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Everything You Need to Know About Divorce Loans

Updated on April 9, 2024

At a Glance

  • Divorce in the U.S. can be costly, averaging around $15,000 and potentially reaching six figures in complex cases.
  • Hidden costs include selling assets, financial planning, moving expenses, and counseling.
  • Loans for legal fees, payment plans with attorneys, and the use of credit cards or online lenders like Stilt are options to cover divorce expenses.
  • Managing costs involves negotiating payment plans, utilizing marital assets, and seeking support from friends and family.

Life doesn’t always pan out the way we planned. Often times, couples part their ways and end up in divorce. You might be in the middle of a divorce settlement and it’s weighing heavy on you. As if the emotional load isn’t enough, you also need to find ways to finance this ordeal. What can you do?

Have you heard of divorce loans? Loans for divorce legal fees can help finance this troubling yet necessary time. This is how it works.

Why Is Divorce So Expensive?

Many times, people are afraid to file for a divorce, for the sole reason that it’s too expensive. While getting married is relatively cheap, a divorce can be enough to make you want to run for the hills. Why is divorce so expensive, though?

More often than not, the spouses fight over a lot of matters, such as who will be able to pick up certain items. When your former lover is uncooperative and seems to throw punches at you over everything, it really makes you wonder how to pay for divorce.

For instance, they could be fighting over items that are barely worth $20, simply because they want to get some sort of revenge. For this reason, attorneys are being paid really well to keep the fight going. In other words, divorces get so expensive because spouses would rather drag each other through the mud for a long time than let it go peacefully and move on to the next stage of their life.

How Much Does a Divorce Typically Cost?

From the statistical perspective, filing for divorce in the United States is going to cost you $215 on average, while the average charge for hiring an attorney will cost you around $11,000. On top of that, there are other possible costs to account for such as alimony and/or child support payments. If a recent survey by Nolo is to be believed, the average cost of a divorce in the U.S. is around $15,000, while it may very well reach six figures in certain cases. So, there certainly can be a valid reason to be concerned.

Hidden Costs a Divorce Loan Can Prepare You For

Unfortunately, not every cost associated with the divorce can be accounted for in black and white. There are certain grey areas when it comes to reaching a financial settlement — aside from the legal fees you are required to pay.

You may have to sell your house as part of the alimony, even if the real estate market trend remains unfavorable. You may have to get rid of your investments during a stock market downturn. Then there are down payments on getting a new house or paying rent for a new apartment, as well as packing and moving costs.

Other possible costs may include having to take leave from work to meet your attorney quite frequently. Ongoing costs related to childcare is another possible hidden factor to take into account. You may need to seek help from your financial planner to separate your finances from your spouse and plan for your own future. In case there is an outstanding shared debt, there would be an additional cost to figure out how to split the debt between the two of you.

Professional counseling could also be a necessity to properly deal with emotional difficulties — which can also cost a significant sum of money. Last but not least, you may have to invest financial resources to restart your life all over again.

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If you feel like you don’t have the money to deal with a divorce at the moment, yet you can’t handle your spouse anymore, you have a solution. Loans for legal fees are available, respectively loans for attorney retainer fees. These loans are used to pay a lawyer in advance before any legal services are being provided.

If you’re lucky enough to be accepted for these loans, you can fund your adoption, child custody or divorce case.

It’s a better option to talk to the other party and come to an agreement. Sadly, divorces are often too messy to make this possible. So, if you need cash for a divorce, keep in mind that you should borrow it based on your individual income and not on your household earnings.

If children have been born as a result of the marriage, and a fight over the custody erupts, expenses will be needed again. However, it will be harder to find grants for child custody fees.

Are There Loans for Divorce?

Yes, there are. But it’s actually not called a divorce loan. The official name is a personal loan. You can use a personal loan for whatever you want to. You also don’t need to disclose to your lender what you need the money for. You simply need to be eligible, apply, and get approved.

Personal loans are unsecured. You don’t have to supply something of value as security against your loan. These loans generally have fixed interest rates which gives you a steady interest rate on your loan even when the government raises the interest rates. This helps to keep your monthly payments from increasing unexpectedly and your budget from having to deal with sudden increases in expenses.

You may even find divorce loans online which doesn’t ask for a co-signer. This will help you to get a credit facility without having to find someone who is willing to accept responsibility for the loan with you. Co-signers accept to pay for the loan if you default (are unable to make payments).

