The Tax Implications of Life Insurance Policy Loans

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Understanding Life Insurance Policy Loans

When you own a permanent life insurance policy with a cash value component, such as whole or universal life insurance, you can borrow against that cash value. This process is commonly referred to as taking out a loan from your life insurance policy. Unlike traditional loans, these loans do not require credit checks or lengthy approval processes.

Key Features of Life Insurance Policy Loans

  • Tax-Free Status: One of the significant advantages of borrowing against your life insurance policy is that these loans are generally not considered taxable income. This is because they are regarded as a debt you owe rather than income you receive.
  • Interest Accrual: While the loan itself is not taxable, it does accrue interest. The interest rate and terms will vary depending on your policy and the issuing insurance company.
  • No Repayment Required: Unlike conventional loans, there is no strict repayment schedule. You are not obligated to repay the loan; however, unpaid loans will reduce the death benefit your beneficiaries receive.
Tax Implications Of Life Insurance Loan

Potential Tax Implications

While policy loans offer attractive benefits, it is crucial to understand the conditions under which they might become taxable.

Policy Lapse or Surrender

If your policy lapses, or if you choose to surrender it, the outstanding loan balance exceeding the premiums you’ve paid into the policy may become taxable. This is because the IRS views the excess as a gain, converting the loan into a taxable event.

Example Scenario

Imagine you have paid $50,000 in premiums into your policy, and you take out a loan of $40,000. If the policy lapses when the loan balance is still $40,000, and your cash value is now $60,000, the excess amount of $10,000 ($60,000 cash value – $50,000 premiums paid) is considered taxable income.

Managing Your Life Insurance Policy Loans

To avoid potential tax liabilities and ensure your policy remains in good standing, consider the following strategies:

  • Monitor Your Policy: Regularly review your policy’s status and cash value. Ensure the cash value remains sufficient to cover the outstanding loan balance and accrued interest.
  • Partial Repayments: Even though full repayment is not mandatory, making partial repayments can help reduce the loan balance and minimize the risk of your policy lapsing.
  • Consult with a Professional: Speak with a financial advisor or insurance specialist to understand the specific terms of your policy and receive personalized advice.

Benefits and Considerations


  • Access to Funds: Policy loans provide a quick and easy way to access funds without the need for credit approval.
  • No Tax Liability: When managed correctly, these loans remain tax-free, offering a tax-efficient way to borrow money.


  • Reduced Death Benefit: Unpaid loans will reduce the death benefit paid to your beneficiaries.
  • Accrued Interest: Interest on the loan continues to accrue, which can increase the overall loan balance if not managed properly.

How We Can Help

At The Annuity Expert, we understand that navigating life insurance policy loans can be complex and daunting. As an insurance agency, annuity broker, and retirement planner with over 15 years of experience, we are dedicated to helping you find the best solutions at the lowest costs.

You may feel overwhelmed by life insurance loans’ intricacies, potential tax implications, and how to manage these loans effectively. We know that you want to ensure your policy remains in good standing while maximizing its benefits. Our expertise lies in guiding you through these challenges with personalized advice tailored to your unique needs and preferences.

What We Recommend

Step 1: Initial Consultation

  • What happens: During this step, we will comprehensively review your current life insurance policy and financial situation.
  • Main benefit: You will clearly understand your policy’s terms and the potential benefits and drawbacks of taking out a loan against it.

Step 2: Personalized Strategy Development

  • What happens: Based on our initial consultation, we will develop a personalized strategy to effectively manage your life insurance policy loan. This includes recommendations for partial repayments, monitoring strategies, and tax implications.
  • Main benefit: You will have a tailored plan that maximizes the benefits of your policy loan while minimizing risks and potential tax liabilities.

Step 3: Ongoing Support and Management

  • What happens: We provide continuous support and management of your policy loan, ensuring your policy remains in good standing and adapting our strategy as your financial situation evolves.
  • Main benefit: You will enjoy peace of mind knowing that your policy is being managed proactively, protecting your investment and your beneficiaries’ future.

Features and Benefits

  1. Expert Consultation: Our team of experienced advisors offers personalized advice tailored to your unique needs, ensuring you make informed decisions.
  2. Comprehensive Strategy: We develop a detailed plan to manage your policy loan effectively, minimizing risks and maximizing benefits.
  3. Ongoing Support: Continuous support ensures your policy remains in good standing and adapts to changes in your financial situation.

Common Objections and Arguments

  • “I don’t need help managing my policy loan.”: While you may feel confident, our expertise can provide insights and strategies you might not have considered, ensuring optimal loan management.
  • “I’m worried about the cost of your services.”: Our goal is to provide cost-effective solutions that save you money in the long run by maximizing the benefits of your policy loan and avoiding potential tax liabilities.

Without expert guidance, you risk mismanaging your policy loan, which could lead to potential tax liabilities and a reduced death benefit for your beneficiaries.

By partnering with The Annuity Expert, you ensure your policy loan is managed effectively, protecting your investment and securing your beneficiaries’ future. You’ll experience peace of mind, financial stability, and confidence in your financial decisions.

Contact us today for free advice or a personalized quote. Our experts are here to help you make the most informed decisions for your financial future.

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Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Shawn Plummer is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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