Personal Loan Interest Tax Deductible

While filing taxes may not be the most exciting task you’ll ever undertake, if you have a personal loan, being aware of any potential tax repercussions can be helpful when it comes time to do so. The good news: There is no set personal loan tax. However, being aware of the potential tax implications of personal loans can help you avoid missing out on any possible deductions. Here is what you need to know:

Are Personal Loans Tax Deductible?

No, usually, but there are a few instances where this isn’t the case. If you use the loan proceeds for business expenses, qualified educational costs, or eligible taxable investments, you may be able to deduct the interest on personal loans. A personal loan won’t affect your taxes if you don’t use it for one of these purposes. Consolidating high-interest debt with a personal loan could help you save money, or it could give you the money you need to cover an emergency or unforeseen expense. Although there are some exceptions, personal loans typically have no tax implications. Here’s why:

It’s not income

Because a personal loan’s proceeds are not included in your taxable income, the borrower is exempt from paying taxes.

It’s for personal use

You typically cannot deduct personal expenses from personal loans because they are frequently used for personal purposes.

Even when allowed, only interest is tax deductible

Some types of loans can qualify for a tax deduction. But generally, you can deduct only the interest portion you pay on the loan (and sometimes origination fees in the case of student loans, for example), not the loan amount.

When Can You Get Tax Deductible Interest on Loans?

There are a few situations where you can get tax-deductible interest on personal loans, depending on how you use the money.

For instance, you might be able to claim the student loan interest deduction if you take out a loan solely to cover qualified educational costs or to refinance a student loan. In a similar vein, if you used a personal loan for these purposes, you might also be able to claim an investment interest expense or business expense deduction. However, you might not be able to obtain a personal loan from some lenders or lending marketplaces (like LendingClub) for these kinds of purchases.

Furthermore, since your home isn’t used as security for the loan, you can’t deduct interest on an unsecured personal loan. Even if you use the loan to make home improvements, this is true.

4 Types of Loans With Tax Deductible Interest

If you satisfy all requirements, you may be eligible for loans with interest that is tax deductible. Listed below are a few examples of loans whose interest may be tax deductible:

Student loans

If you took out student loans for qualified higher education expenses, you may be able to deduct up to $2,500 in interest payments each year. For the interest deduction, qualified expenses may include tuition, fees, lodging, textbooks, and other necessary expenses. The definition varies for certain higher education tax credits.

You can take this deduction even if you don’t itemize. But if you use the married filing separately status or if someone can claim you or your spouse as a dependent, you can’t claim the deduction. In accordance with your modified adjusted gross income, the deduction also phases out.


While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 created new rules for deducting mortgage interest payments, it didn’t get rid of the deduction altogether.

When people use money to finance the purchase, construction, or improvement of a home, they can still deduct interest on mortgages. The payments you made for mortgage interest points may also be tax deductible. In both situations, you must itemize your deductions to be eligible for a refund.

The amount of interest you may deduct is restricted by law. The amount of interest you can now deduct from your mortgage debt is $375,000 (or $750,000 if you’re married and filing jointly). If you took out the mortgage prior to December 1, higher limits of $500,000 and $1,000,000 will apply. 16, 2016.

Second mortgages

Interest payments on second mortgages, such as a home equity loan (HEL) or home equity line of credit (HELOC) may also be deductible. However, the mortgage value limit applies to the combined balance of your first and second mortgages.

To be eligible, you must use the loan proceeds to significantly improve the home by raising its value or lengthening its lifespan. To put it another way, adding an addition might be acceptable, but making only superficial changes that don’t raise the property’s value wouldn’t.

Investment interest expenses

The investment interest deduction is an itemized deduction for the interest you pay if you borrow money to buy an eligible taxable investment. For example, you may be able to claim the deduction if you have a brokerage account and took out a margin loan to buy stocks. But buying tax-advantaged municipal bonds won’t count.

If you are eligible, the deduction is only for the amount of net investment income that you would have paid at your regular income tax rate. If you are unable to claim the full deduction this year, you might be able to carry over your interest expenses.

Business loans

You may be able to deduct the interest you pay on a business loan (or the portion of a personal loan) you use for business purposes if you own a business or are self-employed. To qualify, you must:

  • Be liable for the debt
  • Intend to repay the debt, and the credit must be expected to be repaid
  • Have a true debtor-creditor relationship
  • For instance, it won’t matter if a relative offers to give you money to start a business and you later decide to repay them with interest. However, you might be able to write off your interest payments if you take out a personal loan to pay for supplies and equipment for your company.

    For instance, you might obtain an auto refinance loan for a vehicle that you use primarily for business. You might be able to write off half of the loan’s interest.

    How Does Canceled Personal Loan Debt Affect Your Taxes?

    If a creditor cancels, discharges, or forgives part of your debt, the portion of the loan that you didn’t repay may be considered taxable income. Often, this occurs if you fall behind on payments and agree to a settlement with the creditor.

    You will receive a Form 1099-C, Cancellation of Debt, from the creditor that details how much debt was forgiven. You might have to pay taxes on the amount of the cancelled debt and include it in your income. There are, however, exclusions, and if you’re insolvent (i.e., unable to pay your debts), you might be able to exclude the amount from your income. e. , your liabilities exceed your assets).

    You can be more strategic about when and why you take out a loan by keeping in mind the possible tax repercussions. Small-business owners in particular can gain because some loans may allow them to deduct interest even if they only use a portion of the proceeds for business expenses.

    Keep in mind that tax preparation is a year-round activity and is crucial to managing your personal finances. Many people frequently consider using a tax refund to pay off debt. However, using a more trustworthy funding source, like a personal loan, may be a better course of action.

    Personal Loan Tax FAQs

    In most cases, personal loans’ interest cannot be deducted from taxes. Unless the loan is being used for eligible taxable investments, qualified business expenses, or qualified education expenses, you cannot deduct interest costs from an unsecured personal loan.

    Are loan repayments tax deductible?

    No, payments made on credit card debt, auto loans, or personal loans are not tax deductible.

    What kind of personal expenses are tax deductible?

    Mortgage interest, student loan interest, charitable donations, medical costs, 401(k) and IRA contributions, and some education costs are the top personal expenses that people can still deduct from their taxes. You can only take most of these if you file an itemized tax return.

    What interest is tax deductible? According to the IRS, you can get a tax deductible interest on the following loans:

  • Interest on home loans
  • Interest on outstanding student loans
  • Investment interest expenses
  • Interest on business loans
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    Is interest paid on a personal loan tax deductible?

    No, usually, but there are a few instances where this isn’t the case. If you use the loan proceeds for business expenses, qualified educational costs, or eligible taxable investments, you may be able to deduct the interest on personal loans.

    What interest payments are tax deductible?

    According to the IRS, only a few categories of interest payments are tax-deductible:
    • Interest on home loans (including mortgages and home equity loans)
    • Interest on outstanding student loans.
    • Interest on money borrowed to purchase investment property.
    • Interest as a business expense.