5 Best Personal Loans for Divorce

As we’ve covered above, divorce can get very expensive very fast. And the truth of the matter is that many people who find themselves in divorce proceedings aren’t financially equipped for the cost. While there’s no such thing as “divorce loans,” personal loans may be used for virtually anything. In this section, we’ll look at our picks for the best personal loans to pay for the costs of a divorce. Here’s an overview of our picks:

  1. AmOne (Best for Okay and Good Credit)
  2. Spotlight Loans (Best for Bad Credit)
  3. Spring Loans (Best for Bad Credit)
  4. First Premier Lending (Best for Bad Credit and No Credit)
  5. Upgrade (Best for Great Credit)
  6. Avant (Best for Good Credit)

Read on to learn about each of these lenders and why we picked them. 

1. AmOne (Best for Okay and Good Credit)

AmOne understands that financial needs vary, and sometimes they arise from life-changing events like divorce. Their platform connects borrowers with lenders that offer personal loans tailored for such specific requirements. By streamlining the process, AmOne assists individuals in finding appropriate financing to navigate the financial complexities of divorce.

AmOne Personal Loan

4.5
Stilt’s lender ratings reflect the findings and opinions of our editorial staff. Our scoring methodologies consider a wide array of factors and data points for every lender, offering, and financial solution.
Min. credit score

600

Fixed APR

3.99%-35.99%

Variable APR

N/A

Overview

  • Minimum credit score: 600.
  • Fixed APR: 3.99%-35.99%.
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000.
  • Repayment: 1 to 7 years.

Qualifications

  • Must be at least 18 years old.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • While there’s no specific income requirement, a consistent source of income is essential for the applicant.

Pros

  • Suitable for individuals with lower credit scores.
  • No cost for the matching service.
  • Attractive loan rates.

Cons

  • Acts as an intermediary, not a direct lender.
  • Risk of multiple contacts from prospective lenders.
  • Lack of clarity on lender details.

2. Spotlight Loans (Best for Bad Credit)

Through Spotlight Loans, borrowers have access to personal loans that emphasize quick approval and flexible repayment plans, aimed at facilitating financial relief for a multitude of purposes, including debt consolidation and emergency fund needs.

Spotlight Loans

4.8
Stilt rating
Stilt’s lender ratings reflect the findings and opinions of our editorial staff. Our scoring methodologies consider a wide array of factors and data points for every lender, offering, and financial solution.
Min. credit score

None

Fixed APR

6.63% and up

Variable APR

N/A

Overview

  • Minimum credit score: n/a
  • Variable APR: 4.99% and up
  • Loan amounts: $100 – $5,000
  • Repayment: Depends on choice of lender

Qualifications

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Have a checking or savings account
  • Have regular income
  • Have a fair credit rating

Pros

  • Spotlight Loans is willing to work with individuals who have less-than-perfect credit, making it a viable option for those who may struggle to secure loans from traditional lenders​​​​.
  • Spotlight Loans offers same-day approval and funding, which is beneficial for those in urgent need of funds. This makes it a good option for emergency financial situations​​.
  • Unlike traditional payday loans, Spotlight Loans provides the option to repay the loan over a period of months, offering more flexibility in repayment planning​​​​.

Cons

  • One of the most significant drawbacks of taking a personal loan with Spotlight Loans is the potentially high interest rates. With APRs that can be much higher than traditional personal loan lenders, this can lead to substantial interest payments over time​​.
  • Spotlight Loans offers loan amounts that are relatively low, which may not be sufficient for all borrowers’ needs​​​​.
  • Spotlight Loans services are not available in all states, so it’s important to check if you reside in an eligible location before applying​​.

3. Spring Loans (Best for Bad Credit)

During challenging times like divorce, Spring Loans aims to provide support through flexible lending options. Their range of personal loans can offer the necessary funds to cover divorce-related expenses, helping ease the financial burden of legal fees, asset divisions, and other associated costs.

Spring Loans Personal Loan

4.2
Stilt’s lender ratings reflect the findings and opinions of our editorial staff. Our scoring methodologies consider a wide array of factors and data points for every lender, offering, and financial solution.
Min. credit score

None

Fixed APR

27.00%

Variable APR

N/A

Overview

  • Minimum credit score: None.
  • Fixed APR: 27.00%
  • Loan amounts: $3,000.
  • Repayment: 48 months.

