How to Get Maternity Leave Loans

Updated on April 9, 2024

At a Glance

  • Maternity leave in the U.S. often involves unpaid leave, leading to financial challenges for women.
  • Lack of access to paid maternity leave results in income loss and increased medical costs for prenatal, delivery, and post-delivery care.
  • Strategies to cope with unpaid maternity leave include planning sick and vacation days, utilizing short-term disability insurance, and exploring part-time work.
  • Additional options include working extra hours, taking on freelance work, considering personal loans, and exploring ways to make extra money during maternity leave.

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.

>> Click here to jump down to the personal loans for maternity leave section

What is a Maternity Leave Loan?

Maternity leave loans provide a financial lifeline for expectant parents navigating the joyous yet financially taxing journey of welcoming a new member to their family. These specialized personal loans are designed to bridge the gap during maternity leave, a period when income might be reduced, but expenses inevitably surge. The versatility of maternity leave loans means that borrowers can allocate funds across a broad spectrum of needs related to the arrival of a new baby. This includes covering unreimbursed labor and delivery expenses, funding regular pediatrician visits, purchasing baby essentials like diapers and formula, and investing in critical items such as car seats and cribs.

Offered by a wide array of financial institutions including banks, credit unions, and online lenders, maternity leave loans are unsecured. This means they do not necessitate collateral, such as property or other tangible assets, for approval. This feature simplifies the borrowing process, making these loans accessible to a wider range of borrowers, including those who might not have significant assets to offer as security.

Loan amounts for maternity leave loans can vary significantly, with offerings typically ranging from as little as $1,000 to as much as $100,000. This wide range ensures that most financial needs, from minimal to substantial, can be adequately met. Funds from these loans are usually disbursed in a single lump sum, providing immediate financial relief and flexibility in managing new or anticipated expenses.

The terms for repayment of maternity leave loans are generally fixed, meaning both the duration of the loan and the interest rate remain constant throughout the life of the loan. Repayment periods can vary, typically extending from one year to up to seven years, depending on the specific policies of the lender. This fixed-term arrangement helps borrowers plan their finances more predictably, as they can anticipate the exact amount due each month without worrying about fluctuating interest rates.

For those considering a maternity leave loan, researching options through platforms like Fiona can be an effective way to compare different lenders and loan products. Such platforms allow prospective borrowers to evaluate terms, interest rates, and eligibility requirements across a range of lenders, ensuring they find a loan solution that best fits their financial situation and needs during this significant life event.

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 leave.

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.

What Expenses to Consider for Maternity?

Estimating the costs for various maternity-related expenses can vary widely based on location, personal choices, and individual circumstances. Here’s a rough guide to potential costs for common maternity expenses:

  1. Prenatal Care: $0 – $2,000+ (depending on insurance coverage and number of visits/tests required).
  2. Maternity Clothing: $50 – $500+ (varies based on personal preference and needs).
  3. Nutrition and Supplements: $20 – $100 per month for prenatal vitamins and additional dietary needs.
  4. Childbirth Classes: $50 – $200+ for courses (can vary based on the type of class and location).
  5. Labor and Delivery Costs: $3,000 – $10,000+ for a normal delivery (costs can significantly increase for a cesarean section or if there are complications).
  6. Postnatal Care: $0 – $1,000+ (depending on insurance and type of care needed).
  7. Pediatrician Visits: $100 – $200 per visit (without insurance).
  8. Baby Gear: $500 – $3,000+ (includes crib, stroller, car seat, etc.).
  9. Nursery Setup: $300 – $2,000+ (depends on the extent of the setup).
  10. Feeding Supplies: $100 – $500+ (includes breast pump, bottles, formula, etc.).
  11. Baby Clothing and Linens: $100 – $500+ in the first year.
  12. Childcare: $200 – $2,000+ per month (varies greatly by location and type of childcare).
  13. Emergency Fund: Varies, but having $1,000 – $5,000 can be a prudent buffer.
  14. Maternity Leave: Varies greatly depending on income and duration of leave; consider your monthly expenses to estimate.
  15. Insurance Premiums: Additional $200 – $500+ per month to add a baby to a health insurance plan.
  16. Parental Education and Support: $0 – $300 (books, classes, online resources).

The average expected expenses including all of the above would be ~$35,000.

Getting a Personal Loan During Your Maternity Leave

Securing a personal loan while on maternity leave largely depends on your credit score. This score, which ranges from 300 to 850, reflects your creditworthiness based on your financial history. It influences both your eligibility for a loan and the cost of borrowing.

Generally, lenders look for a minimum credit score of 660 for personal loans. However, to access the most favorable interest rates, a credit score of 800 or higher is often required. Additionally, your credit score plays a crucial role in determining the interest rate you’ll be charged throughout the loan’s duration.

Your income, employment, and ability to pay also determine the probability of loan approval and the terms.

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.

Check Your Rate

It takes 2 mins to check your loan offers from 100+ partners!

Personal Loans Before Your Maternity Leave

Some expecting 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.

Download the Maternity Leave Loans Checklist

Manage maternity leave loans effortlessly. Download our checklist for a stress-free and informed borrowing experience!

Get the Checklist

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 stop 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

Getting Approvals

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 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.

6 Best Personal Loans for Maternity Leave

Maternity leave is a crucial time that often comes with joy but also financial concerns, especially if your leave is unpaid or partially paid. A personal loan during this period can provide the necessary financial cushion to cover living expenses, medical bills, or prepare for the new addition to your family. Each of the following lenders offers different advantages depending on your credit situation.

