borrowing from 401k to buy a home

Rules. People can borrow half of the money in their 401k or $50,000, whichever is less, toward the purchase of a home. Borrowers have five years or longer to pay the money back to their retirement accounts, depending on whether they are a first-time home buyer.

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Borrowing from your retirement plan to fund a down payment isn’t a terrible strategy, especially if you want to lock in today’s superlow mortgage rates (the recent average for a 30-year fixed.

Compared to a loan, a withdrawal from your 401(k) seems like a much more straightforward way to get the money you need to buy a home. The money doesn’t have to be repaid and you’re not limited in the amount you can withdraw, the way you would be with a loan.

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You can typically borrow up to half of the balance of your 401k, or a maximum of $50,000. Most 401k loans must be repaid within five years, although some employers will allow you to repay a 401k loan over 15 years if it’s used for purchasing a home. Benefits of Borrowing from Your 401k to Buy a Home

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Ask most financial planners and they will strongly advise against borrowing from your 401K to buy a second home. Borrowing from your 401K to purchase a vacation home or rental property exposes you to more financial risk. However, are there situations where taking a loan from your 401K to make a down payment makes sense?

If he had filed bankruptcy instead of borrowing the money out of his 401(k) plan he would come out of bankruptcy with $50,000 still in his 401(k) plan, a tremendous start to rebuilding his financial future. After bankruptcy, if he does not repay the 401(k) loan it will be considered a taxable distribution, and he will owe taxes on the $25,000.

Buying a home can be a big step towards securing your financial future, but saving for the down payment can be very time-consuming. However, if you already have money in your retirement accounts, you might be able to use it to speed up the process.. Borrowing from Your 401k. Another option.