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Not all debt is created equal – Is a LightStream loan the right choice for you?

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

While LightStream has compensated me for this post, all opinions are my own.  The following isn’t intended to be financial or adoption advice.

Debt gets a bad rap. We hear people talking about getting out of debt, avoiding debt, complaining or expressing fear about being in debt…all conversations that paint debt as something that shouldn’t ever happen for your family. I'm here to open an honest conversation about planned, responsible debt and to help you explore the possibility of a LightStream loan.

Not all debt is created equal – Is a LightStream loan the right choice for you?

If you’ve been following my blog and social media for a while, you know my two youngest kids are adopted from China. International adoption is one of the most costly ways to adopt but for various reasons, my husband and I decided it was the best choice for us. We used our savings but we had costs (adoption agency fees, fees to process paperwork and background checks, travel expenses and more) that our on-hand money didn’t cover. We borrowed money and used credit cards to pay for some of our expenses.

My husband and I agree on one thing: Our two adoptions are the best decision we ever made for our family.

Our adoption

Adopting two kids back-to-back in the space of 11 months was stressful in a lot of ways but also the best thing we’ve ever done. My husband and I agree 100 percent on that one. Seven years later, we’re no longer carrying debt from our two adoptions but I feel absolutely okay about the fact that we borrowed money for a purposeful life expense

If you're looking to read more of our family's adoption story, check out our adoption archives section here.

Debt gets a bad rap – but should it?

Like I said, debt gets a bad rap and that's not always deserved. Debt can be incurred responsibly and can be (and should be) a considered  a financial tool. Families may choose to borrow money to help pay for expenses such as supporting elderly parents, IVF, or unexpected family or medical needs that arise. You never know what life is going to throw at you, right? That’s why I’m excited to partner with LightStream to help spread the message that incurring debt doesn’t have to equate to a wild, irresponsible spending spree where you max out your credit buying designer shoes. 

We adopted Zack in 2012. He had just turned two when we met him for the first time.

One of the things we’re looking at potentially taking out a loan for in the next few years is orthodontia. It’s a little bit too early to tell but it is looking like a very strong possibility both of our boys will need braces. We’re planning for that expense and putting some money aside but we are also prepared for the possibility of incurring planned debt to handle these expenses. We’re keeping an eye on our credit score and having conversations about how debt will impact our monthly budget as well as forecasting how much money we think we’ll need. The amount is probably more than we want to think about because braces are stinking expensive but we think it is better to go into this with a researched idea of exactly how much we’ll need to spend. 

P.S. The answer is a LOT. Braces times two equals a whole lot of ouch. It’s good to have options. 

The cost of orthodontia x 2 sounds like a whole lot of yikes, doesn't it?

More about LightStream and Purposeful Debt

LightStream is an online consumer lender that offers low rates, no fees and a simple transparent experience for people with good credit. LightStream makes Lending Uncomplicated®.

A debt consolidation loan from LightStream offers low interest rates and fixed payments that enable consumers to pay off debt in a straightforward, money saving way. 

This is a great way to responsibly manage expenses – either planned or unplanned. Our adoption expenses were planned, although we underestimated the amount of money we needed. There were a lot of different layers to our adoption expenses and things we didn’t plan for or didn’t know about. Looking back, I wish we’d have left more money in savings and been more open to taking on some planned debt. We bought into the “all debt is bad” stigma, which is not true. I’m not a financial advisor by any means, but responsibly using your credit can make your family financially stronger.

Is a LightStream loan the right choice for your adoption financing?
We get asked a lot if our kids are “real brothers.” I think this picture pretty much sums it up.

Why a LightStream loan might be for you

Low APR, fast, online processing (think same day), and a loan experience guarantee. LightStream recognizes your good credit and uses a Rate Beat program to make sure you get the best rate.

We're fortunate to have good credit. We've worked hard to build that and to keep it. A company that makes working with families like mine who have made it a priority to use debt wisely and be financially responsible? That's a company for me.

Did you know…

Did you know, according to a recent LightStream Survey1

  • 1 in 4 (28%) people with good credit scores (660+) have debt that is not associated with auto, mortgage, business or student loans —an average of $19,833
  • Americans who have excellent credit scores (800+) carry the most debt – an average of $22,779 exclusive of auto, mortgage, business or student loans
  • 70% of Americans with good credit scores (660+) believe that people in debt are unfairly stigmatized, even when that debt is responsibly undertaken and managed
  • 23% of Americans with good credit scores (660+) think it’s expensive to consolidate debt and 19% think it can take months to do so
  • A LightStream debt consolidation loan can help good-credit consumers save thousands of dollars in interest charges with competitive, fixed-rates and zero fees. With a LightStream loan, consumers can even receive funds as soon as they same day they apply when all conditions are met. (See important disclosures)

We adopted Kyle just shy of 1 year to the day we adopted Zack. They sure keep us on our toes.

More about adoption financing

Not all adoptions are as costly as ours were. There are many paths to adoption and the expenses vary greatly. For example, adoption from foster care carries little to no cost to the adopting family. 

I’m not suggesting our way is the best way for every family but it was the right way for us. Loans are just one way to handle adoption expenses. Many families apply for grants and/or use fundraising. I know a lot of families who use a combination of all resources available to them. A lot of our adoption expenses took us by surprise and honestly? I think it's hard to be completely prepared for adoption. Something is probably always going to sneak up and surprise you, which is why it's a good idea to think about covering all of your bases. If you’ve got good or excellent credit, I definitely encourage you to learn about LightStream and keep it in mind as an option to meet your planned or unplanned expenses.

For more detail, including information on legal disclosures, read here.

Want more information on a LightStream loan?

LightStream has provided a link for my readers to receive a special loan discount. I would love for you to check it out here and pass it on to anyone you know who might be considering financing an adoption or other major life expense.

1 The LightStream Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18+, between Aug. 9th and Aug. 15th, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas have been set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. adult population, ages 18+.


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  1. Lightstream sounds like a wonderful way to get the money you need. I love that they have low rates and that they don’t hide fees and extra costs inside their paperwork and inner machinations like SO many other lenders do.

  2. I too believe not all debts are bad if handled well. They help us to possess what otherwise would not have been possible.

  3. I’ve never heard of this company before. They sound like an excellent financing option. I love that they were able to help you adopt your kids!

  4. Light stream loans sound like a good option. I haven’t heard of this company before but I’ll definitely check them out. Your kids are very cute!