The Complete Guide to Maternity Leave Loans
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.
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
In order to take adequate care of the child during the late stages 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, the costs of 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 prior to getting pregnant.
Basically, if you get five sick days and twenty vacation days a year, in two years’ time prior to 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.
In order to see if this plan is applicable 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 the disability insurance will cover the expenses of part of your maternity leave.
Nonetheless, in order to benefit from such a policy, you have to make payments for at least a couple of months prior to 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 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 solutions 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 prior to the coming of the baby. You might also discuss with your employer if you can work from home 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 a 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 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 on 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 on a monthly basis 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.
Maternity Leave Loans With Stilt
Sounds interesting? The concept of a maternity loan is relatively new and Stilt is one of the pioneers in this initiative. With this loan, you are allowed to borrow money for the expenses incurred during and after pregnancy. It’s not much different than obtaining a personal loan for the purpose of covering your maternity expenses.
Stilt makes it easier for new mothers by making the process completely hassle-free and offering maternity leave loans with the lowest interest rates and flexible repayment schedules.
All that is required from your end is to visit the official Stilt website and go through the online loan application procedure. You need to fill out an application form and submit it with your relevant documentation.
A Stilt representative will get in touch with you through a quick verification call to ascertain the facts. If everything is in order, your maternity loan application will be approved and you will be notified. The entire process is handled incredibly quickly. You can expect to know about the approval/rejection decision within 2-3 days after submitting the application.
Once the loan application is approved, you need to sign a promissory note and then the funds are disbursed. It usually takes a couple of business days for the amount to get credited to your bank account.
Personal Loans before Your Maternity Leave
Some mothers consider taking a personal loan prior to 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 personal loan 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 in 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 estimate of 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 prior to 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
It’s primordial so plan ahead – we couldn’t stress this enough. 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 maternity leave 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 the way in which 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.
Moving on, taking out a 401K loan might be another alternative worth considering, as a means of funding your maternity leave. In lines with IRS regulations, an employee has the possibility of suspending 401k loan payments for roughly 12 months during a leave absence from work.
Flexible Spending (FSA)
Furthermore, your employer might supply a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). This facilitates an excellent opportunity for mothers to be. In other words, you may benefit from an interest-free maternity leave loan, having the guarantee that it will be accepted, alongside other important benefits.
As a rule of thumb, though, most health insurance plans feature deductibles, copayments, alongside other cost-sharing options. The costs of delivery and labor might lead to a notable amount of unreimbursed medical expenses, thus qualifying for FSA reimbursement.
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 ongoing earnings – so don’t give up.
Repayment Modification during Your Maternity Leave
If you want to free up some of the financial burden associated with taking maternity leave, you can consider student, mortgage or car loan modifications. Here are some details.
Student Loan Deferment
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. You may request forbearance if you can provide proof of economic hardship, change in employment, unexpected medical expenses, and so on.
The same goes when it comes to your mortgage, but you should carefully analyze the terms and conditions of the mortgage prior to 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.
Auto Notes and Insurance
And lastly, altering the terms on your car payments or auto insurance is another way in which you could ease up your financial responsibilities in the first months after the coming of the baby. However, note that refinancing loan terms usually comes with extra costs, over the course of time. So factor this in beforehand.
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.