Are Personal Loans Tax Deductible?

Everyone loves to take a personal loan. They are an easy way out of debts and course, an easy way into debts. If you have a personal loan or are thinking about getting one in the future, answering- are personal loans tax deductible would help.

While there is no set personal loan tax deductible, understanding how personal loans affect your taxes can help you figure out potential deductions. It can also help you be more careful after you have answered- “are personal loans tax-deductible?”.

In this article, you would get to understand and get answers to the question “are personal loans tax-deductible”. This content breaks it down, explaining also when you can get personal loans tax-deductible

Related: Here’s what happens if you don’t pay your student loans

Are Personal Loans Tax Deductible?

We are here to demystify this pressing question, are personal loans tax-deductible?”. The general rule here is that personal loans are not tax-deductible.

You should also know that a personal loan may help you save money.

This is by consolidating high-interest debt. It may also provide the funds you need to cover an emergency or unexpected expense.

Personal loans, with a few exceptions, generally do not affect your taxes. This is why:

  • It is not earnings. The money you get from a personal loan isn’t added to your taxable income, so you don’t have to pay taxes on it.
  • It is only for personal use. Personal loans are frequently used for personal purposes. Personal expenses are generally not deductible.
  • Interest is tax-deductible even when allowed. Certain types of loans may be eligible for a tax deduction. However, you can generally deduct only the interest portion of the loan. You can also deduct origination fees in the case of student loans, for example), not the entire loan amount.

Yet, there are a few exceptions. Personal loan interest can be tax-deductible if-

When is Personal Loans Tax-Deductible?

There are a few situations where personal loans are tax-deductible. Even though this depends on how you use the funds. They are-

  • If you borrow money solely to pay for qualified education expenses or to refinance a student loan, you may be able to deduct the interest on the loan.
  • Similarly, if you used a personal loan for these purposes, you may be able to deduct investment interest or business expenses. However, some lenders and lending marketplaces may not allow you to obtain a personal loan for such purchases.
  • Also, because the loan is not secured by your home, an unsecured personal loan will not qualify for mortgage-related deductions.

What are the Types of Personal Loans with Tax-Deductible Interest?

In wondering- are personal loans tax-deductible, you should know the types. If you meet all of the requirements, you may be able to get tax-deductible interest on certain types of personal loans.

Here are some examples of loans that may be eligible for tax-deductible interest:

1. Student debt

If you borrowed money to pay for qualified higher education expenses, you may be able to deduct up to $2,500 in interest payments per year. Qualified expenses for the interest deduction include tuition, fees, lodging, textbooks, and other necessary expenses.

Certain higher education tax credits have different definitions.

Even if you don’t itemize, you can take this deduction. You cannot, however, claim the deduction if you use the married filing separately status or if someone claims you or your spouse as a dependent.

You can read this: Discover student loans scholarships

2. Mortgages

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 changed the rules for deducting mortgage interest payments. However, it did not eliminate the deduction. Individuals can still deduct mortgage interest if the loans are to buy, build, or improve a home.

If you paid mortgage interest points, you may be able to deduct those payments as well. If you qualify in either case, you must itemize your deductions to benefit.

The amount of interest you can deduct has a limit by law. You can now deduct interest on up to $375,000 in mortgage debt (or $750,000 if married and filing jointly). If you took out the mortgage before December 16, 2016, the higher limits of $500,000 and $1,000,000 apply.

3. Second mortgages

In wondering- are personal loans tax-deductible, you should know it is not applicable here. Interest on second mortgages, such as a home equity loan (HEL) or a home equity line of credit (HELOC), may also be tax-deductible. The mortgage value limit applies to the total balance of your first and second mortgages.

To qualify, you must use the loan proceeds to significantly improve the home by increasing its value or extending its life.

4. Investment interest expenses

The investment interest deduction is an itemized deduction for interest paid on a loan. It is for purchasing an eligible taxable investment.

For example, if you have a brokerage account and used a margin loan to buy stocks, you may be able to claim the deduction. Purchasing tax-exempt municipal bonds, on the other hand, will not count.

If you qualify, your deduction has a limit to your net investment income at your ordinary income tax rate. If you are unable to claim the full deduction this year, you may be able to carry over your interest expenses.

5. Business loans

If you own a business or work for yourself, you may be able to deduct the interest paid on a business loan (or a portion of a personal loan) used for business purposes. To be eligible, you must:

  • Accept responsibility for the debt
  • Intend to repay the debt, and credit should be repaid.
  • Maintain a genuine debtor-creditor relationship.

For example, if a family member offers you money to start a business and you later decide to repay the gift plus interest, the gift is not counted.

However, if you obtain a personal loan to purchase supplies and equipment for your business, you may be able to deduct the interest payment.

Perhaps you get an auto-to-refinance loan for a vehicle that you use for work half the time. You may be able to deduct half of the loan interest.

