Why take a loan from your retirement plan?
You should take a loan from your retirement plan only if you have exhausted your other financing options, or if the loan will help to improve your finances. For instance, if you had credit card balances of $20,000 with an interest rate of 15% and you could afford to pay $400 per month, it might make sense to take a loan from your retirement plan in order to pay off your credit card balances. Let's compare the two scenarios:
Retirement plan loan amount
Credit card balance
Repayment period (if repayment is $400/month)
Six years, seven months
While it is true that the $2,351.41 you pay in interest on your loan amount will be taxed twice, the obvious benefit is that the interest will be repaid to you, instead of to a credit card company, and the amount you pay in interest will be significantly lower.
If you do take a loan from your retirement account to pay off your credit card balance, make sure you take steps to avoid going into credit card debt again.
Another good reason to take a loan from your retirement account is to purchase a home. Depending on the market and your finances, buying a home can provide a significant return on investment. Furthermore, you could also use your home to finance your retirement, whether by selling it or by taking a reverse mortgage.
Check your plan provisions
Not all qualified plans allow loans, and some allow them only for special purposes, such as purchasing, building or rebuilding a primary residence, or paying for higher education or medical expenses. Others allow loans for any reason. Your plan administrator will be able to explain the loan provisions under your retirement account.
Replenish your account after you take a loan
If you must take a loan from your retirement account, try to continue making contributions and to increase the amounts you contribute. This may be a challenge, as you will also be required to make loan repayments, and those repayments will not be considered contributions to your retirement account. However, it will help you restore your nest egg more quickly.
Most plans will allow you to accelerate your loan repayments, which will help to restore your plan balance more quickly. Be sure to factor your loan repayment in your budget.
The bottom line
You should not take a loan from your retirement account unless it is an absolute necessity or it makes good financial sense. You will need to assess your finances and compare the retirement-plan loan with other options. It's a good idea to discuss the matter with your financial planner, so that he or she can help you decide which option is best for you.
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How does someone profit from borrowing from themselves? It is not possible. How anyone thinks that paying yourself interest to your 401k account (a non-deductible expense to you) and then when you take that money out of your 401k (fully taxable to you) is a good deal. It is not.
Think of it this way. If you had a choice of paying $1000 in interest payments (non-deductible) or $1000 contribution (fully deductible) to your 401k plan which would be preferable? Obviously the 401k contribution.
Then , in "assumption No. 2, it says that the $108,000 will only be taxed when withdrawn and only the $1500 will be taxed twice.
If you are taxed when you repay the loan of $20,000 and taxed on the $1500 interest of that loan, then you will be taxed again on $21,500 when it's time to withdraw. That is double tax on $21,500 not just the $1500. At a tax rate of 30% you will only be taking home 40% on $21,500.
It just doesn't sound like a smart investment opportunity.
I took a loan on my 401K but I would have prefered to cash out, howaver my 401K does not allow me to cash out. I have alot of high intrest credit card balancess, so the only way I would win on this would be to cash out.
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