Opening your self-directed IRA is just the beginning of your journey toward a healthy nest egg. With SDIRAs, there are many investment options to round out your portfolio for maximum growth.

As you perform your due diligence and sift through the many alternative assets, you may consider looking into private lending.

A private loan can be an excellent addition to your portfolio, providing your retirement fund with passive, long-term security, so long as you take the proper steps to set it up. If you are considering being a private lender using your IRA funds, here’s a few tips on how to get started.


Important Tips Before You Get Started


If you are still on the fence about becoming a private lender, here are some things to keep in mind. You can lend to any non-disqualified persons. Your loan will capitalize per your traditional IRA or Roth IRA tax perks. Additionally, your account will gain principal and interest, much like a bank.

The biggest perk is the control you have over the investment; you choose the borrower, the amount, the interest rate, length of term, the payment amount, and whether you wish to secure it with collateral. Essentially, your IRA is the bank. If this option is appealing, the following steps should help you get started investing in private loans.


Open and Fund Your IRA


Before you can become a private lender, you need to open a self-directed account and secure the funds to lend. You can’t lend what you don’t have. You can select a traditional IRA with tax-deferred contributions, or a tax-free self-directed Roth IRA.

You can fund newly opened, or existing SDIRAs with contributions, rollovers from other accounts, or transfers. Depending on your custodian, any transfers could take some time, so be sure to prepare your funds in a timely matter, especially if you wish to get started quickly.


Explore Your Options


After you’ve secured your IRA funds, consider what type of private loan you are interested in. Each investment carries a different level of risk; some loans are secured by physical collateral, while others come in the form of promissory notes, deeds, or loan contracts.

Private lenders can issue secured or unsecured notes, invest in residential or commercial mortgages, performing and non-performing notes, business loans, personal loans, and many other options. Consider the amount you wish to loan, the type, and then focus on a borrower.


Selecting a Borrower


When searching for a borrower, it’s important to note that not everyone is eligible. IRS regulations state that you cannot lend money to yourself or anyone considered a disqualified person. These individuals include spouses, children, parents, and anyone involved with your finances.

Conduct the proper research for a full list of off-limits borrowers before you proceed. From there, it’s about selecting the best candidate. What are you interested in investing in? What is the borrower looking to do with his or her borrowed cash?

During the selection process, be sure you pick someone you can trust to pay back the loan; be careful of the relationship you have. Should things not work out accordingly and your borrower defaults on the loan, the relationship could become strained.

Perform your due diligence by researching what and who you are investing in. Consider credit scores, payment history, and the venture. As you sum up the situation, you can set up terms that both you and the borrower can agree on.


Consult with Horizon Trust

Set-Up Terms, Conditions and Generate Documents


As stated previously, when it comes time to draw up the loan terms, you are in complete control. You can decide the amount, the interest rate, length of term, the payment amount, and whether you wish to secure the loan with collateral. The conditions could depend on you borrower; if you need more security, you can change your interest rates, rate of payment, and amount of the loan accordingly.

Base your terms on what you know about the borrower. If you can, secure physical collateral to protect against any default. It’s also a good idea to seek out an attorney to look over your documents before submitting them to avoid any legal loopholes or missteps. Your forms should be ironclad. When you’re completely satisfied with your documents, you can submit them to your IRA custodian.

As your borrower begins to pay back the loaned amount, the payments should be sent directly to your SDIRA. Be sure to have someone to service the loan and track the payments. As the account holder, you are responsible for keeping on top of every transaction and making sure that the money is flowing into your self-directed fund.


Additional Tips for Private Loans


As the SDIRA account holder, you are in charge; you decide all the terms and services with complete control. Additionally, lending and borrowing is a common practice, so it’s familiar territory. The return is secure, well-established, and in most cases, your investment will have collateral to fall back on. Private loans are an excellent passive income source that provides steady, long-term growth for your nest egg.

However, remain aware that your SDIRA is the lender. All transactions should flow directly through your IRA funds. Be sure the documents are complete and legal, in the name of your IRA, to save you from any legal issues.

Private lending is a great way to start utilizing your self-directed IRA for a safe and secure retirement fund. As always, seek out investment advice before embarking on any new financial venture. Start lending by contacting us today!