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Can I Borrow from my Whole Life Insurance Policy?

Whole life policies accumulate cash value gradually over time, acting like a savings account that accumulates interest. Your insurer permits you to borrow against this cash value if necessary subject to certain stipulations.

Policy loans generally don’t require credit checks and usually come with lower interest rates than most other forms of financing; however, failing to repay them could cause your coverage to lapse.

Whole life insurance provides tax-deferred savings. Should an emergency arise, these funds can be tapped for lower interest than bank loans while still reducing your death benefit by the loan amount and any associated interest payments.

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Whole life insurance policies can accumulate cash value that can be borrowed against. Before borrowing against one, however, it’s crucial that you fully comprehend its specifics as unpaid loans can reduce death benefits and adversely affect family finances in the future. Therefore it is advisable to consult your Thrivent financial advisor or insurance provider so as to make an informed decision suited to your circumstances.

Typically, only whole or universal life policies build enough cash value that they allow you to borrow against it, while term life does not. You’re usually only able to withdraw or borrow against your life insurance once its cash value has grown significantly due to consistent premium payments over time.

Your life insurance money does not count as income for taxation purposes and therefore doesn’t need to be reported. But just like a bank loan, the interest charged by your life insurer will still accrue; calculated on a yearly basis or as needed (usually fixed or variable interest). Also, typically only up to 90% of total cash value of life policy can be borrowed against; any excess will become your death benefit.

Whole life insurance provides protection throughout your lifetime, which makes it the ideal solution for consumers who require long-term income replacement or who wish to leave special needs children behind after they pass. In addition, many small business owners utilize whole life as part of a buy-sell agreement in the event that a partner passes.

Whole life insurance begins building cash value from the moment you make your initial premium payment and continues to accrue throughout its duration. However, in most cases a certain period is usually required before being eligible to borrow against its cash value – as well as lesser returns than with other investments.

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Interest Rates

Life insurance collateral loans vary depending on the lender. Some may offer fixed-rate or variable-rate interest, with total costs depending on loan size and repayment term; please consult a financial advisor or estate planning attorney regarding how such policy loans could affect beneficiaries of the policy loan before taking out one yourself.

As opposed to personal loans and credit cards, borrowing from your life insurance policy doesn’t require you to meet eligibility criteria; additionally, borrowing doesn’t show up on your credit report or require taxes for repayment. But be mindful that if your loan plus interest exceeds the cash value of your policy and causes its cancellation then your policy could lapse and leave you facing a large tax bill.

As part of borrowing from your whole life insurance policy, keeping an eye on your balance is the key to borrowing successfully. Make at least the minimum interest payment each month so that your beneficiaries won’t face unexpectedly high tax bills upon your death. If you cannot meet the full payment amount of interest each month, be sure to discuss this with them and develop a repayment plan together.

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Like any loan, borrowing from life insurance involves meeting some requirements – these could include some form of identification and an approved application/letter of request from your insurer. But because the insurer essentially takes on yourself as collateral, the process tends to be quicker and simpler than getting one from banks or credit unions; typically there’s no need for employment verification or credit checks – funds could arrive as soon as within days!

Whole life insurance offers many advantages, one being its tax-free cash value component which accumulates over time and can be accessed when needed without disturbing the death benefit payout – this feature may prove especially helpful in times of financial difficulty or supplement retirement income if necessary2.

Note that outstanding loans or withdrawals will reduce the death benefit payout to your beneficiary(s), potentially leading to policy lapse. It is therefore vitally important that loans or withdrawals be paid back within a timely fashion; always consult your life insurance agent before taking any steps regarding this option. Most insurers allow up to 90% borrowing against cash value within your contract contract.


When borrowing against an accumulating whole life or universal life policy with cash value, be aware of any tax repercussions as the investment component grows tax-free; any withdrawal exceeding cumulative premium payments is subject to income taxes.

Life insurance policy loans offer an alternative to withdrawing funds from savings accounts or applying for personal loans without undergoing credit checks or paying high interest rates; they don’t even require minimum amounts, with most insurers permitting you to borrow up to 90% of the cash value of your policy.

But, if you fail to repay the loan on time, interest charges will accrue on top of its principal. If this accumulates quickly enough, your policy could exceed its cash value and become inactive; or its death benefit could even decrease and your beneficiaries must receive less than expected as compensation for this shortfall.

Approaching borrowing from your life insurance policy with your agent is the ideal approach, as they’ll be able to assist in understanding its rules and presenting you with a tailored plan tailored specifically for you.