Borrowing From Your 401
If you would like to borrow from your 401 to fund a home purchase, then you must do it through a 401 loan. A 401 loan is a loan that lets you borrow a certain amount of money from your 401 at a set interest rate. As with a standard loan, the money that you borrow will have to be repaid within a certain period of time.
Not all 401 plans allow for loans, so the first thing you should do if you are thinking about taking out a 401 loan is to check with your employer to see if your plan permits loans.
A 401 loan has many advantages. First of all, it can be accessed quickly. In fact, in most circumstances, 401 loans can be obtained within a few days and just take a few clicks of a mouse to obtain.
So, if a house you love suddenly pops up on the market at a good price and you need cash immediately to buy it, a 401 loan may be an excellent option.
Another key advantage of 401 loans is that they typically do not require credit checks and lengthy applications. Why not? Because you are borrowing money from yourself, so you are the only party taking on risk. The loan origination fees for 401s also tend to be low compared with other types of loans. This is another nice benefit of 401 loans.
Additionally, unlike other types of loans, the interest that you pay back on your loan goes to you. You will not have to spend money making interest payments to a financial institution or to another lender.
You May Like: How To Transfer 401k Without Penalty
Can You Use Your 401 Funds For Purchasing A Second Home Without Tax Penalties
A 401 is a tax-qualified retirement account that provides tax benefits to employees and the self-employed. By charging a 10 percent penalty on early withdrawals, the accounts are structured to discourage you from withdrawing money before retirement.
You can use withdrawals from your 401 to purchase a second home, but you could be slapped with a 10 percent tax penalty. However, there are a several exceptions you might be able to use to sidestep the penalty. Withdrawals are not state-specific regarding penalties, but your state income tax may be affected.
Why Use A Roth Ira To Buy A Home
Technically speaking, you can withdraw savings from almost any tax-advantaged retirement account to fund a first-time home down payment. IRS early withdrawal rules let you take out up to $10,000 of investment earnings penalty-free to fund the purchase of your first home. And the IRS considers you a first-time home buyer so long as you havent owned a home for the last two years.
But early withdrawals from accounts like your traditional 401 or individual retirement account still raise your tax bill. While youre off the hook for the 10% early withdrawal penalty, youll still owe income tax on everything you withdraw. Thats because your original contributions were tax free.
Withdrawals from a Roth IRA, on the other hand, are tax and penalty free as long as you first funded the account at least five years ago. But just because you can withdraw from your Roth IRA to finance your first home purchase doesnt mean you should.
Pulling money out of your Roth IRA could mean missing out on investment growth, says Eric Roberge, CEO and lead advisor of Beyond Your Hammock, a fee-only financial planning firm. However, it might make sense, depending on your situation.
If you no longer need your Roth IRA money for retirement, then you may be able to tap the account to generate the cash needed for the purchase, Roberge says.
Read Also: When Can I Move My 401k To An Ira
Can I Draw From A 401k For A Home Purchase Without Being Penalized With Taxes
Buying a new home often requires a hefty down payment and finding the cash can be tricky. To make the numbers work, some homebuyers turn to the money in their 401. You do have the option of borrowing against your 401, but you’ll have to pay that money back. Your plan may allow you to make a hardship withdrawal instead, but you’ll get charged a penalty for doing so. If your 401 is your only source of cash and you’re buying your first home, your best option is to roll the 401 money into an individual retirement arrangement . You may still have to pay taxes, but you can use those funds to buy a home while avoiding both penalties and the need to repay the money.
Under the rules of many 401 plans, if you take out a 401 loan your contributions to the fund are stopped until the monies are paid back to the 401. The loan repayments are not tax deductible while the contributions were, so weigh the advantages and disadvantages, tax wise.
Paying Off The Mortgage With A 401k: The Disadvantages
One of the biggest disadvantages to cashing out the 401k to pay off the mortgage are the taxes involved. Most likely, most of the funds in your 401k are pre-tax dollars, meaning the funds you take out will all be taxed at your ordinary income rate. Also, if you happen to be lucky enough to retire before age 59.5, you might also be hit with a 10% penalty tax, so its a good idea to consult with a tax professional when considering this action.
You also lose a little of your flexibility you have in retirement. If you have a paid off house, you might not have the funds in your retirement accounts if an emergency expense came up. If you were forced to sell the house to free up cash, it might not be the best time to sell, or you could have a difficult time selling your home. With a retirement account, you should have relatively easy access to a portion of those funds if something urgent came up.