How does a Canceled Personal Loan Debt Affect Your Taxes?

If a creditor cancels, discharges, or forgives a portion of your debt, the portion of the loan that you did not repay may be taxable income. This is common if you fall behind on payments and reach an agreement with your creditor.

The creditor will send you a Form 1099-C, Cancellation of Debt, indicating the amount of debt canceled. You may have to include the amount of the canceled debt in your income and pay taxes on it.

However, there are exceptions, and if you are insolvent, you may be able to exclude the amount from your income (i.e., your liabilities exceed your assets).

Can You Deduct Personal Loan Interest on Your Taxes?

You cannot deduct the interest on an unsecured personal loan from your taxes unless the loan proceeds are for one of the following purposes:

  • Expenses for business
  • Expenses for qualified higher education
  • Taxable investments

Expenses for Business

Numerous expenses come with starting or running a business, and you may need to take out a loan to cover them.

The interest on this loan may be tax-deductible depending on how you use the funds. You don’t have to own a large company to qualify; you could qualify even if you work as a freelancer or consultant on the side.

The interest on a loan used to buy supplies for a product you make and sell online, for example, could be a business expense.

You can deduct the expense from your company’s income, lowering your tax liability for the year.

If your business’s expenses exceed its income, you may incur a loss for the year, which could be offset by other types of income.

If you use a personal loan for both personal and business expenses, you can deduct only the interest on the portion of the loan used for business expenses.

Expenses for Qualified Educational Purposes

Most people, for good reason, take out federal or private student loans to pay for higher education.

When compared to other types of debt, student loans frequently have special repayment plans that better align with students’ needs.

Furthermore, most federal student loans do not require a credit check and are forgiven or repaid through hardship programs.

However, if you use the funds from a personal loan to refinance a student loan, it is a qualified student loan.

As a result, the interest payments may be eligible for the student loan interest deduction. You may be able to deduct the entire amount of interest paid for the year.

Since it is an above-the-line deduction, the student loan interest deduction is especially valuable ( making it an adjustment rather than a deduction).

Even if you itemize your deductions, you can claim them, and it may help you qualify for other tax breaks or credits.

There are, however, requirements and limitations. For example, if your tax filing status is “married” filing separately, you cannot claim the deduction, and the amount of the deduction would reduce. This is on your modified adjusted gross income for the year.

The loan must also be for you, your spouse, or a dependent who enrolls at least half-time in an accredited degree or credential program.

Taxable Investments

You may also be able to deduct loan interest if you use the funds to buy taxable investments such as stocks, bonds, or mutual funds.

The deduction, however, is not available for purchases of tax-advantaged investments such as tax-exempt bonds.

Even if you use the loan for a variety of purposes or types of investments, you can still deduct the interest that corresponds to the amount you use for qualified investments.

To take the investment interest deduction, you must itemize your deductions, which means that most people will not benefit from it.

Furthermore, you can only deduct the interest to offset investment income for the year. If you don’t have enough investment income, you can carry qualifying interest payments over to the following year.

Also, check this: Student loans for living expenses

How Can You Get a Good Rate on Your Loan?

Now you have answered- “are personal loans tax deductible”, next up is getting a good rate. You may sometimes deduct the interest you pay on a personal loan, but you should still try to pay as little interest as possible in the first place.

Shopping around for a loan from multiple lenders and improving your credit before applying can help you find and qualify for the best rates.

Experian’s CreditMatchTM personal loan tool allows you to quickly compare and sort lenders’ loan options if you want to compare options from multiple lenders.

FAQs On Are Personal Loans Tax-Deductible

Personal loans, in most cases, do not have tax-deductible interest. You cannot deduct the interest on an unsecured personal loan. This is unless it is for business expenses, education expenses, or taxable investments.

No. Personal loans, auto loans, and credit card debt repayments are not tax-deductible.

Mortgage interest, student loan interest, medical expenses, 401(k), and IRA contributions.

Certain education expenses are among the top personal expenses that are tax-deductible for individuals. The majority of these are only available if you file an itemized tax return.

According to the IRS, the following loans have tax-deductible interest:

  • Home loan interest
  • Interest on unpaid student loans
  • Investment interest costs
  • Business loan interest

It may become a taxable event depending on how you use the personal loan.

Taking out a personal loan to cover business expenses is one example. Any loan interest paid could be tax deductible for the company.

When a lender forgives a portion of a personal loan, the borrower is to pay taxes on the forgiven amount in rare cases.

According to Kendall, this is because loan forgiveness converts that portion of the loan into income.


You can be more strategic about when and why you take out personal loans if you consider the potential tax consequences.

Small-business owners, in particular, can benefit because some loans may qualify for a deduction. Even if only a portion of the proceeds is for business expenses.

Remember that tax planning is a year-round process. It is also an essential component of personal financial management.

Many people consider using their tax refund to pay off debt. However, a more dependable source of funds, such as a personal loan, may be a better option.



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