Why is America running out of coins?


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A coin shortage is causing issues in the United States and is leading to some businesses refusing to accept cash payments, unless the customer is able to pay in exact change. 

What is a coin shortage? Coin shortages can affect both businesses and consumers and occur when there is a greater demand for coins than there are coins available. This can lead to banks, laundromats, retail shops, gas stations, and other essential businesses not having enough coins for their customers.

Let’s take a closer look at the current coin shortage and what caused the coin shortage. 

What Is a Coin Shortage?

A coin shortage is a phenomenon in which there aren’t enough coins available in the marketplace to meet consumer demands. This can make it challenging for businesses to accept cash payments, as they may not have enough coins available to give the customer back after making a purchase. As a result, many businesses will only accept contactless payments unless the customer is able to pay in exact change.

What Causes a Coin Shortage?

The current coin shortage is being linked back to the coronavirus pandemic. When lockdowns occurred and businesses had to close their doors to customers, there was not as much opportunity for consumers to spend money by using cash or coins. Because of this, we currently don’t have as many coins circling through the economy — especially with digital payments becoming more popular than ever. 

Another issue that arose during the pandemic was the U.S. Mint reduced how many coins they were producing in order to protect staff from the virus. 

And finally, the Federal Reserve reports that consumers are generally depositing fewer coins at financial institutions like banks than they did in the past. 

What Is the Impact of the Coin Shortage?

Coin shortages tend to mostly impact the consumers who wish to make purchases using physical cash. However, poorer individuals who rely on cash to make bill payments struggled, as well.

On the business side, this can hurt businesses that may lose a transaction if a customer has a desire to pay in cash. It’s more common to use cash for smaller transactions, however, there are fewer small transactions occurring due to merchants not being able to process them without adequate coin reserves. 

Overall, the coin shortage causes inconveniences for both consumers and businesses alike. Consumers may spend time carefully considering a purchase only to be rejected at the cash register if they want to pay in cash. Businesses, on the other hand, can invest time and resources into making a sale only to realize they don’t have the ability to process it due to a lack of coins in their cash register. 

What Is the Solution?

While there is technically a sufficient amount of coins in the economy right now, the goal is to help resume normal circulation patterns for U.S. coins that were disrupted during the pandemic years. 

The Federal Reserve and U.S. Mint are hard at work trying to increase coin circulation. The initial step taken was to introduce a temporary cap in June 2020 to help keep the orders that depository institutions place with the Federal Reserve more evenly distributed. That way, there was a more even distribution of coins throughout the country. In July 2020, the U.S. Coin Task Force was created to work on tackling this issue.

It will take time, but it is estimated that as the economy continues to recover and more businesses open their doors again, that more coins will flow back into the marketplace. There are also steps the average person can take to help end the coin shortage. One way is by cashing in the coins they’ve stored up for a rainy day. In fact, more than half of the coins in the U.S. are currently in the homes of consumers. A great way to get more coins back in the economy is to cash them in at local banks or use them to make purchases at businesses that still accept cash.

The Takeaway

A coin shortage occurs when there aren’t enough coins readily circulating throughout the economy. The U.S. economy was hit by a coin shortage in 2020 due to the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Not only did many businesses have to shut their doors and limit cash payments, but consumers also scaled back their spending. All in all, this led to there not being enough coins in the marketplace, which limits some retailers’ abilities to accept cash payments from customers. 

While a coin shortage can limit how easy it is to make payments in cash, customers can still make payments using other payment methods.

This article originally appeared on SoFi.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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Having a baby with a surrogate? It’ll set you back this much

Using a surrogate, also known as a gestational carrier, involves an arrangement in which a woman carries and gives birth to a child for another couple or individual.

Surrogacy can allow would-be parents an opportunity to have a baby with whom they have a biological link. But gestational carrying can also be complicated, with complex laws and medical procedures that can make the process expensive.

The cost of using a surrogate can run anywhere from $100,000 to $225,000, depending on where you live, whether you need an egg donor, and how many rounds of IVF your surrogate will go through before she conceives.

Read on to learn more about potential fees involved in using a surrogate, as well as some ways to make the process more affordable.

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The lump sum of surrogacy can seem overwhelming. But it’s important to keep in mind that the estimated overall cost is based on averages.

Because surrogacy is unique for all families, your expenses may differ. But knowing the various elements of surrogacy can help you see how each cost plays into the overall price. Here are some typical surrogacy costs that aspiring parents should anticipate.

  • Agency Fee: Because fertility clinics do not find surrogates, would-be parents typically need to find a carrier through a personal connection or an agency. Surrogacy agencies, which have a network of surrogates who have met certain requirements, charge fees that can run $30,000-plus. The fee covers all of the services provided by the agency, including background checks, screenings, support and education, advertising, marketing, and more. Agency fees should remain fixed, regardless of how long it takes to complete the surrogacy process.

