Can you borrow against term life insurance? It’s easy to borrow against the cash value of a permanent life insurance policy. There are no credit requirements or qualifications (other than cash value) and the money can be used for any purpose and paid back whenever you want, plus a life insurance loan has relatively low-interest rates. The disadvantage? If you don’t pay the interest on the loan, you could lose your policy (and its cash value) and end up with a hefty tax bill. Provided you can keep up with your payments, borrowing against your life insurance is an easy way to get cash.
Can You Borrow Against Term Life Insurance?
The present value of a life insurance policy is the amount you would receive if you return the policy. Any time you pay premiums for a cash value life insurance policy, such as full or universal life insurance, a part of the premium is credited to the cash value.
The cash value grows over time at an interest rate set by the terms of the policy. If you have permanent life insurance that builds cash value, you can borrow money from the insurer with the cash value as collateral. However, this possibility usually only exists above a certain level of the cash value of your life insurance, which can take five to ten years before you pay premiums.
Term life insurance is cheaper than perpetual policies because it has no cash value component. You cannot borrow there and if you decide to take out term life insurance, you will not get any money back.
Borrowing against term life insurance policies
A term policy is valid for a specified number of years – typically five to 30 years. If you die before the policy end date, your beneficiary can receive an immediate payout.
Term life insurance tends to be cheaper because it expires at a certain point in time and has no cash value component.
So, can you borrow against term life insurance? In short, no. And if you give up the policy, you won’t get any money back.
can you borrow against whole life insurance
Endowment life insurance, also known as endowment life insurance, is a type of permanent life insurance that lasts for the life of the policyholder. It’s more complex than a term, and you can pay five to 15 times more for the same death benefit.
However, as you pay your premiums year after year, life insurance builds cash value that offers several benefits.
For example, once you have reached sufficient cash value, you can use it to:
- Buy more coverage to increase the death benefit
- Pay insurance premiums
- Make a withdrawal that you may not have to pay back
- Borrow money with cash value as collateral
This means that a life insurance loan is possible if you have sufficient cash value. The ability to borrow with your cash value as collateral is a top reason consumers buy permanent life insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
What Happens When You Borrow Against Life Insurance?
Each time you pay your entire life insurance premium, a portion of your payment is reserved for cash value. The cash value grows slowly and accrues interest at the rate specified in the policy terms.
So how fast can you borrow against term life insurance? As soon as there is cash value, usually from the third year, you can borrow against it. However, real growth may take longer to accumulate.
A policy loan is different from a bank loan or credit card advance. For example, taking out a loan against a life insurance policy won’t affect your credit score, Experian said. There is also no approval process or credit check as you are essentially borrowing money from yourself.
How Much Can You Borrow Against Your Life Insurance?
How much you can borrow against a life insurance policy varies by insurer, but the maximum loan amount is usually at least 90% of the present value, with no minimum.
When taking out a policy loan, you do not withdraw money from the cash value of your account. Instead, you take out a loan from the insurer and only use the cash value as collateral. This is a major benefit as the cash value remains in the life insurance and continues to earn interest.
You don’t have to pay back the loan within a certain period, as is the case with many other types of loans. However, if you fail to pay the insurer’s annual interest, which can be fixed or variable, the interest payment will be added to the value of your outstanding loan.
Term Of The Loan
If your loan spans many years, you are dealing with compound interest. And when the total outstanding loan reaches the present value of your policy, the policy expires. In this case, you lose your insurance coverage and face a hefty tax bill if the outstanding loan exceeds the amount you paid in premiums.
There is a risk of borrowing almost the full amount of the policy’s cash value, so you should always carefully compare the amount to your cash value when taking out a policy loan. We also recommend paying interest whenever possible.
How do I take out loan from my life insurance?
Now that you know that it is possible to take out a loan for your life insurance policy, the next question is, “How do I take out a loan from my life insurance policy?”
The first step is to determine if you can borrow from the policy. Remember that the term does not build cash value or offer loans against the policy. But you could borrow against a lifetime, universal variable life insurance, or variable universal life insurance.
- Fortunately, the process is simple:
- Fill out and submit a form from the insurer
- Confirm your identity and agree to the terms
- Provide account information so that the money is deposited immediately
There is no application or credit check, and policy loans have no specific repayment schedule. However, your insurer will charge interest as long as the loan remains unpaid. You can choose to pay the interest or have it added to your outstanding loan.
