Adoption loans provide affordable, low-cost financing options for families in the process of adopting a child domestically and internationally. They can be a critical component of your funding plan and offer immediate cash.
Adoption loans are frequently used to start your home study, to make initial payments, to provide a financial cushion in case your timeline or payment schedule changes, to travel, and to buy you time to fundraise and apply for adoption grants.
There are three primary adoption loans to choose from:
- Interest Free Adoption Loans
- Low Interest Adoption Loans
- Credit Cards
Each family’s financial situation is different. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all adoption loan. Before applying for a loan, it’s important that you research several options and review interest rates, APRs, loan amounts, and the term of each loan.
Consider your funding goals, adoption timeline, and overall financial situation. The last thing that you want to do during your adoption is to make a poor financial decision that you’ll be paying on for years. Adoption loans should be used to create options not stress.
8 Sources of Interest Free Adoption Loans
1. ABBA Fund offers interest free covenant loans for Christian families to help eliminate the cash crunch of an expensive adoption. These loans average between $6,000 and $8,000 and are typically no larger than 1/3 of the overall cost of the adoption. Each loan is expected to be paid back within 3 years. Approval takes approximately 6-8 weeks and you will be contacted via email. While you’re visiting the Abba Fund website, consider applying for their Christian Family Adoption Grant as well.
2. Hebrew Free Loan Association offers interest free loans up to $15,000 to adoptive families of Jewish faith through local chapters across the US. The funds can be used for domestic or international adoptions. Once you apply for a loan, the Board of Directors will review your application. If you’re approved, repayment typically begins 30 days after the payment is disbursed.
3. International Association of Jewish Free Loans is a nonprofit, non-sectarian agency whose mission is to help people with temporary financial needs to become or remain self-supporting, self-respecting members of their community by the aid of interest free loans. The International Association of Jewish Free Loans provides interest-free loans to people in need including adoption assistance loans and for families with children with special needs. Loan applications are offered by local chapters and can be processed in as few as 7-10 days.
4. Lifesong For Orphans offers interest free loans ranging from $3,000 to $12,000 to help Christian families overcome the high cost of adoption, especially the initial cash flow crunch. Couples enter into a covenant agreement to repay the loan through manageable monthly or annual payments. Repayments can even be made to coincide with adoption tax credits. Expect 8-10 weeks for your application to process. Be sure to check out Lifesong’s adoption grant and other funding resources.
5. Oxford Adoption Foundation is a nonprofit charitable foundation that helps families adopting internationally by providing low interest loans up to $5,000 to help with adoption expenses. The loan is not funded until the completion of the adoption. In addition, it is a 9-year loan that includes a 3-phase repayment plan with different rates of interest and is prepayable at any time. If you repay the loan in full within years 1-3, it’s an interest free loan.
- 0% interest for years 1-3
- 3% interest for years 4-6
- 6% interest for years 7-9
6. Pathways For Little Feet is a Christ-centered 501(c)(3) that provides interest free adoption loans to families for any amount up to $7,500. The goal is to assist families with the final steps of their adoptions. You must be within 3-6 months of completing your adoption before submitting an application. Funding priority is given to families demonstrating the greatest financial need and that have sought other funding sources including loans, adoption grants, employee assistance and fundraising. The loan will be repaid monthly and the funds will be used to help other families with their adoptions. The average loan repayment is $100 per month.
7. Credit Cards with 0% APR for up to 18 months can be an outstanding source of interest free money to use toward your adoption. Some people want to avoid credit cards for various reasons. For people that use credit cards responsibly and pay them off in full each month, credit cards can be a great way to use interest free money to make adoption payments while you fundraise or until you receive your Adoption Tax Credit. For those of you that love to maximize your credit card rewards, read how my wife and I got really creative and earned more than $4,000 tax-free from cash back credit cards.
8. Personal loans from close family members like parents or siblings. This is not my first or favorite place to look for an interest free adoption loan but, we’re all about giving you options, and every situation is unique. Personal loans with family are tricky. I would never recommend this to anyone because every family views money so differently.
However, for some families, a personal adoption loan is perfectly normal. For others, it could be a complete disaster. Tread lightly here and don’t let money come between family. Before lending or receiving a loan, be sure to write down all expectations on paper, preferably in the form of a promissory note (simply a written agreement to repay a debt between parties). If you receive a loan, don’t take advantage of the generosity of others, make sure to live up to your agreement, and make your payments on or before the day they are due.
7 Low Interest Adoption Loans
Our goal is find solutions that help fund your adoption, preferably without debt. As long as there are interest free loans available that enable you to plan for and make adoption payments, why would you incur additional fees unnecessarily? However, every adoption is unique and there may be certain situations that require you to move forward and get an adoption loan with interest. In such cases, here are a few places to look for low interest loans:
1. SoFi is reinventing consumer finance for the better and offers low interest (as low as 4.04%) personal adoption loans ranging from $5,000-$100,000. There are no fees and loans can be 3, 5, or 7 years. SoFi offers unemployment protection in case you lose your job. SoFi will even give you a $100 Welcome Bonus when you take out a personal loan!
2. Upstart is a smarter way to borrow! There’s more to you than just your credit score. Your education and job history are considered and allow you to get a lower rate. Upstart offers loans from $3,000-$35,000 with rates as low as 4.7%. With fixed rates, no hidden fees or prepayment penalties, you can save money and build credit with a better personal loan. Get your loan approved and have your money the next day. Get Started Now!
3. Lightstream offers adoption loans* with low fixed rates for families with good to excellent credit. Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000 with flexible terms. There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties. Your best loan experience guaranteed. Get Started!
4. A Child Waits Foundation offers low interest adoption loans, currently at 3%, up to $10,000 to help families cover the final costs of expensive international adoptions. Once approved for a loan, funds are disbursed several weeks prior to the adoption being finalized internationally. Loans can be paid back as quickly as you choose but no more than 5 years, at which point they must be paid off in full. There is a $20 processing fee for all applications. A Child Waits Foundation also offers adoption grants up to $5,000.
5. America’s Christian Credit Union provides several adoption-specific financial products, including low interest adoption loans, currently at 8.4% for 7 years, up to $50,000 to help finance your adoption. ACCU offers equity adoption loans that allow you to use your home or auto equity to secure the loan. In addition, ACCU has a $500 adoption grant available to members.
6. Prosper is a social lending marketplace offers fixed rate, unsecured adoption and baby loans from $2,000 to $35,000. Loan terms of 3 and 5 years are available. Along with rates starting as low as 5.99%, you can prepay any time without penalties.
*All loans are subject to credit approval by LightStream. If approved, your APR will be based on loan purpose, amount, term and your credit profile. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice..