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Marketing Compliance Guidelines

Compliance Overview

Sunfish financing options work best when customers are given clear and transparent terms and guided through a seamless process. Applicable laws and regulations require honest, clear and transparent terms for any business that markets loan and financing options. Failure to comply can result in severe penalties and legal consequences.

The purpose of this document is to:

● Provide marketing guidelines for financing options offered by Sunfish’s banking partners

● Provide you with an overview of the requirements you need to follow whenever you reference financing options

● Help guide you to market financing options in a compelling and above-board way

● Provide a general outline of the key rules applicable to the marketing of financing options. However, this should not be regarded as an exhaustive listing of requirements that may apply to you.

Ultimately, you are responsible for your marketing practices and ensuring compliance with applicable legal requirements. This document is not intended or to be construed as legal advice. If you need specific advice, we encourage you to consult your legal counsel.

Prior Approval for Marketing

All marketing materials that mention Sunfish or any Sunfish loan options must be reviewed, approved, and retained by Sunfish prior to use.

Marketing materials include, but are not limited to, marketing scripts, emails, text messages, social media, banner ads, store signs, direct mailers, or text on your website.

Please submit your marketing materials to your Sunfish point of contact, who will facilitate compliance feedback. We strive to approve or provide feedback within 3 to 5 business days of receipt.

Applicable Requirements

Substantiating Claims

The Federal Trade Commission requires that advertising claims be (i) truthful and not misleading, (ii) substantiated, which means that there must be evidence to back up the claims, and (iii) cannot be unfair.


This means that there must be a reasonable basis for any claims in marketing materials directly created by you or created by third-parties on your behalf referring to Sunfish’s financing options.

Similarly, testimonials and endorsements should accurately reflect actual experience and be representative of customer experiences generally.


For information on disclosures in advertising, testimonials and endorsements, see various materials and guidance available from the Federal Trade Commission, such as here.

Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)

Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z):

● Advertisements may only contain the terms of financing options actually available to your customers.

● Advertised rates must be stated in terms of an annual percentage rate, or “APR.” (Other methods of stating the annual rate, such as “interest rate,” should not be used).

Trigger Terms

Certain terms trigger additional disclosure requirements whenever they are used.

Trigger terms include:

Trigger TermExample of Term Statement
The number of payments required or period of repayment● “Pay off in as little as 24 monthly payments”,
● “Pay in 12 or 24 months”,
● “Choose loans from 3, 6 and 12 month
financing”
The amount of any monthly payment ● “Pay as low as $50/month”
The amount of any finance charge ● “$500 total cost of credit”
Any down payment or percentage ● “Pay $50 as a down payment for your
loan”

When any of these “trigger” terms are used, a disclosure must be given that includes:

1. the terms of repayment;

2. the APR or range of APRs applicable; and

3. a statement that the customer’s terms may vary. Refer to the section below on “Placement of Disclosure” for suggestions on where to put the additional terms.

Refer to the section below on “Placement of Disclosure” for suggestions on where to put the additional terms.

General Disclosure Guidelines and Samples of Statements with Accurate Disclosures:

General Disclosure Guidelines

● Required disclosures should be:

1. Clear,

2. Conspicuous and

3. Close to the corresponding triggering terms; on the same page (or, at most, one click away).

● A customer must easily understand that the disclosures are tied to the triggering terms. This can be done with any unique symbol or identifier, such as an asterisk.

● Statements must include the term length (e.g., 24 months) of the financing product(s) actually offered.

Placement of Disclosure

Placement of disclosures should be provided using one of the methods below:

● Through the use of an asterisk (*) or other symbol at the end of the triggering term and the beginning of the disclosure so the customer knows to look for further explanation in a footnote.

● “Learn more” icons at the end of a triggering term that the consumer can click on. The landing page for the “Learn more” icon must include the required disclosure.

● In the event that multiple disclosures are placed on the same page, ensure you are using different symbols to indicate each disclosure (i.e. * and **) so the customer can accurately connect each triggering term to its relevant disclosure. Things to AVOID when making disclosures:

● Requiring a customer to scroll down a lengthy page to view additional terms.

● Placing a disclosure in a much smaller font, making it hard to locate or read (e.g., embedding in a large block of type), or using a text color (or low contrast background) that may minimize or “hide” the text.