Qualifications

  • Demonstrate a recurrent income.
  • Minimum age prerequisite: 18 years.
  • Validate U.S. citizenship status with an SSN.
  • Provide a legitimate U.S. driver’s license or a state identity card.
  • Establish a functional bank account for incoming deposits.
  • Adhere to any specific demands by the loan provider.

Pros

  • Open to applicants with any credit background.
  • Four-year loan period aids in structured financial management.
  • The $3,000 offer addresses several short-term financial challenges.
  • Wide-reaching eligibility criteria invite a broad spectrum of applicants.
  • The focus on dependable income over job title benefits varied income sources.

Cons

  • The set 27% APR is higher than many alternatives.
  • Restriction to a $3,000 loan might not cover all financial outlays.
  • Possessing specific IDs is mandatory, sidelining some applicants.
  • A prerequisite for an ongoing bank account may limit certain users.

4. First Premier Lending (Best for Bad Credit and No Credit)

Recognizing the unique financial challenges that arise during a divorce, First Premier Lending offers customized loan solutions to assist individuals during this transitional period. Their approach to lending ensures that borrowers have access to funds tailored to their specific situation, offering a degree of relief in what can be a stressful time.

First Premier Lending Personal Loan

4.2
Stilt’s lender ratings reflect the findings and opinions of our editorial staff. Our scoring methodologies consider a wide array of factors and data points for every lender, offering, and financial solution.
Min. credit score

None

Fixed APR

27.00%

Variable APR

N/A

Overview

  • Minimum credit score: None.
  • Fixed APR: 27.00%.
  • Loan amounts: $3,000.
  • Repayment: 48 months.

Qualifications

  • Maintain a consistent source of income.
  • Must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Possess valid U.S. citizenship and a legitimate social security number.
  • Hold a current U.S. driver’s license or state-issued ID.
  • Keep an active bank account for direct deposit.
  • Satisfy any lender-specific criteria, such as credit rating, borrowing history, or place of residence.

Pros

  • No minimum credit score requirement allows accessibility for those with varied credit histories.
  • 48-month term provides clarity and allows for long-term financial planning.
  • Specific loan amount of $3,000 can meet many short-term financial needs.
  • Broad set of qualifications make the loan accessible to a wide range of people.
  • Emphasis on consistent income, not necessarily employment type, allows flexibility for borrowers.

Cons

  • A fixed APR of 27% is relatively high.
  • Loan amount is capped at $3,000, which might not cater to larger financial requirements.
  • Requirement of a U.S. driver’s license or state-issued ID could exclude some individuals.
  • Mandatory active bank account could be limiting for those who are unbanked.

5. Upgrade (Best for Great Credit)

Upgrade offers transparent and straightforward personal loan options suitable for a range of purposes, including divorce-related expenses. With a clear emphasis on borrower-centric lending, individuals can secure the necessary funds to manage the costs associated with the dissolution of a marriage.

Upgrade Personal Loan

5.0
Stilt’s lender ratings reflect the findings and opinions of our editorial staff. Our scoring methodologies consider a wide array of factors and data points for every lender, offering, and financial solution.
Min. credit score

560

Fixed APR

8.49% - 35.99%

Variable APR

N/A

Overview

  • Minimum credit score: 560
  • Fixed APR: 8.49% – 35.99%
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment: 3 to 5 years (7 years on some larger loans)

Qualifications

  • Possess an active bank account.
  • Able to provide a legitimate email address.
  • Minimum age requirement: 18 years (19 for Alabama residents).
  • Credit score of 600 or higher.
  • Annual income of $25,000 or more.

Pros

  • Willing to accommodate borrowers with a credit score as low as 560.
  • Offers flexibility with a range of loan amounts from $1,000 to $50,000. This can be suitable for both small and large financial needs.
  • Provides options for repayment, allowing borrowers to choose a timeline that best suits their financial situation.
  • Once approved, borrowers can access funds in just one day, which is useful for urgent financial needs.

Cons

  • Origination fees can go as high as 9.99%, which might add a significant cost to the loan.
  • Apart from the origination fee, there are fees for late payments and failed payments, which can add up if one is not careful.
  • While there is an option to extend repayment for larger loans up to 7 years, it’s not standard for all loan amounts.