  • Surrogate Fee: Working with a gestational carrier can be expensive, running somewhere between $30,000 and $70,000. This fee is paid to the surrogate as compensation for undergoing tests and fertility treatments, carrying and delivering the child, taking on the medical risks involved, and putting themselves through the physical and emotional challenges that surrogacy and pregnancy can involve.
  • Fertility Clinic Fee: You will also need to work with a fertility clinic to produce embryos. In many cases, couples have already done this before pursuing surrogacy. This can range from $20,000 to $50,000.
  • Pregnancy Costs: The cost of carrying and delivering a baby can vary in the U.S., depending on location, type of birth, and whether there are any complications, but tends to average around $14,000. The surrogate’s insurance may or may not cover any of this cost. If the surrogate doesn’t have health insurance, the would-be parents may need to purchase a short-term or maternity-only policy for them.
  • Legal Fees: Surrogacy can involve several psychological, ethical, and legal complexities, and typically requires legal contracts that outline each parties’ responsibilities and compensation.The intended parents and surrogate typically each need an attorney to negotiate and draft this contract, as well as complete other necessary services. The Intended parents typically pay for everyone’s legal expenses, which can cost from $7,000 to $15,000.

  • Other Potential Costs: Other expenses that can come up include travel, pregnancy clothing, lost wages, payment for breast milk, and counseling fees.


Surrogacy is not typically covered by health insurance, but the situation isn’t always cut and dry. Some health insurance plans include language that clearly specifies the plan does not cover costs for a woman for surrogacy, while a few plans state that they do provide coverage.

Many insurance plans, however, don’t make it entirely clear whether they do or don’t cover surrogacy. Surrogacy agencies, however, can often help intended parents evaluate the surrogate’s health insurance plan to determine whether or not the pregnancy will be covered.

In some cases, the would-be parents will need to purchase outside insurance for the surrogate from a comprehensive surrogacy insurance agency, which can run $12,000 to $30,000.

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Surrogacy fees are a large portion of the overall surrogacy price tag. But there are ways to possibly minimize these fees.

One common route is using what’s called a “compassionate” surrogate. This is someone — perhaps a friend or relative — who does not want a fee for surrogacy. While the would-be parents will be responsible for expenses, eliminating a carrying fee can make surrogacy much more affordable.

Another option is to search for a surrogate independently instead of going through an agency. This can minimize fees, but can also potentially be complicated because of the complexities involved in surrogacy.

Some families choose a surrogate who lives outside the United States as a way to save on potential costs. International surrogacy may be facilitated by an agency in the home country of the potential surrogate. This too, however, may come with risks including legal risks and travel complications.

Regardless of whether a family uses an agency, a connection, or pursues a surrogate through an independent channel, they will still likely need to use a reproductive lawyer to craft a legal agreement, as well as psychological counseling for all parties to make sure everyone has a place to explore the complex emotions that can come from surrogacy.


Many people don’t have an extra six figures sitting around in a bank account that they can tap to pay for using a surrogate. But there are some ways that hopeful parents can find funds. Here are some options you may want to consider.

Employee benefits and health insurance. It’s not very common for companies to offer a surrogacy benefit, but it can’t hurt to inquire. There are some companies that offer a maximum family-planning benefit that could be used for processes such as surrogacy. It can also be worthwhile to check your own health insurance benefits. While it may not cover the surrogate’s pregnancy, it may cover procedures would-be parents need to undergo.

Saving up in advance. If you are planning surrogacy for some time in the future, you may want to start putting cash away every month into a savings account, ideally with an above-average interest rate, set up specifically for surrogacy. You can also automate savings by setting up a recurring monthly deposit into this account so it happens no matter what.

Considering financial resources. Some aspiring parents may want to reach out to their family for financial help, or even crowd-source funds through their social media networks. Others may tap into equity, such as a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or borrowing from their 401(k). Of course, it can be a good idea to explore the pros and cons of these types of loans, including a timeline to pay them back.

Taking out a personal loan. Taking out a personal loan, sometimes referred to as a family planning loan, can be a good option for some would-be parents. Unlike a credit card, a fixed-rate personal loan gives transparency over interest rate and exactly how much money you’ll need to pay back for the life of the loan.

Personal loans can also come with significantly lower interest rates than credit cards. Prior to applying for a loan, it can be a good idea to understand any fees and penalties. Surrogacy agencies and fertility centers also may have loans available.

Applying for a grant. There are some national, regional, and local grants available for some families pursuing surrogacy. Qualifying for a grant may depend on income, location, and personal situation.

(Learn more at Personal Loan Calculator). 


Surrogacy is a process that can help would-be parents have a baby, but it typically comes with considerable costs. These expenses include the medical, legal, and insurance fees that come with contracting a surrogate.

While costs can vary widely based on your location and the type of surrogacy you choose, the total can run around between $100,000 and $225,000.

Because this family-building option is pricey, aspiring parents may want to try to save up in advance, tap certain financial resources, explore grants, and find ways to trim costs, such as asking a friend or family member to be their surrogate.

Another way to help pay for surrogacy is to take out a personal loan, which often comes with a lower interest rate than credit cards.

Think twice before turning to high-interest credit cards. Consider a SoFi personal loan instead. SoFi offers competitive fixed rates and same-day funding. Checking your rate takes just a minute.

This article originally appeared on SoFi.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org

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