The Complete Guide to Maternity Leave Loans
Posted by Frank Gogol in Loans | Updated on August 21, 2023
Motherhood comes with many rewards. This is what makes each sacrifice worth the effort, as there are many challenges that come with the territory, as well. These challenges are, most of all, of financial nature. Bringing a child into the world entails a lot of responsible planning and anticipation.
If you are concerned regarding the financial stability of your family once the little one enters the family, you might consider planning ahead, or even getting a maternity leave loan. The bottom line is that there are various options worth considering.
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The Real Cost of Maternity Leave
Some new mothers may experience the additional financial burden of unpaid maternity leaves as well as pre- and post-delivery medical costs.
Loss of Income
To take adequate care of the child during the late stages of pregnancy and right after birth, most women need to take leave from work. The United States is not known to be generous when it comes to paid family leaves.
In fact, if a recent study by PL+US advocacy group is to be believed, 114 million U.S. residents don’t get even a single day of paid maternity leave. As a result, the family budget can start to tighten up. Expenses increase, but the available funds shrink.
The Cost of Your Newborn
Gynecologist fees, charges for lab reports, and medicine and food supplements are just a few of the expenses that could make their presence felt during pregnancy.
On top of that, there are hospital bills and post-delivery costs to account for after the birth of your child. Both the mother and the baby need to undergo adequate medical care to make sure there are no post-pregnancy complications.
All these things are going to cost a significant sum of money—thus making a big hole in your pocket.
5 Smart Ways to Afford Your Unpaid Maternity Leave
According to this source, only 58 percent of companies provide their employees with paid maternity leave. That points out that numerous families might end up in the position of struggling financially. In this situation, though, you can resort to several solutions, depending on what works best for you.
1. Plan Sick and Vacation Days Smartly
First of all, after finding out that you are pregnant, you have nine long months at your disposal to start planning. This should give you plenty of confidence that you can do it!
In this time frame, you should start thinking about how to strategically plan your vacation and sick days. If your company’s policy enables you to roll over your paid time off (PTO), then you might consider starting to save your days before getting pregnant.
Basically, if you get five sick days and twenty vacation days a year, in two years’ time before having the baby, you can have 45 days saved up. This will be an addition to the maternity leave plan you might already have, depending on your individual scenario. Even if your company doesn’t supply any maternity leave whatsoever, saving up your sick and vacation days can keep you covered for a while.
Your partner might consider saving up PTO days as well. You and your partner can juggle looking after the baby depending on your schedule.
To see if this plan applies to you, you should discuss with a human resource representative at your firm. That’s because only some companies facilitate this benefit.
2. Take Advantage of Short-term Disability Insurance
Moving on, getting short-term disability insurance might be another practical strategy – whether you are self-employed or work full-time. The policy to disability insurance will cover the expenses of part of your maternity leave.
Nonetheless, to benefit from such a policy, you must make payments for at least a couple of months before having the baby. When you’ll use the coverage, you’ll get a payout. In general, the payout varies from six to eight months of coverage, providing you with a given percentage of your existing salary.
There are situations in which the range could be prolonged. If, for instance, medical complications emerge after giving birth, the range could be extended. There are even firms that facilitate short-term disability insurance as an additional benefit. Even if your firm doesn’t, you can still have the chance to pay for one yourself.
3. Work Extra Hours for Overtime Pay Ahead of Your Leave
Maternity leave loans aren’t the only solution to coping with financial difficulty after your little one enters this world. You can always work extra hours for overtime pay if your company allows you to do so.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you will get paid during your maternity leave. It merely means that you can put that money aside and use it when the baby comes and you have no money coming in.
You might attempt to save more money if you and your partner work overtime before the coming of the baby. You might also discuss with your employer if you can work from home during the days leading up to the birth. In this way, you’ll maximize your maternity leave.
4. Begin Working a Side Hustle
If you cannot work overtime at your own job, then, why not consider taking an extra job to make some extra money? There are plentiful part-time opportunities to choose from – you can do some remote work, which doesn’t entail any startup costs or anything of the kind.
5. Take Out A Personal Loan
Another solution might be taking out a maternity leave loan. Having a baby comes with numerous costs, as pointed out in this source. This doesn’t mean you should be scared, but you should be prepared and know what to expect.
If you don’t have maternity leave and you don’t have a lot of money saved up, browsing for maternity leave loans might be the most sensible option for you. After going back to work, you will, once again, rely on a steady income and you can start making the repayments for the loan.
Nevertheless, before taking out a pregnancy loan, make sure that you get acquainted with all the terms and conditions required by the lender you’re signing the loan with. There are many options in the marketplace, so choose wisely.
How to Make Extra Money on Your Unpaid Maternity Leave
Wondering whether there is any way to make money while on maternity leave? You are not alone. Thousands of women are exploring the possibilities of making a decent side income to compensate for the loss of salary during pregnancy and motherhood.
If you are on unpaid maternity leave, here are 5 effective ways to make extra income from your home.
Become a Transcriptionist
Online transcription of audio clips has been a way to make money for quite some time. Although it could be a tedious process to go through recorded voice files and jot down every word minutely, it does pay you well.
