Private Lending in an IRA

Turn your IRA into a lender

Pick your own borrower and set interest rates

Offer either a secured or unsecured note

Private Lending turns your self-directed IRA into a bank and can be approached in several ways. A few of those methods are, first, through secured (backed by collateral) or unsecured notes (not backed by collateral). Second, through deeds of trust where real estate is used as collateral or lastly through promissory notes that are secured by collateral from corporate stock, and more.

How Does Private Lending Work?

Lending through your self-directed IRA can have various benefits, let’s go over a few:

Setting The Terms 

One of the main draws of private lending is that you’re allowed to predetermine the terms of the loan. First, you obviously can set the amount that you’re loaning to the person seeking the loan. You can also set the interest rate, the payment amount, and the length of the loan. You can choose if it’s a secured or non-secured loan. Securing the loan can be done through a lien on a piece of property, such as real estate.

Returns on Investment 

A benefit of lending your IRA funds is that you can often get returns on your investment regardless of whether or not the loan was repaid successfully. If you were able to secure the loan with collateral or other assets, then this would allow you to keep any property that was used as collateral in addition to the interest you receive. 

Unexpected Circumstances 

There are, of course, a few dangers that come with loaning your IRA funds to someone else. There’s the potential that your borrower won’t repay you according to the terms of the bargain. If the loan agreement stipulated a secured loan you will be able to take possession of the asset used to secure the loan. But if it was a non-secured loan, you would not be able to access any other assets your borrower may have. You may still want to take the risk though if the borrower has a low risk of default.

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Read more for a deeper dive into private lending with an IRA

The Rules and Regulations 

Separation of Entities

The first rule to understand is that all business must be conducted through your IRA. Since your self-directed IRA is a separate entity from yourself, the money that’s lent must come from your IRA, and all profits made subsequently go back into your IRA.

Disqualified Persons 

The IRS puts certain limits on who can receive loans from your self-directed IRA funds, and one of those rules is that they cannot be disqualified persons. That includes yourself, your spouse, your children, or your parents. But what does it mean when someone is disqualified? Learn more about who is considered a disqualified person.

Types of Private Lending 

Trust deed investing – Investing in short-term loans secured through real estate. 

Secured or unsecured notes – Secured means that there’s collateral in case of default, i.e., real estate, cars, or stocks. Unsecured means that there isn’t collateral tied to the loan, so the IRA doesn’t receive anything if there is a default.  

Residential and commercial mortgages – This IRA lending type can be of various sizes, from $10,000-$1,000,000 

Performing and nonperforming notes – A performing note is when the borrower pays as previously agreed to in the terms. Nonperforming notes are loans in default, so as a lender, you’re able to buy these notes at a considerable discount. 

Equity participation loans – This is a type of loan where your self-directed IRA acts as the lender and will come to an agreement with the borrower to reduce interest rates on an existing loan. In exchange, the IRA will receive a portion of the cash flow from a commercial real estate investment or a percentage from the appreciation of the stated property’s value. 

Business or personal loans – So long as the borrower is not a disqualified person, your self-directed IRA can loan to anyone and be used in developing a business or used as a loan from a bank.