costs in installments over time. These loans can offer anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000, and interest rates can range from 0% to 24.99%. IVF lenders typically determine whether you qualify for financing, and at what rate, based on your financial qualifications and credit. With this type of loan, the money is usually paid directly to the clinic rather than you, the borrower.

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6. Applying for a Grant

A number of nonprofit organizations offer grants and scholarships to those who cannot afford to pay for IVF. These grants are usually income-based, meaning you must demonstrate a need to qualify. Organizations that offer IVF grants include the International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination, Journey to Parenthood, Gift of Parenthood, the Baby Quest Foundation, and the Starfish Infertility Foundation.

Resolve offers a list of fertility treatment scholarships and grants on their site. It’s also a good idea to ask your fertility clinic about any local or national grant or scholarship opportunities they know of.

7. Taking Out a Home Equity Line of Credit

If you own a home, you may be able to take out a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC) and use the funds to pay for IVF. The amount you can borrow and the terms depend on the amount of equity you have in your home, as well as your credit history, debt-to-income ratio, and other factors.

The advantage of this type of IVF financing is that home equity loans and credit lines often have lower interest rates than credit cards and other types of loans. The downside is that you need to have equity in order to qualify, and you must use your home as collateral for the loan (which means that if you have trouble making payments, you could potentially lose your home).

8. Borrowing From Your Retirement Account

You generally don’t want to tap your retirement nest egg before retirement, but if no other funding sources are available, your individual retirement account (IRA) or 401(k) could be an option.

You may be able to borrow up to $50,000 or half of the amount vested in your 401(k) — whichever is smaller. If you take this path, you are basically lending the money to yourself at market interest rates for up to five years. Keep in mind, though, that 401(k) plan providers will typically charge fees to process and service a loan, which adds to the cost of borrowing and repayment. Also, not all employers offer these loans.

In addition, you might qualify to withdraw money from your individual retirement account (IRA) or 401(k) to pay for IVF treatment if your plan allows what’s called a hardship withdrawal. This allows you to avoid the 10% early withdrawal penalty, but you’ll still have to pay income tax on any withdrawals you make. If you have a Roth IRA, you can withdraw your contributions (but not earnings) at any time without penalties or taxes.

9. Taking Out a Personal Loan

Compared to using high-interest credit cards or tapping your IRA, a personal loan might be a better option for many people. A personal loan can be used for almost any expense, including IVF, and typically comes with a fixed interest rate that is lower than most credit cards.

Unlike a home equity loan or credit line, personal loans are typically unsecured, which means you don’t need to put your home or any other asset at risk. Also, you do not need to have any equity in your home to qualify. Instead, a lender will look at your overall financial qualifications to determine whether or not to approve you for a loan and, if so, at what rate and terms.

The Takeaway

IVF might be one of the most meaningful investments you’ll ever make, but it’s undeniably expensive. You can look to your insurance, health savings accounts, cash savings, or a loved one for help with IVF funding. If that’s not enough, an unsecured personal loan may be a smart way to finance treatment and help make your dreams a reality.

SoF’s IVF Treatment Loans offer competitive, fixed rates and a variety of terms. Checking your rate won’t affect your credit score, and it takes just one minute.

Consider a SoFi personal loan for IVF financing.


SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


Checking Your Rates: To check the rates and terms you may qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

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How to Finance a Divorce

Divorce can be emotionally and financially challenging, and one of the biggest concerns people have is how to finance the process. From filing and attorney fees to establishing separate households, the costs can quickly add up.

Knowing how to pay for divorce is particularly tricky because most people don’t necessarily plan for a divorce and, as result, likely don’t have a special bank account where they’ve been saving up for a divorce. This can leave you feeling stuck in a tight corner.

For anyone scratching their head and wondering how to pay for a divorce, we have some answers. Here’s a look at how you can cover the cost of divorce while still keeping an eye on your long-term (post-divorce) financial health.

How Much Does Divorce Cost?

We’ll start with the crummy news — getting a divorce, already a difficult experience, is also expensive. While the cost varies depending on where you live and the complexity of the divorce, the average cost of a divorce in the U.S ranges between $15,000 and $20,000. That said, a simple DIY divorce could run a lot less (as little as $200). A complicated divorce (with disagreements around child custody or dividing up property), on the other hand, could run well over $100,000. Gulp.