If you really want to pay off the mortgage, its definitely a good idea to get a plan for removing funds out of your 401k or IRA. A financial advisor and tax professional can team up to help you develop a plan to knock out the mortgage balance using the best method possible to keep your tax bill low as well. The timing of the withdrawals can be important. For instance, you might not want to take out a large lump sum in the same year as you retire, as you might have some regular income during that year that might bump up your taxes as well.
Read Also: When Leaving A Job What To Do With 401k
How Much Of My 401k Can I Borrow To Buy A House
In general, you can only borrow from 401k to buy home up to 50%, or $50,000, whichever is less. Some plans may even offer an exception if your balance is less than $10,000, allowing you to withdraw the entire amount. On the other hand, withdrawing from 401k for house is unlimited, assuming your plan will enable you to do so. Your first step should be to contact your employer before making any offers on a home, assuming you can take from your 401K.
You want to keep more of your money than spend it at least most people do! Thats why Richr gives 2% back to home buyers, so they dont have to risk their 401K or quickly replenish it with the funds received. Building wealth for tomorrow starts with the choices you make today.
Tapping Your 401 May Indicate A Bigger Financial Issue
Some might justify tapping into their 401 as a way of getting just a few more dollars to afford that down payment, but according to Steve Landersman, a financial planner, what they don’t realize is that they aren’t prepared for so many other costs.
“The main reason I’m opposed to people tapping into their IRA or 401 plans for a home purchase is that it shows they don’t have the reserve savings necessary to be a homeowner,” says Landersman. “Just buying the house is the first step, there are always unexpected expenses and improvements.”
Read Also: How Much Can I Invest In 401k And Roth Ira
Using A 401k Hardship Withdrawal For Home Purchase
April 26, 2017 By JMcHood
A large down payment is what makes a home purchase possible for many people. Lenders like to see at least 20% down on a home. This helps make the loan less risky for the lender. The more money you have invested in the property, the more likely you are to make your payments. What happens if you cannot come up with a down payment, though? Maybe you lost your job and are trying to make ends meet or you had to use your savings on a medical emergency. There is one option it is called the 401K hardship withdrawal.
What Happens If You Default On A 401 Loan
When you default on a 401 loan, it’s usually treated as an early withdrawal. Each plan can set its own rules, so you should check with your 401 company to see whether it handles the situation differently. When the remaining loan balance is reclassified as a “deemed distribution,” you will owe all the penalty and income taxes you would owe on any early 401 withdrawal.
Read Also: Can You Transfer Your 401k
Borrowing From A Roth 401
Although there’s no tax-free way to withdraw tax-free money from your Roth 401 before age 59½, taking a loan from your account is a way to use the funds for current needs without diminishing your retirement savings. Many 401 plans, Roth or traditional, allow for the account holder to take out a loan of $10,000 , but loans cannot exceed $50,000.
Loans must be repaid within five years in generally equal payments made at least quarterly. The benefit is that you are borrowing money from yourself, and all payments and interest charged go directly back into your retirement account. Failure to repay the loan as stipulated, however, may result in it being considered a taxable distribution.
Using Your 401 For A Down Payment As A First
Home prices keep rising which means saving the required down payment to buy your first house can be tough.
But as a first-time homebuyer, taking money from your 401 to buy a home is likely not the bestoption.
First-time home buyers are often at a keyage for making retirement contributions. The more cash youput in when youre young, the more time your money has toaccruecompound interest.
- Say you have $30,000 in your401 at age 30
- After25 years at 7% interest, that $30K will have grown to $162,800
Now imagine youtake out $10,000 to make a down payment on your first home.
- Your 401 now has$20,000 in it at age 30
- After 25 years at 7% interest, itwill have grown to $108,500
- So $10,000 withdrawn now means$54,000 less in your 401 at retirement
This isnt to say a 401 loan orwithdrawal is always the worst option.
But before you turn to yourretirement savings, consider all the other routes available for first-timers to purchase a home.