You can expect to earn around $50 for transcribing an hour-long audio clip. All you need is a laptop and headphones.
Companies like TranscribeMe and Rev offer freelance transcriptionists the opportunity to take up projects at an hourly rate. You have the luxury to pick a convenient time for getting the job done within a reasonable deadline.
By putting in around 3 hours of effort every day, you can expect to earn anywhere between $400 and $1,200 every month through home-based transcription jobs.
Market research is a booming field nowadays, and consumer surveys are increasingly becoming a yardstick to measure brand awareness.
Companies are engaging professional services to conduct such surveys. MySurvey, VIP Voice, and Swagbucks are just a few of the websites offering cash rewards for taking part in various types of surveys.
Try to Google a little on this subject, and you will get a wealth of knowledge and other information to get a head start.
Consider Doing Freelance Work
Have a knack for developing websites or have a way with words that keeps readers engaged? The freelance world is always on the lookout for talent like you.
It’s an exciting prospect if you have what it takes to be exceptional in your line of work. Freelance marketplaces like Upwork or Fiverr can be the ideal place to build your career as a freelancer.
If you have the talent and are lucky enough to get the initial break, freelancing can turn out to be a lucrative alternative career choice.
Look Into an Online Sales Job
There is a sharp rise in the number of remote sales jobs for various online outlets. Retail giants like Amazon are encouraging people to promote their businesses through an already established platform.
You can easily create a seller account with these online outlets and reach out to a wide range of potential customers. However, before you take the plunge, make sure to research the market well, figure out the popular trends, relate to your own interests/preferences, and zero in on the category of items that are in high demand.
Be a Call Center Representative
Remote call center jobs are another popular employment option if you are on maternity leave. If you possess the much-needed soft skills alongside a decent bit of technical knowledge, it won’t be too difficult to land a phone representative job within a short span of time.
The compensation can be pretty decent as well. You can expect to make 4-digits every month if you are serious.
The examples above are only the tip of the iceberg. There are a plethora of other options to compensate for the loss of income during maternity leave. Online tutorials, blogging, an affiliate business, and renting out your car are a few of the other viable options.
However, what if you are finding the physical effort difficult to cope with? If you are feeling fatigued and finding it difficult to maintain your energy levels, then it’s better to avoid the stress. If you are still worried about your finances, then be aware that you might be able to count on maternity loans to support you through a difficult time.
3 Simple Steps to Applying for a Maternity Leave Loan
If you are considering applying for a personal loan for maternity leave, just follow these 3 simple steps.
Apply online for the loan amount you need. Submit the required documentation and provide your best possible application. Stronger applications get better loan offers.
If your application meets the eligibility criteria, the lender will contact you with regard to your application. Provide any additional information if required. Soon you’ll have your loan offer. Some lenders send a promissory note with your loan offer. Sign and return that note if you wish to accept the loan offer.
The loan then gets disbursed into your U.S. bank account within a reasonable number of days (some lenders will be as quick as 2-3 business days). Now you need to set up your repayment method. You can choose an autopay method online to help you pay on time every month.
Personal Loans Before Your Maternity Leave
Some mothers consider taking a personal loan before their maternity leave. Why is that? That’s because, during that time, they are still working. This gives them a steady income. Aside from this, being employed increases the possibility of getting convenient terms on your loan.
Reasons to Take a Maternity Personal Loan
If you aren’t convinced whether you need to take out a loan for pregnant mothers or not, we would like to offer you some reasons why many families choose to do so. As you already know, parental leave means that you have to cope financially with less money coming into the household. On the other hand, a baby means a lot of extra expenses.
This can make living quite stressful, especially in the first months of the baby’s life. This is primarily why families resort to borrowing money to cope with extra expenses that could come along the way. Although borrowing money can be reassuring, you should be sensible about it.
In other words, you shouldn’t get too carried away and indulge in reckless spending. You have to plan your finances accordingly, to ensure that every cent is spent wisely. Aside from this, you should be aware of the following:
- An estimated 25 percent of mothers-to-be stops working earlier than planned due to unexpected complications.
- 12 percent of babies are delivered prematurely; complications may arise in this case.
On a different note, as we already pointed out, there are many additional expenses you have to factor in, with the coming of a new member in the family. Aside from the costs you anticipate, there might be unprecedented costs linked with medical bills.
The thing is that, as parents-to-be, you ought to take the time to budget how you will manage your finances, the length of parental leave, and many other details. Factor in the following aspects when planning ahead:
- Recovering from giving birth can last up to eight weeks
- Pregnancy disability leave for the mom-to-be could take several months
Basically, if you’re browsing for maternity leave loans, you’ll have to get approvals before getting the financing you need. This might be a tad stressful, not knowing whether the lender will approve your request or not.
But the best way in which you can cope with this is by starting to look at loans before the baby comes. As mentioned above, active employment is a major plus. This is why you might consider doing this if you still have the chance.
Aside from this, a piece of advice would be to shop around before filing several applications. Each family has different needs, so bear this in mind.
