Affording adoption can seem like a scary thing. I know of so many people that would love to consider adoption, but quickly respond that it costs too much money. I agree that it would be wonderful if adoption were free or much cheaper. However, agencies (both adoption and governmental) have to hire people to handle the paperwork.
What amazes me (and trust me when I say this is hubby and me also) is that some think of an adoption loan as a last resort. We don’t think twice about taking out a loan for a car, college, housing, or even to consolidate debt. However, we cringe at the idea of an adoption loan.
I am writing to try and demystify this amazing resource. We have used inheritance money, a HELOC and three adoption loans to bring home seven beautiful blessings from China.
Where does one even start?
1. Credit Union – Many offer personal loans at reasonable rates. If you belong to one, you might want to begin there.
2. Sofi – Offers personal loans of up to $35,000 for varying terms up to 7 years and interest rates from 7-25%
3. Upstart – Offers personal loans of up to $50,000 for 3 or 5 years and interest rates from 7-30%
4. National Adoption Foundation (NAF) teamed up with Citizens Bank – Offer up to $50,000 for varying terms up to 7 years and interest rates from 6-16%
5. Prosper – Offers adoption loans up to $35,000 for 3 or 5 years (in order to get a rate you need to put in personal info)
6. Lightstream – Offers adoption loans of up to $100,000 for varying terms up to 7 years and interest rates from 6-16%
7. America’s Christian Credit Union (ACCU) – Offers adoption loans to Christian families of up to $50,000 for varying terms up to 7 years and interest rates from 6-8% (This is the institution we have used.)
How difficult is it to get one?
We have found it isn’t any more difficult to get an adoption loan than it is to get a car loan. The process takes about 2-3 weeks. After approved, funds are deposited directly into your account.
What are some issues to managing funds?
We have found it easiest to manage by setting up a completely separate account at our personal bank. Funds are deposited into this account.
You need to be disciplined to use these funds only towards adoption expenses, so you do not run out of money before you complete the adoption.
How will my net worth be affected?
These funds will be in your account until you start spending them, therefore they should not affect net worth. They are equal line items for both assets and liabilities.
How will I pay the loan back?
I would highly suggest going with the longest term they offer. This is a child, it is a sound investment! This will also lower your payment in case the cost of providing for your child is higher than expected.
Make sure to get a loan that has no pre-payment penalty. You can then use the tax credit to help pay back the loan and possibly cut a couple of years off of the length of your loan.
There may also be some fundraising money or grants that could help pay back the loan or cover costs leaving more money in the account.
What are some benefits of an adoption loan?
We have found that we never had to stall out at a step in our adoption process waiting for the funds. Unlike grants, this is money in your pocket and can be used for spending money while on your adoption trip. This has taken the pressure off of having to come up with cash to pay for food, etc. while overseas.
We have also been able to change the amount after application (lessen the amount) if we found that we were receiving some grants before money was deposited into our account.
What might my payments look like?
I would suggest using a loan calculator to determine best and worst cases. This is a fairly easy straight forward calculator here. Determine what your family feels is reasonable to add to your monthly budget. Then, figure out how much and what term would work best within these parameters.
Here are some examples of payments:
30,000 for 5 years at 6% = $580/month
30,000 for 5 years at 16% = $730/month
30,000 for 7 years at 6% = $438/month
30,000 for 7 years at 16% = $596/month
I cannot imagine life without all nine of my blessings – and three of them would not be a part of our family without the use of adoption loans. I hope that this information will make it easier to consider using a loan to help with adoption costs.