Spotlight Loans (Best for Bad Credit)

Navigating maternity leave can be financially challenging, but with Spotlight Loans, individuals can rest easy knowing they have access to quick and reliable financial assistance. Their maternity leave loans provide the support needed to cover expenses during this crucial time, ensuring peace of mind for families.

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​​.

AmOne (Best for Okay to Good Credit)

AmOne is a solid choice for those with okay to good credit scores seeking additional financial support during maternity leave. They connect borrowers to a wide network of lenders, offering flexibility to find a loan that best fits your needs during this transitional phase. AmOne’s strength lies in helping you explore various options quickly and effectively, which can be crucial in managing expenses during maternity leave.

AmOne Personal Loans

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.

Spring Loans (Best for Bad Credit and No Credit)

For expectant mothers facing credit challenges or those who have not yet built a robust credit history, Spring Loans provides a sympathetic approach. Understanding that financial needs during maternity leave are pressing and important, they focus on more than just credit scores to extend loan options. This inclusive perspective ensures that even those with less-than-perfect credit can find the support they need.

Spring Loans Personal Loans

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.

First Premier Lending (Best for Bad Credit)

First Premier Lending specializes in catering to those with bad credit. Their approach involves a more comprehensive look at your financial situation, beyond just credit history. This can be especially beneficial during maternity leave when your regular income might be reduced, and you need a lender who understands and accommodates your current financial standing.

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.

Upgrade (Best for Good to Great Credit)

Upgrade is an excellent option for individuals with good to excellent credit looking for a personal loan during maternity leave. Known for competitive interest rates and transparent loan terms, Upgrade can offer a reliable and affordable way to manage the additional expenses that come with a new baby. Their efficient approval process is ideal for securing funds quickly.

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.

BestEgg (Best for Good Credit)

BestEgg offers a straightforward and efficient lending process for those with good credit. Their competitive rates make them a desirable option for expectant mothers who need a financial stopgap during maternity leave. Quick funding times and customer-friendly service from BestEgg mean you can focus more on your family and less on financial worries.

BestEgg 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

8.99-35.99%

Variable APR

N/A

Overview

  • Minimum credit score: 600.
  • Fixed APR: 8.99-35.99%.
  • Loan amounts: $2,000-$50,000.
  • Repayment: 3 to 5 years.

Qualifications

  • Targets borrowers with good to excellent credit; fair credit may qualify.
  • Minimum credit score of 600.
  • At least two years of credit history.
  • Minimum annual income: $3,500 from various sources like employment, alimony, and more.
  • Debt-to-income ratio: 40%, or 65% when including a mortgage.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen.

Pros

  • Soft credit check available for pre-qualification.
  • Offers a diverse spectrum of loan amounts.
  • Provides options for secured loans.
  • Direct payments can be made to creditors for debt consolidation.
  • Late fees are not charged.

Cons

  • Charges an origination fee.
  • Doesn’t offer rate discounts.
  • Initial payment date isn’t customizable.
  • Lacks a dedicated mobile app for loan management.

Other Options For Borrowing on Maternity Leave

Are there any options for borrowing for maternity leave loans? As a matter of fact, there are. Below, we provide a couple of suggestions. You may decide that one of the following meets your needs better than a personal loan.

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 gift rather than a loan.

Credit Cards

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.

Read More

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 can 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. A sensible approach will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

Keep in mind, the quest for the right loan can be effortless and rewarding. Whether it’s a personal or payday loan you’re looking for, your perfect match is easily accessible. Just visit Fiona to explore your options and simplify your search for financial support.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Are Maternity Leave Loans?

Maternity leave loans are personal loans specifically intended to help cover expenses during maternity leave. They provide financial support when income might be reduced due to taking time off work for childbirth and childcare.

Who Can Apply for Maternity Leave Loans?

Maternity leave loans are available to expectant mothers or families expecting a new child, who may experience a decrease in income due to maternity leave.

What Can Maternity Leave Loans Be Used For?

These loans can be used for various expenses related to maternity leave, including medical bills, baby supplies, household expenses, and to compensate for lost income during the leave period.

How Do I Qualify for a Maternity Leave Loan?

To qualify, you typically need to demonstrate creditworthiness, stable income (before leave), and the ability to repay the loan. Lenders will assess your credit score, employment status, and financial history.

Are Interest Rates Higher for Maternity Leave Loans?

Interest rates for maternity leave loans depend on your credit score and financial situation. They may be higher if the lender perceives a higher risk due to reduced income during maternity leave.

How Much Can I Borrow with a Maternity Leave Loan?

The loan amount varies based on the lender, your credit score, income, and your ability to repay. It’s important to borrow only what you need and can afford to repay.

What is the Repayment Period for Maternity Leave Loans?

The repayment period for maternity leave loans varies by lender and loan type. It can range from a few months to several years.

Can I Get a Maternity Leave Loan with Bad Credit?

Getting a maternity leave loan with bad credit is possible but may be more challenging. You may face higher interest rates and more stringent lending terms.

How Quickly Can I Access Funds from a Maternity Leave Loan?

The time to access funds varies by lender. Some lenders may offer quick processing and disbursement within a few days to a week.

Should I Consider Other Financial Options Before Taking a Maternity Leave Loan?

Before taking a maternity leave loan, consider other options like savings, family support, government benefits, employer maternity leave policies, or a short-term disability policy if applicable.

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Join over 100,000 visitors who are receiving our newsletter and learn more about finance, immigration, and more!
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

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.

Check your loan offer in minutes

Apply for a loan with 100+ partners with one application. It takes only 2 mins and doesn’t impact your credit score.

*checking your rate doesn’t impact your credit score

Get the Checklist