Investment Options

How Can borrowing From Your Life Insurance Ruin Your Life?

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“Today, there are three kinds of people: the have’s, the have-not’s, and the have-not-paid-for-what-they-haves.” Earl Wilson

Mr. X, who was a small entrepreneur, lived in a posh suburb of Mumbai. He was always cash-starved like many other small entrepreneurs. He enjoyed the bank limit for his working capital needs. His appetite for growth was far more than the bank’s lending parameters.

However, since the last couple of years, his cash crunch problem was eased with the accessibility of many non-banking lenders lending aggressively.

He took loans from many NBFCs, some secured loans, and some unsecured. Since the money was available quickly, he gave more credit to the buyers to increase his sales. His sales recovery period gradually increased from 60 days to 120 days. He was happy with his business growth. His interest cost was recovered by extra profits he would charge for the extended credit period.

Today Mr. X is bankrupt. His house is taken over by the secured lenders. He had to close his business. He is staying in a rented house in the extended suburb of Mumbai. His wife takes tuitions and manages their monthly expenses.

The reason: Excess unsustainable borrowings.

Borrowing From Life Insurance, And Other Bad Ideas

Many of us often ask, “Can I borrow from life insurance?”. The answer is- Yes, you can, but you shouldn’t! We live in dangerous times. Today, there are many lenders in the market. They all are chasing borrowers. From increased credit card limits to white goods on EMI, easy personal loans to a loan for any purpose, every type of loan is easier to get now than what it used to be a few years ago. To add to the gravity of the situation, there is a whole bunch of new Fintech companies further easing the borrowing process and options.

Debt can kill farmers, and excess debt can kill any flourishing business. The entire banking system is struggling with mammoth NPAs, as has been seen with recent crises featured in the news. But despite the debts, banks will survive, individual borrowers won’t.

Excess debt is dangerous, whether the borrower is an entrepreneur or a salaried employee. All your wealth creation dreams could be ruined by indiscreet borrowings. When people are not borrowing money against credit cards or taking personal loans without a firm repayment plan in place, some are loan against a life insurance policy as well! Even though you may borrow from life insurance and repay the money quickly, it is still considered debt and will lower your overall life insurance scores.

“Interest on debts grows without rain.” Yiddish Proverb

Borrowing from Life Insurance or other sources: Beware and manage risk

There are some basic rules to manage borrowing. These are;

  1. Never borrow.
  2. Can borrow for appreciating assets like property (Not all features are appreciating).
  3. Can borrow for business; do not give personal assets for security.
  4. If you give personal assets as security for business borrowing, do not borrow in excess beyond, banking norms. Banking norms are framed for the safety of the banks, but it is equally safe for the borrowers. You can manipulate your cashflow on paper; you can’t manage actual cashflow. (Don’t forget to read point number 7 below)
  5. Borrowing for non-appreciating assets and expense are dangerous. Refrain.
  6. Even excess unsecured loans could hamper your cash flow. This could cause a default on your secured loans.


The most crucial precaution:

Keep your loan insurance cover minimum up to the amount of all personal loans. This also includes loans where personal assets are mortgaged. This way, in case of the sudden demise of the earning member, insurance should be able to take care of the repayment obligations. This could be a great help to the surviving family members. This is a significant risk one must manage.

Remember these rules to remain a comfortable borrower.

It’s always tempting to borrow when we are in dire need of cash. Refrain from reckless borrowing. A good CIBIL record could be one of the aspects one needs to keep in mind, but more important is the fact that personal casualty loan default could unleash on the borrowers.

“This would be a much better world if more married couples were as deeply in love as they are in debt.” Earl Wilson

Share your personal experience with borrowing. Your experience could be a cause to help others.

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