How do you take out a life insurance loan?
- Getting a life insurance loan is easy. You simply fill out a form from the insurer and the money is often in your account within a few days. You may be required to verify your identity, sign a verification document, or provide notarized confirmation before receiving your loan if:
- You gave the insurer new account details last month
- The policy recently changed hands
- The loan exceeds a certain size, e.g $50,000
Pros And Cons Of Borrowing Against Term Life Insurance
Life insurance collateral loans are an easy way to get short-term cash with few restrictions. You must be very careful when it comes to managing the cash value of the account and paying the required interest.
However, in addition to the risk of the policy expiring, there are some downsides to borrowing for your total or universal life insurance policy.
There are no requirements for a policy loan
Unlike other loans, you don’t have to qualify to borrow against your life insurance policy. There is no credit check, so the loan will not appear on your credit report. And you don’t need to provide proof of income. You only have to identify yourself and apply for the loan.
Because there are no exams or qualifications, life insurance collateral loans can be a great solution when you need money quickly, such as when you need a loan for emergency medical expenses. Alternatively, they can be used as a temporary solution when applying for credit elsewhere and take a long time to be approved.
Policy loans have low-interest rates
Life insurance collateral loans typically have lower interest rates than a personal loan or credit card. Although rates vary, they are typically in the 6% to 8% range, again depending on who has your insurance and policy. To illustrate, we collected loan rates for variable universal life insurance policies from three of the largest insurers:
|Policy Loan Annual Interest Rate
|Custom Variable Universal Life Insurance
|5%, plus up to 2% additional debt expense charge
|New York Life
|Variable Universal Life Accumulator
|6% maximum, currently 3%
|Variable Universal Life Protector
|2% if the policy has been in place less than 10 years, else 1.05%
Your present value continues to earn interest during the term of the loan. This can be a fixed interest rate (e.g. 1.5%) or within a certain range of the loan interest. For example, if your present value were guaranteed to increase by less than 2% of your loan interest, i.e. 6%, it would be guaranteed to increase by at least 4%.
How do you pay off your life insurance loan?
Borrowing at present value is one of the advantages of life insurance. Unlike a typical credit card balance or personal loan, your insurance company doesn’t require you to repay a policy loan. Your cash value secures the loan amount, although your insurer charges interest on the balance.
You have the option of paying the interest on the loan out of pocket or adding it to the loan balance if you are borrowing against life insurance cash value.
The risk of accruing interest is that your loan balance could exceed your cash value. When this happens, your loan is “underwater” and poses a major risk to you and the insurance company.
If your balance is greater than your cash collateral, your policy may lapse. However, insurance companies usually offer you several options to keep the loan current and prevent it from expiring.
But there’s another problem: if you die before you’ve repaid the loan, your dependents won’t receive the full death benefit. This is because the insurer can deduct the outstanding amount from the payout amount, reducing the amount your beneficiary receives.
Pay it back anytime
If you take out a loan from your life insurance policy, you do not have to repay the loan. In addition, you do not have to pay annual interest as long as the total outstanding credit (original credit plus accrued interest) does not exceed the present value of the policy. Therefore, a loan from your life insurance is an excellent alternative if you are not sure how long you will need the loan.
Now it is usually in your favor to pay off a policy loan as quickly as possible. Interest on the loan increases annually and the policy expires if the outstanding loan becomes too large. When this happens you have paid thousands of dollars in premiums with nothing to show (no coverage). In addition, you may also owe taxes if the outstanding loan is more than the premiums you paid.
Another reason for the policy loan repayment is that the entire outstanding balance will be deducted from the death benefit that your beneficiaries would receive if you die.
Conclusion – Can You Borrow Against Term Life Insurance
Finally, although a policyholder has essentially only borrowed their own money, the loan taken out for a life policy must be repaid-with interest. If the amount borrowed is not repaid before the death of an insured person, the money borrowed will be deducted from the amount his family will receive on the death of the benefactor. So before you take out a loan for your entire life insurance, or in some cases, your term life insurance, consider other loan options that won’t affect the insurance benefits your family will receive.