Adoption can be one of the most rewarding experiences, but there’s a hefty price tag, along with the ongoing costs of raising a child. A loan can be a great way to take care of those costs, but an adoption loan is an unsecured personal loan, and those can be tougher to get.
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Before you can qualify for an adoption, you’ll need to show that you can pay the fee. Some hopeful parents choose adoption loans to tackle the cost. The average adoption costsbetween $20,000 and $50,000, depending on the type of adoption. To help you find the right loan, our financial experts reviewed more than 30 different online lenders on various important criteria.
Because personal loans can have a big impact on your finances, it’s important to spend a little time reviewing your options to make sure you’re not overpaying. Also, it’s usually worth comparing your rates across multiple lenders to ensure you’re getting the best deal for your credit history and financial situation.
Our team of financial experts ranked lenders based on our ratings methodology for personal loans and found the best adoption loans on the market. This ratings methodology evaluates lenders based on loan length, APR, repayment terms, user experience, customer service, credit score history, banking and credit union use, and additional features.
Shop multiple lenders at once with this platform, which offers personal loans for adoption, among other uses. By looking at multiple offers, you can find low interest adoption loans without filling out multiple applications. With rate comparison services like Credible, the biggest disadvantage is that terms vary by lender. That means you’ll have to carefully review the terms of any lender you choose. Some lenders may charge origination fees or prepayment penalties, and each will have its own policies on late payments. This lender is great for those who are limited on time and need to compare rates quickly.
With an aggregator, you typically won’t know the minimum credit score requirements, rate specifics, and exact terms until you get a quote. That requires a little research on your part. But unlike other comparison platforms, Credible doesn’t sell your information off to lenders to contact you. Your quotes come directly through the site, with only the necessary information shared. That means you can research the terms and fees before choosing a lender.
Credible is a great option for those planning to pay their adoption loan off quickly, with many lenders offering term options between12 and 48 months. By shopping multiple lenders, you’ll be able to get a range of rate quotes to find the best monthly payment for your budget.
Of all the adoption loans and grants available, Lightstream has one of the better offerings for borrowers with good credit. Those with excellent credit can qualify for rates as low as 5.73% with autopay, with rates topping out at 19.99%, or 20.49% without the autopay discount. LightStream offers a wide range of terms, but you’ll only be able to choose from the selections available to you when you input the loan amount you’re requesting. Another downside is that you’ll need a credit score of at least 660 to qualify, making it out of reach for those with fair or poor credit.
If you have good or excellent credit, LightStream can keep your costs low. The Rate Beat Program guarantees the lowest interest rate. Simply present proof of a loan approval for a competitor’s unsecured adoption loan, and LightStream will beat it by 0.10%. LightStream issues funds as early as the same day of approval, and you have up to 30 days to move the money over to your account.
For those with good or excellent credit, LightStream has plenty to offer. You’ll get reduced interest rates for autopay, no fees, and funds available as early as the same day. You can borrow up to $100,000 for your adoption, but your terms are based on the amount you’re borrowing.
It’s not easy to find adoption loans for bad credit, with so many requiring a credit score of 640 or higher. Upstart broadens its credit score requirement, qualifying applicants with rates of 580 or higher. While this is still in the “fair” range, it does reach customers who are still working their way toward the 600s. What sets Upstart apart is that it uses artificial intelligence to assess your risk, instead of going solely on credit score and income. That makes it a great adoption loan option for those who might not qualify otherwise. You can borrow up to $50,000 for your adoption, although some of Upstart’s partner lenders charge an origination fee of up to 8%, which will come out of your loan.
Upstart offers interest rates ranging from 5.39% and 35.99%, in amounts from $1,000 to $50,000. There are only two loan terms, but Upstart does let you pay your loan off early with no penalties. You can also easily pay extra payments when you have a little extra money.
If you struggle to qualify for other loans due to your credit score, Upstart may be a great option. The fast approval process and quick funding turnaround will help you get the money you need quickly.