Things to AVOID when making disclosures:

● Requiring a customer to scroll down a lengthy page to view additional terms.

● Placing a disclosure in a much smaller font, making it hard to locate or read (e.g., embedding in a large block of type), or using a text color (or low contrast background) that may minimize or “hide” the text.

● Requiring a customer to use multiple clicks to get to a disclosure.

Things to DO when making disclosures:

● Clearly direct customers to where additional terms disclosures can (easily) be found.

● Tie triggering terms and additional terms disclosures together using the same, legible size and style of footnote, end note or side note linking symbol. Use boldface type or increased type-size if necessary, to ensure that the symbol is conspicuous (readily noticeable).

● Use high contrast, legible type (in the same or larger font and size used for most of the page) for disclosures. Use not less than 10-point sans serif font for disclosures online. If you are creating in-store advertisements, please refer to Appendix A for sizing information.

● If disclosures are provided through a link, have the disclosures appear on the landing page (the page that first appears when the link is clicked) without additional action to be taken. Make it easy for customers to navigate back to the original page after viewing the disclosures.

For information on disclosures in advertising, see various materials and guidance available from the Federal Trade Commission, such as here and here.

Terms That Do Not Trigger Additional Disclosures

You can avoid additional disclosures by using language that does not contain trigger terms.

For example, these phrases alone generally can be used in advertising without additional disclosures.

● “Pay over time”

● “Apply for a loan”

● “Pay monthly”

● “Apply for a financing plan”

● “Pay in monthly installments”

● “Financing available”

● “Easy monthly payments”

● “Pre-qualify for a payment plan”

Fair Lending / Equal Credit Opportunity Act Considerations

Fair lending laws prohibit businesses from discouraging prospective applicants from applying for credit, and prohibit businesses from discriminating against certain categories of applicants. Fair lending laws require that all borrowers have equal access to credit.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) requires that all customers have equal access to financing options, and prohibit businesses from:

● Discouraging prospective applicants from pre-qualifying or applying for financing options.

● Discriminating against certain categories of applicants 

Businesses offering or advertising Sunfish’s financing options CANNOT:

● Apply any marketing models or strategies that involve segmentation, targeting or positioning based on protected classes, including race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age or sources of income (e.g. public assistance program). This includes, for example, targeted marketing on social media.

o Tip: If you plan to use targeted marketing, please either contact Sunfish or consult your legal counsel for acceptable parameters.

● Use marketing materials that implicitly suggest an impermissibly discriminatory preference or policy against a customer based on a protected class, including race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age or sources of income (e.g. public assistance program).

o Tip: Financing materials should be visible to ALL customers who enter your clinic.

Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts or Practices (UDAAPs)

Businesses that market financing options are required under state and federal law to refrain from committing unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices. UDAAPs can result in severe penalties and/or litigation.

All marketing containing financing options must fairly and clearly state the material terms in a way that would not deceive or mislead consumers into believing they are being offered terms that are different from those that are actually available.

Below are some marketing standards to ensure that you are describing Sunfish’s financing options clearly and accurately.

Areas to consider:

● Guaranteeing approval for financing

● Guaranteeing a certain rate or APR

● Guaranteeing approval “instantly” or “right away”

● Saying broadly “no fees” without being specific about the type of fees

● Describing “low rate” or “no interest” financing

CAN-SPAM

You may reference financing options in marketing by email.

Email marketing is subject to the CAN-SPAM Act requirements. All email marketing mentioning Sunfish must comply with CAN-SPAM.

CAN-SPAM requires that you adhere to the following rules:

● Don’t use false or misleading header information in the “From,” “To,” and “Reply to” lines.

● Don’t use a deceptive subject line. ● Identify the message as an advertisement.

● Tell the recipient where you are located (including physical address).

● Tell the recipient how to opt out of receiving future emails and provide a functional email address or internet-based mechanism to enable recipients to opt out.

● Honor opt-out requests promptly (i.e., within 10 business days).

● If others are doing email marketing for you, monitor and supervise them for compliance.

The FTC’s CAN-SPAM guide for businesses is available here. Your email service provider should also be able to provide you with more information on CAN-SPAM compliance.

