CREDIT LIFE INSURANCE: Coverage, Benefits, & Who Needs It

Credit life insurance
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You can arrange to repay any outstanding debt after your death by purchasing credit life insurance. But to be sure, you should weigh your options before deciding whether or not you need credit life insurance. After all, it’s only one of the many methods of providing financial security for your loved ones. This article will review credit life insurance and determine if you should get it.

What is Credit Life Insurance?

Credit life insurance is the process where one passes away before paying off the debt; it will cover your loan balance. The face value of the policy is tied to the loan amount; the coverage amount drops as the debt is paid off. The insurance reimburses the remaining amount if you pass away before paying off the loan.

Credit life insurance shields the lender more than it does you. No matter how small the loan gets, your premiums remain the same for the duration of the insurance. Furthermore, credit life insurance policies usually always name lenders as the beneficiary, meaning that in the event of your death, the benefit will go to them rather than your heirs.

Coverage for this is optional. The policy’s cost might be added to the loan’s principal if acquired. Lenders could occasionally be obliged to reveal specific conditions and insurance acquisition expenses. Particular insurance may have cancellation clauses and combine credit life and credit disability under one umbrella.

Is Credit Life Insurance Worth It?

According to popular belief, credit life insurance is not the best type. Given that most loans are not inheritable, it is not all that required. Additionally, you can always buy a term or universal life insurance policy to give your dependents enough money to pay off shared debt. If you have debts, you share them with others. Term life insurance is more affordable than credit life insurance and offers excellent coverage.

The value of credit life insurance coverage declines with time, which is a significant drawback when compared to standard life insurance. Let’s say you co-signed a $200,000 mortgage, for which you are now in debt. You choose to purchase a life insurance policy for $200,000. The value of your credit life insurance policy will drop from $200,000 as you pay off your mortgage if you purchase one. You continue to pay the same premiums nonetheless. This is so that your insurance only covers the amount that you owe. However, even if you pay off the mortgage in full, your policy value of $200,000 remains intact. And you continue to pay premiums for term life insurance. That gives you excellent value for your money and is better for your marriage.

How to Determine Whether You Should Get Credit Life Insurance

Your debt does not go away with you when you pass away. Your estate’s assets might be used to settle debt, or co-signers and borrowers would be responsible for making the payment. Spouses in states where community property exists may be liable for any unpaid debt you leave behind.

Purchasing CLI could make sense if you believe a spouse or co-borrower might struggle to make monthly loan payments. Also, it would relieve the financial strain.

But remember that if you’re in good health, different term and permanent life insurance plans can provide more coverage for your money at a lower cost. Traditional life insurance policy payouts go to your designated beneficiaries, who can use the money however they see fit. Additionally, a whole life insurance policy may offer cash value that you can access or use to cover premiums for your life.

Credit Life Insurance Coverage

Credit life insurance typically covers a borrower’s outstanding balance on a big loan. Typically, the insurance entails a premium that the borrower pays—usually rolled into their monthly loan payment, to protect the lender’s whole loss if the borrower passes away before repaying the debt. The borrower’s estate and, eventually, the estate’s beneficiaries receive free and clear title to the underlying asset.

Credit life insurance is frequently included with home and auto loans, according to Kevin Lynch, assistant professor of insurance at The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. If you and your spouse have a mortgage on your house, a CLI policy may pay down the balance if one or both of you pass away before the loan is paid off. This protection may be beneficial if the remaining spouse depends on both earnings to make loan payments.

The following debt kinds may also be covered by credit life insurance:

  • Education loans
  • Card credit loans
  • Credit lines open
  • Individual loans

How  Credit Life Insurance Works

Credit life insurance is usually given when you take out a substantial debt, such as a mortgage, auto loan, or credit card. If the borrower passes away, the policy repays the money.

If you have dependents who depend on the underlying asset, like your home, or if you have a co-signer on the loan, these provisions are something to consider. CLI would shield a co-signer on your mortgage from having to make loan payments following your passing.

When you pass away, your heirs who aren’t co-signers on your loans are typically not required to make loan repayments. In general, your obligations are not inherited.

In the event of a debtor’s death, CLI ensures lenders get the due money. The example scenario illustrates how it functions:

#1. Policy Acquisition

Debtor A inquires about buying a car at a car dealership, where he will pay 10% of the price upfront and the remaining 90% through a loan arrangement. The lender gives him the choice of purchasing CLI. The insurance policy the borrower chooses to buy is intended to pay off the remaining loan sum in the event of the borrower’s death.

#2. Premium Payments

The policyholder starts to make regular premium payments for the CLI. The borrower finds it convenient to pay the premiums because they are frequently included in the monthly loan instalments.

#3. Policy Coverage

The borrower passes away before the loan is paid back over time. The lender files claims with the insurance provider and notifies them of the borrower’s passing. The CLI settles the remaining loan balance. This guarantees that the borrower’s relatives or loved ones will not repay the debt.

#4. Loan Payout

The payout to settle the outstanding loan balance on the policy is given to the lender, who benefits from the CLI policy.