Rocket Loans offers personal loans for a variety of purposes, with adoption falling under the “Other” category in the drop-down box during your pre-application. Rates go as low as 5.970% with autopay, although you will pay a loan origination fee. One thing that’s notable with Rocket Loans is that the minimum income to qualify is only $24,000, which is lower than many other lenders. You will need a credit score of at least 640, though. That makes Rocket Loans a good option for those with good credit who struggle to meet the income requirements of other lenders.
Rocket Loans gives you two term options for repaying your loan: 36 or 60 months. Your loan will be limited to $45,000, which is worth considering if you think your loan might cost a little more. You’ll also pay a loan origination fee of between 1% and 6% of the loan amount, which will be taken of your funds, reducing your loan even farther. If you have great credit, you could qualify for an amount closer to the lower end of the range, 5.970%, which includes a discount for setting up autopay.
Although Rocket Loans requires good or excellent credit, their minimum income requirements are low. If you’re willing to set up autopay, you can qualify for a good interest rate. The higher end of their rate range is high, though, so take a look at competitors if you aren’t happy with the rate you’re quoted.
Discover Personal Loans — Best for Flexible Repayment
Direct payments to creditors with debt consolidation loans
Pros & Cons
Lower interest rate range
Multiple term options
Low income requirement
Terms of up to 84 months
No origination fee
Quick funds turnaround
Great customer support
Good credit required
Upper limit of $35,000
No autopay discount
If your anticipated adoption loan costs are on the lower end, Discover Personal Loans lets you borrow between $2,500 and $35,000. You can choose from terms of up to 84 months, so you’ll have extra time to pay it back versus the many five-year loans available. Discover is great for those looking for quick funding with no fees taken off the amount. If you have a credit score of at least 660 and a minimum household income of $25,000, you can qualify for a loan, although the rate you’ll be offered is based on your qualifications.
Discover offers quick, easy loans that can be customized to the repayment terms you prefer. The interest rate ranges from 5.99% to 24.99%, with no origination fees. There is a late fee of $39, but you can move your monthly payment due date if a better day works for you. The biggest drawback is the upper loan limit, which is $35,000, but there are no origination fees, so you’ll get the full amount once your loan closes.
For those with good or excellent credit, Discover Personal Loans can give you the funds you need for adoption. Make sure you carefully estimate your total costs before choosing Discover, as the most you’ll be able to borrow is $35,000.
Another option for those struggling to build credit is Avant. Accepting scores as low as 580, Avant can help you get the funds you need for adoption. Loans are limited to $35,000, so it’s a better option for those whose adoption costs range on the lower side. One thing to consider before taking an Avast loan is that some borrowers will pay an origination fee of up to 4.75%. This comes out of your loan amount, so you might not be getting the full $35,000. But it’s an option worth considering if you’re shopping multiple lenders while having a lower credit score.
With a mobile app and autopay, you’ll get plenty of options to pay your bill. Interest rates range from 9.95% to 35.99%, with loan terms of 24 to 60 months. But you can’t use a cosigner to reduce your interest rate, and you’ll pay an origination fee, so it may not be the best option out there.
For those with lower credit scores, Avant is worth considering. You can qualify with a score of 580 or greater, although you’ll only be able to borrow $35,000. Before signing, it might be worth comparing at least one other lender to ensure you’re getting the best rate.
BestEgg offers personal loans for both new babies and adoptions, in amounts ranging from $2,000 to $50,000. There are only two term options, three and five years, so you’ll need to be prepared to pay it off in the next few years. BestEgg’s adoption financing is best for those with good credit who want competitive rates. Rates range between 5.99% to 35.99%, but you’ll also pay a loan origination fee of between 0.99% and 5.99% of the borrowed amount. This can add a good amount to your loan balance, so factor that into your decision.
If you have a credit score of 640 or above, you can qualify for a loan from BestEgg. However, to qualify for the best rates on your loan, you’ll need a score of at least 700. You’ll also need a minimum annual income of $100,000 to get the lowest rates, but BestEgg doesn’t disclose a minimum income requirement for rates at the higher end.
BestEgg is a great option for aspiring adoptive parents who have an excellent credit score and six-figure income. Those who fall below those ranges, though, may find that other lenders offer more competitive rates.
