Using Your 401(k) for a Down Payment on a House. The 401(k) is a ubiquitous retirement account. There is no provision to take money out from 401(k) for a down payment, but you still have a few options. 401(k) Withdrawal. You can withdraw money from your 401(k), but you need to be prepared to pay a 10% penalty if you are under age 59.

Just because you can borrow from your 401(k) to purchase a home doesn’t mean you should. Here’s why: You may think you need to borrow from your 401(k) to have enough for a large down payment.

Gutting your 401(k) now could leave you ill-prepared for retirement. Fortunately, there is a way to take advantage of the savings in your 401(k) without sacrificing your long-term plan. Borrowing from Yourself for a Down Payment. Instead of making a straight withdrawal out of your 401(k), you could instead take out a loan from it.

The most difficult part of buying a house is coming up with the down payment. If you are really struggling for payment for the house and you need to close the house as soon as possible, a Hard Money Loan may be needed. If you have more time than that then this leads to the question, "Can I access cash in my retirement accounts to help toward the down payment on my house?".

In order to determine whether or not taking out a 401k loan for a down payment on a big ticket item like a house, we must first figure out what it is in the first place! What is a 401k Loan? A 401k loan is essentially money that you can borrow from your own retirement funds under a specific set of stipulations. Here are a few highlights:

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Assuming you don’t have any outstanding 401(k) loans, you can borrow, without paying tax on the borrowed funds, up to 50 percent of your vested account balance with a maximum of $50,000. You’ll have at least five years to repay the loan. Borrowing against a 401(k) can be a great way to get a down payment, Schachter said.

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