Sunfish loans are made by a Sunfish partner bank. Thus, Sunfish SHOULD NOT be described as:

● a “financing company”

● “the lender”

● “creditor,”

● “lending money”,

● “arranging,” “brokering” or “promising” credit or loans or other similar phrasing.

Customer Interactions

If you are speaking to a customer about financing options, you should not:

● Submit the loan application on behalf of the customer. Each customer must complete and submit the application himself or herself, indicating that they have read and understood the terms and have agreed to apply for the terms presented to them.

● Offer your opinion on which of the financing options would be better for the customer or steer the customer to any particular financing option

Failure to comply with these requirements may result in the transaction being legally invalid.

Promotions/Different Pricing for Treatments Using Financing and Refunds

Whenever a discount is offered, you are responsible for ensuring that any limitations are properly disclosed and, in particular, if any limitations are placed in conjunction with financing. For example, if you only offer financing on certain types of treatments, this should be clear to the consumer in your marketing.

You may not charge extra fees or increase the price of a treatment solely because it is being purchased using Sunfish financing. The differential in price can become a finance charge that needs to be disclosed.

If you have a refund policy, we ask that you display your policy clearly and conspicuously for all customers.

Additional Legal Requirements

It is important to note that other laws and regulations may apply to you with respect to HIPAA or other healthcare regulations. Ultimately, you are responsible for being aware of and complying with these rules.

Sunfish’s Right to Audit Marketing and Sales Practices

To ensure compliance with applicable laws and these standards, Sunfish may perform audits of marketing and sale practices by obtaining marketing samples, reviewing websites, or in person observations and reviews.

Key Takeaways

Here’s a summary of some key points to consider. If you have any questions, please contact your point of contact at Sunfish.

● All marketing materials and targeted marketing that mention Sunfish or Sunfish loan options must be reviewed and approved by Sunfish.

● The Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) disclosures are highly technical and need to be precise.

● Disclosures should be clear and conspicuous.

● Deceptive and misleading statements are illegal.

● Don’t discourage customers from applying for Sunfish financing.

● Follow CAN-SPAM requirements for email marketing.

● Don’t offer opinions on which financing options are or may be more suitable for your customers.

● Do not describe Sunfish as a lender or bank

● Make your cancellation and refund policies easily accessible to customers and clearly identify restrictions on discounts.

● Do not charge extra for treatments solely because they are being financed.

Appendix A: Font Size Requirements

 

Appendix B: Brand Marketing Requirements

Content

Materials or activities that include or address content regarding Sunfish’s marketplace must be approved by Sunfish prior to use.

● Partner should:

○ Direct questions to Sunfish, we are trained in compliance around lending regulations

○ Share that Sunfish offers a complimentary Financial Advocate for your intended parents

○ Include all disclosures provided by Sunfish as it relates to approved marketing materials

● Partner may not:

○ Discuss terms, rates, or loan details with customers

○ Give an indication of if a household would qualify

If content includes APRs or other financial information, a partner is required to update that rate or discontinue the use of the materials within 5 days of Sunfish’s update request.

The use of pre approved materials provided by Sunfish is permitted the pre-approved materials are:

Approved Sunfish logos for use:

Approved Sunfish mission & values:
To make the journey to parenthood financially attainable for everyone.

Approved Sunfish tagline:

Sunfish: Financial solutions for all journeys to parenthood.

Approved Sunfish brand statement:

Sunfish makes parenthood attainable for all types of families through financial solutions, support, and guidance.

Our platform is built on experience supporting thousands of families and hundreds of clinics across the US.

Sunfish will provide co-branded brochures (PDF) and printed tri-fold brochures to partner clinics upon request.

Approved copy for Website and online marketing:

We partnered with Sunfish to offer you fertility loans created by fertility experts. Sunfish and its partner lenders offer loans for IVF, egg freezing, embryo preservations, gestational surrogacy, egg donations, and more. Why Choose Sunfish to Grow Your Family? Sunfish and their partner lenders provide access to funds up to $100,000 at industry-low rates. Loans for Any Type of Family: With decades of experience serving all types of families – LGBTQIA+, heterosexual couples, and singles planning for their future family – they are experienced working with a variety of borrowers.