Planning for Your First Payment and Beyond
We can’t stress this enough—you need to plan ahead. It’s important to assess whether the maternity leave loan you’re considering will address your financial needs.
Of course, another thing you should decide on is whether taking out a pregnancy loan is the right option for your family or not. Note that if taking out a loan will trigger a financial crisis, it’s best to come up with an alternative plan that works for you better.
Usually, you’ll have to make the first payment roughly eight weeks after closing and disbursement. Factor this in when you’re budgeting your payments. You should also anticipate potential additional expenses you might have and how these will impact your financial stability.
You should also ensure that your employer will hold your job open. It’s quite sad that, in the US, maternity leave laws aren’t necessarily in favor of the mother. In fact, they can make it very difficult for the parents to adjust to the new life with an infant to look after.
The same applies when the mother wants to return to her job after taking her maternity leave. It’s best to discuss this with your employer to have a guarantee.
Are there any options to browsing for maternity leave loans? As a matter of fact, there are. Below, we provide a couple of suggestions. After analyzing each and one, you may decide whether one of the following meets your specifications or not.
Borrow from Family and Friends
When looking for personal loan alternatives, your best option will always be to lean on family and friends. While asking for help can be difficult and sometimes awkward, it can be the difference between getting by while on maternity leave.
Borrowing from family and friends is also a great option because it can be interest-free and have much less strict repayment terms than the typical loan. You may even find yourself the recipient of a git rather than a loan when all is said and done.
Another option for funding or extending your maternity leave is to use credit cards to cover your costs. While using credit cards is not the best option, it will work in a pinch and will have somewhat competitive interest rates with a good personal loan.
Perhaps even better if your personal loan offer had a high-than-average rate attached to it. But it’s important to be careful when it comes to credit cards—it’s easy to rack up a lot of debt in a short time if you’re not careful.
Borrow from Your 401K
Moving on, taking out a 401K loan might be another alternative worth considering, as a means of funding your maternity leave.
In line with IRS regulations, an employee has the possibility of suspending 401k loan payments for roughly 12 months during a leave of absence from work.
The downside to a 401K loan is that you’re actively borrowing against your savings. So, again, be mindful of how you utilize this kind of loan and ensure you know what you’re getting into before you head down this path.
Getting a Personal Loan During Your Maternity Leave
It is also possible to get a personal loan during maternity leave and some families choose to do so, especially if they have high credit ratings. To that end, you should definitely consider maternity leave loans if your credit rating is higher than 700.
Meanwhile, if your credit rating isn’t the best, you might still qualify for a personal loan based on the father’s or mother’s earnings—so don’t give up.
5 Ways to Put Off Other Debt While on Your Maternity Leave
If you want to free up some of the financial burden associated with taking maternity leave, you can consider putting off and reassessing some of your other debt commitments during your maternity leave.
1. Ask for a Loan Extension
If you presently have personal or other loan debt, it’s possible to ask for an extension on your repayments. This will extend your repayment period and effectively reduce (but not eliminate) your monthly payment, freeing up some cash each month to help you get by on your maternity leave.
On the other hand, it will (in the end) cost you more in interest than the original terms of the loan. Still, it’s an option if you’re worried.
2. Apply for Mortgage Forbearance
The same goes when it comes to your mortgage, but you should carefully analyze the terms and conditions of the mortgage before changing them. Essentially, you don’t want to end up losing your home with the coming of the new baby.
We could say that a mortgage forbearance is a decent option for parents that are 100 percent confident that their income will get back on after a fixed period.
3. Apply for Auto Loan Refinancing
Another option available to new mothers who also have car loans is refinancing. Refinancing is when you ask your current lender or a new lender to reevaluate your financial situation in hopes of getting better terms on your loan.
Like with some of the other options in this list, there’s a chance that this could work against you and that you might receive less attractive terms on your loan if your financial situation is worse than when you applied for the original loan—though you aren’t required to accept a refinance loan just because you apply for one.
4. Defer Your Student Debt
Basically, in the case in which you have an outstanding student loan, you could attempt to modify the repayment terms during your maternity leave. Doing so will free up some of the financial burden.
If you have federal student loans, enrolling in an income-driven repayment plan will set your payments to $0 since you will technically have no income. For private student loans, you can request forbearance, though interest will still typically accrue during this period.
5. Contact Your Loan Servicer
Not all, but some lenders are more than willing to work with borrowers in tough financial situations.
Like many of the options listed above, there are usually downsides to working with your services to put off paying off your debt, but it can make a world of difference to defer a payment or skip a payment now and have some extra interest in the long run.
This, of course, isn’t ideal, and this approach should be considered carefully before committing to it.
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Final Thoughts on Maternity Leave Loans & Pregnancy Loans
Hopefully you’re feeling a bit more comfortable with your situation now that you know it’s possible to get a loan on maternity leave.
All in all, planning for welcoming a new member into the family can be stressful—especially from a financial viewpoint. Nonetheless, if you do afford to take out a maternity leave loan that addresses your specific needs, perhaps you should do so.
The thing is that, before doing that, you should take the time to budget, and determine whether you’ll be able to get back on your feet—financially speaking, and cope with making repayments. A sensible approach will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.