Credit Life Insurance Cost

According to the State of Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, how Much Credit Life Insurance Costs For a $50,000 coverage amount, an example CLI policy may cost $370 per year. Costs, however, may vary based on the amount borrowed and the kind of credit.

According to Quotacy data, an average 40-year-old healthy non-smoker may pay $28.42 monthly ($341 annually) on a $500,000, 20-year term life insurance policy. Your age, career, health, the health of your family, and other factors may affect the cost of term life insurance.

Also, remember to inquire with your company; many have reasonably priced group life insurance coverage options.

Credit Life Insurance Advantages

  • The fact that a CLI policy will settle a particular revolving debt balance (such as a credit card or line of credit) in the event of your death is one of its main advantages. For those who wish to pay off a little loan and don’t require or desire a more extensive term life insurance coverage, it’s a good choice.
  • The coverage amount of a typical CLI policy is approximately $5,600. Hause’s analysis shows that purchasing CLI to cover a tiny debt like this would be less expensive per $1,000 coverage than buying a small-term life policy for $10,000.
  • Usually, after examining all of your assets and debts, the executor of an estate uses the available assets to pay off your debts. The executor won’t have to utilize your financial resources to pay back that particular loan balance if you get credit life insurance.

Credit life provides several advantages, such as:

#1. Loan Protection

Credit life insurance pays out the remaining sum and ensures the borrower’s family isn’t burdened if the borrower passes away before repaying the loan in full.

#2. Financial Security

Shifting the debt obligation from the borrower’s dependents to the insurance company offers financial security to the borrower’s loved ones.

#3. Peace of Mind

The borrower’s family can focus on other areas of their lives with peace of mind, knowing that the credit life policy will take care of their loved one’s debt.

Credit Life Insurance Disadvantages

  • In certain circumstances, the advantages of credit life insurance could be appealing, but depending on your financial status, there may be better solutions.
  • Term life insurance might offer significantly more insurance protection at a lower cost if you have debts exceeding a single loan. Furthermore, term life insurance makes more sense if you aim to cover expenses other than debt, like a child’s college years or the period until you retire.
  • Credit life insurance is also rigid in how it pays out on death. A payout is made to the lender directly. Your family cannot use the money for other, possibly more urgent needs since they do not receive it.

Substitutes for Life Insurance on Credit

There are other ways to protect your debts in the case of an early death besides credit life insurance. If a customer decides against getting credit life insurance, they may wish to think about one of the following options:

#1. Existing Term Life Insurance

Raising the coverage might be the most straightforward choice if you currently have a life insurance policy. After you have paid off the loan, you can always reduce the insurance amount, although you might need another health evaluation to be eligible for higher limits. Using a portion of the current coverage limit to pay for your loan is an additional choice.

#2. Insurance for Term Lives

If you have debt that needs to be paid off in the event of an emergency and want coverage for a short period, term life insurance is a reasonable choice. Though it can be offered for longer terms, such as 20 or 30 years, term life insurance is typically provided in 5-, 10-, and 15-year terms. You can choose the beneficiary of a term life insurance policy, which is usually less expensive than a credit life policy.

#3. Savings Accounts

Your lender might not demand credit life insurance if you have enough money in an existing savings or investment account to cover your obligation. Find out if you have this option by asking your lender. However, remember that your estate can still be obligated to pay down the loan sum if you use that account for other reasons and the balance falls below what you need to pay off the loan.

What is a disadvantage to a credit life insurance policy?

However, if you’re in good health, guaranteed issue policies are more expensive than other options because they’re a higher-risk type for insurers to offer. Credit life insurance policies may also lose value as you settle your debt.

What Does a Credit Life Policy Cover the Life of?

One kind of life insurance coverage called credit life insurance is intended to settle a borrower’s outstanding obligations in the event of the policyholder’s death. Usually, it’s employed to make sure you can repay a sizable debt, such as a mortgage or auto loan.

Why do People Want Credit Life Insurance?

If you pass away too soon, a simple credit life insurance policy can make sure that your loved ones won’t inherit any debt. Even though your beneficiaries won’t receive a payout or death benefit, credit life insurance can help you pay off a debt.

Why is Credit Life Insurance not Such a Good Deal?

For the same coverage level, term life insurance from a life insurance company is typically less expensive than credit life insurance. Furthermore, because credit life insurance only pays for the remaining loan sum, its value decreases during the length of the policy.

Do Banks Still Offer Credit Life Insurance?

In the event of a borrower’s death, credit life insurance settles their debts. Generally, you can receive it from a bank when you get a car loan, take out a line of credit, or close on a mortgage.


Companies may offer credit life insurance to provide financial security for your family in the event of your death when you borrow money for a significant purchase. Purchasing it is unnecessary, but it may save you from leaving behind debt that burdens your family and depletes your assets.

But, your current life insurance policy might be sufficient to meet beneficiaries’ expenses. If not, you might consider getting a new policy or expanding your coverage. Your scenario will determine which life insurance is best for you, and comparing your options will help you choose the most cost-effective option.


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