6. Avant (Best for Good Credit)

Avant offers personal loans with an understanding of the varied reasons people might need financial assistance. For those facing the expenses of a divorce, Avant’s comprehensive lending solutions can provide the funds required to handle legal fees, mediation costs, and other financial challenges that may arise during the process.

Avant Personal Personal Loan

4.0
Stilt’s lender ratings reflect the findings and opinions of our editorial staff. Our scoring methodologies consider a wide array of factors and data points for every lender, offering, and financial solution.
Min. credit score

550

Fixed APR

9.95-35.99%

Variable APR

N/A

Overview

  • Minimum credit score: 550.
  • Fixed APR: 9.95-35.99%.
  • Loan amounts: $2,000-$35,000.
  • Repayment: 1 to 5 years..

Qualifications

  • Strong credit and income may secure lower rates, but not mandatory.
  • Must possess a bank account in good standing under your name.
  • A valid Social Security number is required.
  • Bankruptcy should not be active.
  • Minimum credit score of 550; using FICO score version 8 and VantageScore version 3.
  • Minimum monthly net income: $1,200 from various sources including employment, alimony, retirement, child support, and Social Security payments.

Pros

  • A dedicated mobile app is available for loan management.
  • Offers a diverse selection of repayment terms.
  • Customer service is accessible seven days a week.

Cons

  • An origination fee might be applicable.
  • They don’t offer co-signed, joint, or secured loan options.
  • Direct payments to creditors aren’t available for debt consolidation loans.

You’re in a difficult situation. Your money and assets are tied up for the time being until your divorce is settled. And you also need to contend with your former spouse’s demands and needs. You’ll only have access to your assets once all of this is settled. But, in the meantime, you need a rather large sum of money to help pay for your divorce’s legal fees. How much do you need to budget for this process that lies ahead?

What does a typical divorce cost? Well, each divorce case is different. The estate in question differs from one family to another. Family businesses and complicated company groups can also come in to play which will push up the legal fees. But here are a few general figures you can consider to wrap your mind around the possible cost of your divorce.

It costs about $215 to file for divorce. The average divorce attorney hourly fee is around $250. People generally spent around $11,000 on lawyer fees. Then you might have to consider alimony/child support payments as well which can come to an additional $15,000. This is a large amount of cash needed to settle the matter. It’s okay if you don’t have the cash available. Consider loans for your divorce legal fees to help finance it.

How to Pay for a Divorce

When things have gotten so cold between you and your spouse, staying together is no longer an option. The mental state of both partners will only deteriorate further, and it does no good to any of you. So, in this case, you might be wondering how you can pay for a divorce.

Arrange a payment plan with your attorney

One way to pay for your divorce is by making an arrangement with your lawyer. A payment plan can be put into place, and the process will go by in a smoother manner. You have to first pay your initial retainer. After this step is completed, your lawyer could make sure to structure payment plans, so your needs will be met.

When you’re making the plan, you have to talk about the maximum amount of payments you’ll have to do on a monthly basis, not to mention the timelines. An interest rate might also be included, but it’s not obligatory. Ask the attorney beforehand just to be sure, and get to know how much it is going to be.

In addition, a transaction fee could also be included.

Pay with marital funds or ask the court to order your spouse to pay fees

One partner might have a lower income compared to the other, which will make it difficult to pay for divorce expenses. In this situation, you can pay for the divorce with marital funds, like joint bank accounts, for example.

If the other party wants the matter to end quickly and move on, you can ask them to pay the fees. It might not always be the best option to ask them for funding, but if they want the divorce so much, it will be in their advantage too, in the end. You can have your solicitor ask the spouse for you if you can’t do it.

Borrow money from family

Family is always there to support you no matter what. So why not ask them for help in this situation? It can be a little embarrassing when you’re a grown-up and should be able to deal with your problems, but they might understand the situation. Nevertheless, it might still be better to talk to someone you trust – it’s also cheaper than having to borrow from a lender or a bank.

You can do this by getting a formal agreement. If you don’t, the court might not even consider the loan since you have to divide the finances.

Also, it should go without saying that the money will have to be paid back. Make sure you have ways to do that. Otherwise, it can ruin the bond with your family members.

Use a personal loan

Did you know that a personal loan could be used to pay for your divorce expenses? It might not seem the best option at the moment, but when your spouse gets on your nerves, you’d rather deal with a personal loan than their continuous muttering.

