Another clip for the Decline-and-Fall files. From the WSJ, Business Paper of Record, profit-promising news about “a Fertile Niche for Lenders“:
Julie Barth’s prayers were answered when a doctor in Crystal Lake, Ill., told her in vitro fertilization might get her pregnant. But he didn’t stop there, referring her to a “fertility finance” company that lent her $5,000 at an interest rate of 7.99% to help cover the $24,000 procedure. Her daughter, Olivia, was born about a year later.
“You can’t put a price on a smile like that,” says Ms. Barth, 32 years old. She hopes to pay off her loan from Springstone Financial LLC, based in Southborough, Mass., by her daughter’s third birthday in 2014.
At a time when many traditional lenders are struggling, companies that join forces with doctors to make loans for in vitro fertilization, egg harvesting and other fertility treatments say their business is thriving.
One reason: Fertility-finance companies are getting a boost from the banking industry’s retrenchment. For example, credit has become tight for home-equity loans and credit cards, two ways couples often have paid for fertility treatments that often top $20,000. Mike Gilroy, Springstone’s president, says business is robust because “if the time is right” to have a baby, “people want loans even in a sluggish economy.”…
The loans typically are unsecured and carry interest rates of as much as 22%, more than the average credit-card rate of around 17%. The rates offered vary based on the lender’s evaluation of a patient’s credit-worthiness…
By all means, read the whole article, which could be used as a checklist of just about everything that’s wrong with America’s healthcare system. (Extra points to the WSJ for starting with a ‘human interest’ subject who got a 7.99% loan, and burying the lede that such loans “carry interest rates of as much as 22%”.) This is America, home of Cash Rules Everything Around Me, and nothing’s “priceless” unless it’s worthless…
So, what’s on the agenda for the end of the weekend? Does anybody still watch the Oscars?