Factors that can affect the cost of a divorce include:

•   The state where the divorce takes place

•   Whether the couple lives in an urban or rural area

•   Whether it is contested or uncontested

•   Whether or not you hire professional legal help

•   The complexity of the couple’s finances

•   Whether or not there are child custody issues involved

How Do I Pay for My Divorce?

Ideally, every individual, couple, and family would have some emergency money set aside to cover unforeseen events. While many aren’t thinking the money would be for a divorce, that could qualify as an unexpected expense.

If you don’t have much, or any, rainy day savings, here are some steps that can help you manage the cost of your divorce.

•   Create a budget A good place to start is to assess your financial situation and create a realistic budget for your divorce. Take a look at your income, expenses, and any debts you may have. This will help you determine how much you can allocate towards your divorce costs, find areas where you may be able to cut costs, and develop a strategy to finance your divorce.

•   Negotiate with your spouse If possible, see if you can reach an amicable agreement with your spouse regarding the division of assets and paying expenses. This can help reduce legal fees and minimize the overall cost of the divorce process.

•   Explore mediation Mediation is a cost-effective alternative to traditional divorce litigation. A neutral mediator helps facilitate discussions between you and your spouse, allowing you to work together to reach mutually agreeable solutions. Mediation can often be less expensive and less time-consuming than going to court.

Borrow From Friends and Family

If you need some financial assistance to cover the costs of your divorce, reaching out to friends and family is one option to consider. Loved ones who understand your situation may be willing to lend you money to help you through this challenging time.

You’ll want to approach borrowing from friends and family with caution, however. You want to be sure that you’ll be able to pay the money back and clearly communicate that you intend to repay the money. Also be sure to discuss any expectations or terms, and ensure that the arrangement is legally documented to avoid misunderstandings or strain on personal relationships.

Recommended: Am I Responsible for My Spouse’s Debt?

Is a Personal Loan a Good Option to Pay for Divorce?

Another option to finance your divorce is to consider a personal loan.

Personal loans are often unsecured (meaning you don’t have to put up an asset as collateral) and can be used for a variety of purposes, including legal costs. They can provide you with the necessary funds to cover divorce-related expenses while allowing you to make manageable monthly payments over a fixed period, typically three to five years.

If you have good to excellent credit, a personal loan can be a better choice than using a credit card for your divorce costs, since rates are typically lower. A personal loan may also allow you to borrow a larger amount than your current credit card limit allows. Personal loans also come with fixed monthly payments, which can be easier to budget for.

Before applying for a personal loan for your divorce however, you’ll want to consider the annual percentage rates (APRs) and repayment terms offered by different lenders. Be sure to carefully assess your ability to repay the loan to avoid adding further financial stress during and after the divorce process.

Putting Your Financial Health First

While it’s crucial to address the immediate financial challenges of a divorce, it’s equally important to prioritize your long-term financial health. Here are some tips to help you navigate this process.

•   Protect your credit Divorce can have a significant impact on your credit score. To minimize the impact, you’ll want to be sure to close joint accounts and establish individual accounts. Be sure to also monitor your credit report regularly to ensure accuracy and address any issues promptly.

•   Update legal and financial documents It’s a wise idea to review and update your will, insurance policies, retirement accounts, and other legal and financial documents to reflect your new circumstances. You’ll also want to update beneficiaries and ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes.

•   Focus on rebuilding After the divorce, take steps to rebuild your financial stability. Set financial goals, create a savings plan, and consider ways to increase your income or reduce expenses. Building a solid financial foundation will help you regain control of your life and prepare for the future.

Recommended: Budgeting Tips for Life After Divorce

The Takeaway

Financing a divorce can be a challenging task, but with careful planning and consideration, it is possible to navigate this process successfully. Key steps include assessing your financial situation, exploring various options such as negotiation and mediation, and, if needed, borrowing from friends and family or getting a personal loan to help cover the costs of the divorce.

If you are thinking about taking out a loan to finance a divorce, a SoFi unsecured personal loan could be a good option. SoFi personal loans offer competitive, fixed rates and a variety of terms. Checking your rate won’t affect your credit score, and it takes just one minute.

See if a personal loan from SoFi is right for you


SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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