Can You Borrow Against Term Life Insurance? Pros, Cons and Alternatives

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Are you considering borrowing against your term life insurance policy? This article will explore the pros and cons of doing so, as well as alternative options to consider.

Can You Borrow Against Term Life Insurance? Pros, Cons and AlternativesCan You Borrow Against Term Life Insurance? Pros, Cons and Alternatives

What is Term Life Insurance?

Term life insurance is a type of life insurance policy that provides coverage for a specific period of time, such as 10, 20 or 30 years. The premium payments are typically lower than those for permanent policies like whole-life or universal-life insurance. If you die during the term, your beneficiaries receive a death benefit payout. However, if you outlive the term, there’s no payout unless you’ve opted to renew the policy or convert it to another type of policy.

Can You Borrow Against Term Life Insurance?

Yes – many term life insurance policies allow borrowers to take out loans against their policies. These loans typically have low interest rates compared with other types of loans since they use your death benefit as collateral. Some companies even offer accelerated death benefits in certain cases where terminal illness has been diagnosed.

Borrowing against your life insurance policy can provide quick access to cash at relatively low rates without undergoing credit checks or providing proof of income or employment.


  • Convenience: It’s simple and easy process; there’s no need for an application fee
  • Fast Access: Cash advances can be done online quickly requiring minimal paperwork.
  • Low Interest Rates: Lower interest rates than other forms such as payday loans.
  • No credit qualifications needed
  • Tax-free withdrawals if paid back


While borrowing from a term life insurance policy might seem like an attractive option due to its convenience and low-interest rate structure relative to some other forms of credit products available on the market today—there are still important issues that should be considered before taking any action:

  • Reduction in Death Benefits: While borrowing from one’s own existing plan may not necessarily require repayment in the same way a loan from a traditional lender would, it does mean that if one were to die and not have paid back any outstanding debts or loans, those amounts may be taken out of what beneficiaries otherwise would be receiving.
  • Risk of Lapse: If policy owners don’t pay their premiums on time or take too much against the cash value when markets are down, they can risk losing coverage entirely.
  • No Added Value: While it may seem like an attractive option due to its lower interest rates and less complicated application process than other forms of borrowing such as credit cards—it is still money that must eventually be repaid.

Alternative Options

There are many alternatives besides borrowing against your life insurance policy. Consider these before taking out a loan:

  • Personal Loan: A personal loan through your bank or credit union could give you access to funds for a longer period at a competitive interest rate.
  • Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC): Similar to using term life insurance, homeowners can use equity built up over time in their homes in order to gain access to extra cash if needed. This option carries with it risks as well though—such as the rising cost of home values in some areas coupled with potentially variable interest rates depending on market conditions.


While there are certainly benefits associated with borrowing against one’s own term life insurance plan—a number of potential drawbacks should also be considered carefully before making any final decisions.

Alternatives include personal loans and home equity lines which might better suit particular needs; however even then—each person’s individual circumstances differ greatly—and so advice from financial advisors who understand the variables involved will likely provide more tailored assistance with making these choices soundly possible for every person seeking funding solutions today – irrespective of whether they ultimately utilize existing policies or seek alternative financing options altogether!


Sure, here are three popular FAQs regarding borrowing against term life insurance along with their answers:

Can I borrow against my term life insurance policy?

No, you cannot borrow against a term life insurance policy since it has no cash value component. Term policies only pay out death benefits to beneficiaries if the insured passes away during the term of the policy.

What are some alternatives to borrowing against a term life insurance policy?

Some alternatives include taking out a personal loan from a bank or credit union, using a home equity line of credit (HELOC), or utilizing low-interest balance transfer credit card offers (if available).

Can I surrender my term life insurance policy in order to get cash?

Most likely not, as most term policies do not have any cash value component that can be surrendered for money back to you; they typically only provide death benefits payable to your beneficiaries if you pass away while the coverage is in force.

It’s important that individuals check with their specific insurer and carefully consider all options before making any decisions related to financial planning or accessing extra funds for unforeseen circumstances.