When the average cost for a private adoption exceeds $40,000, it is easy to get discouraged, especially if you come from a middle- or lower-income bracket. One solution to help families find their forever children can be taking out adoption loans.
Considering the idea? Here are some quick tips to help you figure out if a loan is right for your adoption plan:
1. You are going to need to have good credit. Because the money isn’t going towards something that can be used for collateral (like a car or home), qualifying is going to be tricky with a less-than-stellar credit score. Most lenders will be very upfront about this, and if you find an institution that proclaims that it can lend to anyone at all, be wary because that’s a sign you are going to get hit with a massive interest rate.
2. You may be looking at high-interest rates. Speaking of interest, since a personal loan is significantly less competitive than other types of financing, you may be looking at higher interest rates in general. Be sure and compare them to the rates that you would get from cash advances—sometimes it may be easier and more cost-effective to use a credit card cash advance.
3. Lenders are often tied into agencies. Many larger agencies will try to get you into an all-in-one deal where the money goes straight into their attorney’s account, to be used as needed. Make sure you will have access to the funds if you find a child through a different route, get clarification on exactly how and when your funds will be allocated, and find out when the loan starts accruing interest—is it when you finalize, or when you first talk to the agency?
4. Private lenders with private agencies may not approve of your lifestyle. Especially with package loans from private agencies, single parents hoping to adopt, those with a different religion than the institution that backs the agency, or other lifestyles (same-sex, divorced, older couples) that wouldn’t be approved by the agency may not qualify for many of their private adoption loans. If you find yourself “unapproved,” your next option may be to go through a personal loan program with your bank.
Freaked out even more? Check out available grants and discounts before you sign on any dotted lines—many international or special needs adoptions come with monies attached to help defray costs, fees, and travel. And bear in mind that foster adoption through the state can cost little (to no) money.
However you fund your adoption, remember: Always read the fine print.
Good luck finding your family!
Do you feel there is a hole in your heart that can only be filled by a child? We’ve helped complete 32,000+ adoptions. We would love to help you through your adoption journey. Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98.