Recommended Reading: Do You Get Your 401k When You Quit
When A Problem Occurs
The vast majority of 401 plans operate fairly, efficiently and in a manner that satisfies everyone involved. But problems can arise. The Department of Labor lists signs that might alert you to potential problems with your plan including:
- consistently late or irregular account statements
- late or irregular investment of your contributions
- inaccurate account balance
What Are The Cons
Besides the fees, your employer will likely stop their side of the match, if they were making one. Even when youre paying yourself back, your employer wont consider those funds a new contribution and therefore wont match it. It also might make it more difficult to qualify for a mortgage, as it can affect your debt-to-income ratio you should still be sure to shop around to find a lender that can offer you the best program that fits your financial needs. And of course, youll lose out on the compound interest your money would have been earning if youd left it in the account.
Of course, if you decide to withdraw rather than borrow from your 401, the main con is the giant tax hit youll suffer.
Recommended Reading: Can I Rollover My 401k To A Roth Ira
A Better Way To Scrounge Up Your Down Payment
Withdrawing from retirement savings is not a great way to fund a home purchase. If you lack a down payment at present, delay homeownership for a year or two and cut back on spending during that time to free up additional money. You can also try getting a side job to drum up extra cash for homebuying purposes. It’s a far better bet than raiding your nest egg and struggling financially later on because of it.
How To Borrow From Your 401k Account
To borrow from your 401k loan to finance a down payment, youll need to talk to your employers benefits office or HR department, or with your 401k plan provider. You can also consult your plan document to find out if your plan permits borrowing from your 401k to purchase a home.
Youll want to find out how much youre able to borrow, the interest youll have to pay, and the repayment period. Additionally, ask about repayment options, such as whether your employer will deduct the monthly payment from your paycheck or if they will allow you to make 401k contributions while you pay back the loan.
You May Like: How Do I Get A 401k Plan
Can You Use A 401 To Buy A House
Before you quickly search up 401k first time home buyer, heres the answer: If youre a first-time home buyer, and your employer plan allows it, you can use your 401 to help buy a house. There are a couple of ways to access the funds.
First, its possible for a first-time homebuyer to take a loan from an existing 401. Your employer generally sets the rules for 401 loans, but you typically must pay back the loan, with interest, within five years. You pay yourself interest to help offset the loss of investment growth, since the funds are no longer invested in the market.
You can take out a 401 loan for a few different reasons , depending on your plans policies. Those using a loan to purchase a residence may have more time to pay back the loan.
In certain rare circumstances, in the case of an immediate and heavy financial need, the IRS will allow you to make a 401 hardship withdrawal to purchase a primary residence. Hardship withdrawals do not cover mortgage payments, but using a 401 for a down payment for a first-time home buyer could be allowed.
The IRS has very strict rules for qualifying for a hardship withdrawal . And if you dont meet them, the funds you withdraw will be subject to income tax and a 10% early withdrawal penalty.
Pros And Cons Of Using A 401k Loan For A House
There are several good reasons to take out a 401k loan for a home purchase. It’s a low to no-cost option thanks to the fact that you’re paying interest back to yourself. Some borrowers may also like the fact that they can get a 401k loan without a credit check. These loans can also be faster and more convenient than traditional loans.
That said, there can be an opportunity cost with a 401k loan. While the interest paid goes into your account, you’re losing out on any returns you would’ve earned while invested. Depending on the state of the market, those returns might be higher than the interest you’re paying. Plus, your interest payments aren’t considered contributions, so you’re putting after-tax dollars into your 401k. It’s a good idea to contact a tax advisor before getting a 401k loan.
Leaving your employer or losing your job before you’ve paid off your 401k loan can create problems. You’ll have to repay your remaining balance by the tax due date for that year or risk defaulting.
While defaulting on your 401k loan won’t destroy your credit or get you sent to collections, it isn’t ideal. The outstanding balance is treated as a withdrawal and taxed and penalized as such. This can significantly reduce your retirement savings.
Read Also: How To Open 401k Solo
Rules You Need To Know
If you want to become a real estate investor through your IRA, there are a few rules you’ll need to follow. Recall in the previous section that I mentioned that you and your IRA are considered to be two separate entities. As a result, the following rules apply:
- Any real estate you buy with a self-directed IRA needs to be purely for investment purposes. There are some definitions of the term “investment property” that allow for a small amount of personal use, but this is not the case with the property you own through an IRA.
- Property expenses must be paid by the IRA, not by you directly. For example, if the property needs a new roof, the check needs to come from the IRA. For this reason, it’s very important to leave some funds available in the IRA to cover any unforeseen expenses.
- You can’t use any personal possessions in the property.
- Any rental income needs to be paid to the IRA, not to you.
- You can’t buy a property that is currently owned by you or a relative in a self-directed IRA.