How to Borrow From an Annuity

How to Borrow From an Annuity
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Annuities are tax-deferred investments granted this status via the IRS. The funds in an annuity should not be touched until retirement age which is about ​59 1/2​ in the United States. While the IRS does allow for taking a loan against an annuity, not all annuities offer a loan provision. In some cases, this is a blanket policy among the insurance company offering the annuity or specific to an annuity product that may be based on fluctuations of principal or existing income use.

If you find that you have saved money in an IRA and now find yourself in financial hardships, where you need to access this money but don't want to be assessed large penalties to do so, you need to explore the options to borrow against annuity.

Inquire About an Annuity Provision

Contact your annuity administrator and ask if there is an annuity provision available. If there is, inquire as to what the terms are. You will need to know the existing interest rate, the amount you are allowed to borrow from the annuity and how long before it needs to be repaid in full.

Most annuities will have an interest rate similar to a bank's short-term loan rate. Annuities often require payment to be within ​six months​ of the loan start day and only allow a percentage of the annuity to be borrowed against.

Request the loan paperwork if your annuity does have this provision and you are comfortable with the terms.

Apply for and Accept the Loan

When taking a loan against an annuity, it is similar to any other loan process. Apply for the loan by filling out and submitting the paperwork. After it is submitted and evaluated, you will be given an offer letter from the company. This is very similar to a loan offer from a bank that confirms the terms and conditions of the loan.

Confirm the loan offer and accept the loan if you understand and agree to all the terms. Be sure you understand the fine print and call the representative if you have any questions. Once you sign and accept the offer, the annuity company will send you a check for the loan amount.

Repay the Annuity Loans

Repay the annuity on time. It will become much more costly than just late payments if the annuity loan is not paid according to the offer terms.

If you die before the loan is paid in full, your beneficiaries will receive the death benefit less any loans against the policy. The annuity may also be terminated if you do not pay the loan on time. This means the money will be released, and you will be assessed taxes and penalties on any growth in the account.

Consider Alternative Options

If you are unable to borrow from your annuity, you may be able to use the asset as collateral for a loan. Most major loans require collateral so that if you default on the loan, the investor has something to collect funds from. Not all annuity types can be used as collateral. In addition, a bank may place certain restrictions on the annuity, but if this is your only option, it is worth exploring.