When you’re considering a loan for adoption, keep in mind that you’re agreeing to make monthly payments, with interest, for the entirety of the term. You’ll want a lender with great terms and an easy application process.
Loan features: Lenders set parameters on their loans. These include usage limits and loan amounts. When looking at lenders, you’ll eliminate those who don’t make loans for adoptions, as well as those that don’t lend the amount you’ll need to borrow.
Interest rates and fees: Even a small amount of savings on interest can lower your monthly payments, substantially cutting your long-term costs. But also look at any loan origination fees you’ll pay, as well as fees that will be applied to any late payments.
Application process: Online lenders have made applying for a loan easier than ever. Still, there are some things to look at before choosing. Make sure a lender doesn’t run a full credit check so that your credit score isn’t affected by your search.
Qualification requirements: Each lender assesses its risk before issuing a loan. Some require higher credit scores than others, but you can sometimes qualify for stricter loans if you can use a co-signer or co-applicant.
Customer support: As convenient as online lending is, it is missing the human touch. Consider whether you’ll be able to get customer support when you need it, via the methods you like best. If you prefer to speak to someone on the phone, consider that while you’re shopping lenders.
Online user reviews: Any lender can promise a great experience. It’s always a good idea to take a look at reviews from previous borrowers on sites like Trustpilot.
Perks and bonuses: There are a few extras you’ll get from some lenders that can make them stand out. Features like the ability to change payment due dates and manage your account using a mobile app can come in handy over the months you’re paying.
Main Features of The Best Adoption Loans
Discover Personal Loans4.4
Est. APR - 5.99% to 35.99%
Min. Credit Score - 640
Loan Amount - $2,000 to $50,000
Loan Term - 36 or 60 months
The Average Cost of Adoption in the U.S
Adoptions can be pricey, and adoption loan programs can help offset some of that cost. But the price tag can vary between adopting through an agency or adopting independently. Here’s a breakdown of the estimated costs.
*Some agencies charge a fee that’s a sliding scale, based on your income. This can vary dramatically by agency, but Adoptions Together reports a fee from $16,000-$33,000.
ADOPTION AGENCY COST
Home study fee:
$16,000 $30,000 or more*
$1,500 to $4,000
$1,500 to $4,000
$500 to $2,000
$500 to $2,000
$19,700 to $38,000
$2,000 to $6,000
Birth mother’s medical expenses
$1,000 to $5,000
$5,000 to $11,000
$2,000 to $10,000
$2,000 to $10,000
Total with optional costs:
$21,700 to $76,000
$9,000 to $27,000
When to Use an Adoption Loan
Adoption loans shouldn’t be your first choice since you’ll have to repay the amount plus interest. But it could be your only choice. Consider an adoption loan after you’ve exhausted other means of getting the funding necessary.
If you happen to have the funds available, obviously this will be the best option, but you may have concerns about depleting your savings. There will be costs once you have a new child in your life, so you might want to keep some of that money on hand. Other options like grants, fundraiser campaigns, and interest-free adoption loans can help you reduce the high cost of an adoption loan.
Low Interest Adoption Loans
While you can shop lenders and compare rates to get the lowest APR available, there are some programs designed to help you get the money you need to expand your family. These no-interest adoption loans tend to be religion based, and in most cases, you’ll need to have completed a home study before you qualify.
Abba Fund: Christian families can qualify to have up to one-third of their adoption costs through this ministry. To apply, you’ll need to complete a statement of faith, and the application process takes about six to eight weeks.
Lifesong for Orphans: Two-parent Christian families can qualify for interest-free adoption loans of up to $12,000, depending on availability of funds and your own financial need.
A Child Waits: This organization issues interest-free loans for international loans. If you qualify, you’ll get $10,000 or up to 50% of the loan amount, whichever is lowest.
Grants for Adoption
Even better than an interest-free loan is money you don’t have to pay back at all. To ensure more children find loving homes, some organizations issue financial assistance in the form of grants. These vary in amounts and have their own requirements, including, in some cases, income that falls below a certain threshold.
A Child Waits: In addition to its international adoption loan program, this organization also issues grants of up to $10,000 for both domestic and international adoptions. To qualify, you’ll need a gross income of less than $150,000.
