Leverage can be a valuable tool to increase the buying power of an IRA. Leveraging means borrowing funds to increase purchase power and acquiring a property that would otherwise be un-affordable. Surprisingly, many people aren't aware that their IRA or 401k funds can be leveraged and utilized as a down payment for a real estate IRA investment.
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In order to use leverage, a non-recourse loan is required. The IRS restricts an IRA holder from personally guaranteeing the account or its assets. Consequently, lenders usually offer borrowers non-recourse loans with slightly different terms and loan-to-value requirements.
The non-recourse lender determines the criteria that they wish to use to qualify an IRA (borrower) and the terms that they are willing to offer that IRA. It is common for the terms of a non-recourse loan to an IRA to be different from the terms that a lender would offer to an individual whose personal assets are available in the case of default. For example, non-recourse lenders may require 30 to 40 percent down or more.
The non-recourse lender may offer a percentage rate that is higher than they might offer for a personally secured loan. The IRS does not dictate to the lender which IRAs qualify for a loan, nor do they prescribe any terms of the loan except the concept noted above that disqualified persons cannot guarantee the loan.
The IRA custodian does not negotiate the loan for the IRA. It is also not the role of the provider to evaluate or approve the loan. Even though the loan is negotiated between the lender and the IRA holder, all legal documents associated with the loan are signed by the IRA custodian, not the IRA holder.