You have to take into account that the amount you will be able to borrow depends on the lender you choose, as well as your condition. The loan will go on for a certain amount of time, and the monthly payments and interest rate will be set depending on your circumstances and the amount borrowed.

Can You Pay a Lawyer with a Credit Card?

A lot of attorneys accept credit card payments, so you can go with this option depending on your circumstances, and how convenient it is for you. In fact, there are many clients paying with credit cards for a divorce. You can open a credit card in your name and get divorce charges on it.

So, can you pay a lawyer with a credit card? Sure, but make sure that the bank account you use isn’t shared with your spouse, as it might end badly. If needed, open a new one that’s only in your name.

How to Get a Divorce with No Money?

Getting a divorce with no money seems impossible. How are you supposed to split with your former lover when your wallet and bank account leave much to desire? If you’re in a tough financial spot and constantly ask yourself “How do I get a divorce with no money?”, here are a few methods that will help you out.

Step 1

If you want to know how to get a divorce with no money, make sure to go to the local courthouse and take a petition. This petition should open the divorce case. If you don’t want to go all that distance, you might be lucky enough to find the form for completion online.

One thing to keep in mind is that you must have lived (for a while) with your spouse in the country or state where you file the divorce.

Apart from the divorce case petition, you should also look for a fee waiver petition.

Step 2

The next step is completing the petition. You will have to fill out the form with your personal information like your address, possible children in the marriage, the names of both you and your spouse, and the divorce reason. The latter is not always a requirement, though, depending on the state. You can simply specify “irreconcilable differences” in some situations.

Step 3

Now that you’re done with the divorce case petition, you have to move to the fee-waiver petition. This one is meant to show that you want a divorce but don’t have the money to pay for the fee.

Nevertheless, you will have to provide some additional documentation, such as proof of your income, savings, checking accounts, investments and so on. So, make copies of any documents that will be useful in this situation. The petition will have to contain your signature and you’ll have to take it to a notary.

Step 4

The last step for the “how to divorce with no money” situation is taking the divorce petition and the signed, complete fee waiver petition to a court clerk. The clerk will have to get the documents checked by a court member and schedule a meeting with a judge to agree on the fee-waiver document.

If you’re lucky and get the fee-waiver petition approved, a marital settlement agreement must be done between you and your spouse, after which a hearing will be scheduled.

Thankfully, some states make the process simple, so it’s done quickly and free of trouble.

Loans for legal fees bad credit are possible too. Having bad credit won’t tarnish your ability to get loans for legal fees. It’s normal for a bad credit score to appear when a family breaks apart since finances go down the drain too.

The qualification process for a divorce lawyer usually depends on your personal income and/or on the expected divorce settlement. So, a bad credit score is usually understandable and won’t affect your ability to take out loans when a divorce is needed.

3 Smart Ways to Manage Divorce Costs

When you are going through a divorce, legal fees is the last thing you want to worry about. Not to mention the financial stress that comes with it. So here are a few tips on how to keep your divorce expenses as low as possible to make sure you don’t get yourself into a difficult situation.

1. Setup a Payment Plan with Your Attorney

It’s common practice amongst lawyers to allow their clients a payment plan. In doing so you can break the total sum into monthly installments. Ask your attorney if they offer the service and make use of it to help ease the burden your budget needs to carry.

2. Use Marital Assets to Pay for Court Fees

In some cases where the context of the situation allows it, the court may order that some of the marital assets be sold off to cover the legal costs of both parties. It may also be possible that the sole breadwinner of the marriage is ordered by the court to pay for both parties’ legal costs.

3. Reach Out to Friends and Family

This is a trying time where you’ll probably lean on friends and family for emotional support. You can also consider asking them for some financial support as well. There is no harm in asking. Better yet, your family might be more lenient than a lender and give you more than enough time to repay.

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Conclusion

Divorce isn’t easy and it certainly is not cheap. How will you cover your legal fees? You can consider a personal loan and use it as a divorce loan. Divorce loans help you pay the expensive legal costs necessary to settle the matter. Loans for divorce also help to finance your legal expenses as you repay the loan in monthly installments.

Taking out personal loans for divorce legal fees need careful consideration, though. There are some loans out there designed to prey on vulnerable people going through a divorce. So be careful. Once you have taken action you can also consider our divorce cost-cutting tips to help you manage your legal expenses in this difficult time.

Apply today for a divorce loan and make sure to choose the best and cheapest loan available to you.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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