Gift of Adoption Fund: apply for grants of up to $15,000 for domestic or international adoptions. This grant can also help fund the adoption of a family member.
National Adoption Foundation: Once you have a home study in progress, you can apply for a grant from this organization, which has no income requirements.
Help Us Adopt: Four times a year, this organization awards grants to those going through domestic and international adoptions, as well as those through foster care. The money is only payable to a U.S. adoption agency or lawyer.
Alternative Ways to Finance Adoption
There are other alternatives to adoption loans, some of which will even save you a little money. Before you pursue a loan, consider the following alternatives.
Adoption benefits plan. Before you start looking at options, check to make sure your employer doesn’t cover some of the costs related to adoption. Some employers will at least offer time off for adoption as a form of maternity or paternity leave.
Crowdfunding: Chances are, you have friends and family who want to help you with your adoption journey. You can set up a campaign through Adopt Together or GoFundMe and invite those you know to chip in.
Home equity line of credit: If you have equity in your home, you may be able to set up a line of credit that takes care of the costs, letting you pay it back later.
Federal income tax credit: You can get a tax credit for the amount you pay for your adoption, as well as an exclusion from income taxes on any money you received to pay for the adoption.
Agency pricing discounts. Saving money could start with the adoption agency you choose. Some base pricing on your income, offering sliding scale prices that can keep costs low.
How to Get a Personal Loan for Adoption
Getting a loan for an adoption is similar to getting other types of personal loans. Here are some steps to take if you’re ready to borrow money for adoption.
Check your credit. Most lenders will use your credit score to qualify you for a loan. Check your score beforehand and take steps to improve it, including disputing any errors on your credit report.
Estimate your costs. Before you can borrow money, you’ll need a good idea of how much the adoption will cost. Research your options and learn as much as possible about the overall expense.
Shop multiple lenders. Before applying for an adoption, you may want to make sure you can get the financing you need. Get prequalified for the amount you’ll need.
Start the adoption process. It can take six months to a year to go through the process, and some lenders require you take the funds out within 30 days.
Complete an application. Once you’re ready for the loan, complete the application and provide all the supporting documentation required.
Move the funds. Each lender has a different timeline for funding loans. This can be anywhere from a few hours to a couple of weeks. Make sure this timeline lines up with when funds will be needed.
Adopting can be a rewarding, but costly, experience. An adoption loan can help you take care of the large up-front expenses related to adopting a child, while giving you the convenience of paying it back gradually, over time. Interest can add up over the years, though, so it’s important to first look at other options and possibly even sit down with a financial advisor before making a final decision.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
Can you get an adoption loan with bad credit?
It’s tougher to find lenders who will work with borrowers with credit in the “poor” range. If your credit is in the fair range, you’ll probably have an easier time tracking down a loan. Your rates will be higher with a lower credit score, though.
Can you get an adoption loan with a low income?
Before issuing an adoption loan, lenders look at risk, and a higher income can get you better rates. But you can find lenders who will issue loans using artificial intelligence instead of or as a supplement to checking your credit score and income. Some lenders also are okay with incomes of $25,000, as long as the borrower has a strong credit history.
How to get a loan for adoption?
An adoption loan is a personal loan, so you’ll first need to narrow your options to lenders who will let you use the funds for adoption. Not all lenders will. For best results, check your rates with multiple lenders, whether you use a platform that lets you do that in one step or you do it on your own. Make sure the lender only does a soft credit check during pre-authorization to protect your credit score.
Can an Adoption Loan Cover Childbirth Expenses?
Some adoption loans will cover court-approved costs for the birth mother, including medical care before, during, and after childbirth. With grants, you may be limited in how the funds are spent, but adoption loans are intended to be used at your own discretion. This can include childbirth expenses like travel costs if the birth mother isn’t local.
How do adoption loans work?
When you agree to an adoption loan, you’re committing to pay the funds back over a specific term, with interest. The lender is most interested in ensuring you’ll pay the money back, so you won’t have the same requirements as you will with a grant, where you’ll often need proof of a home visit first.