facebook twitter instagram linkedin google youtube vimeo tumblr yelp rss email podcast phone blog search brokercheck brokercheck Play Pause Share Arrow Right
tiaa tiaa traditional is tiaa traditional good investment how does tiaa traditional work higher ed retirement plan expert university retirement plan expert tiaa traditional current rates tiaa traditional annuity options

Navigating TIAA Loan Provisions for Higher Ed Retirement Plans

%POST_TITLE% Thumbnail

It's Greg Shepard from S&A Financial Services, your dedicated guide to navigating the often perplexing world of higher education retirement plans. Today, we're delving into a topic that has been a frequent inquiry among many of you: loans within your retirement plans, particularly within the TIAA retirement framework.

Understanding the intricacies of loan provisions is vital for ensuring you make informed decisions about your financial future. In this comprehensive guide, we will break down the complexities surrounding TIAA loan provisions, ensuring you are equipped with the knowledge needed to make the best choices for your unique situation.

Deciphering TIAA Loan Provisions

Based on a recent client interaction, Greg makes it clear that TIAA loan provisions can be highly specific, varying based on your individual contract and the plan you are enrolled in. The client in question had five different contracts with their employer, all managed under TIAA. Surprisingly, only one of these contracts, referred to as an RC contract, allowed the client to apply for a loan. This highlights a fundamental point: loan provisions can vary significantly depending on your unique circumstances.

Loan Eligibility and Terms

For those considering a loan from their TIAA retirement plan, it's essential to grasp the eligibility criteria and the associated terms. Greg meticulously dissects the key aspects:

1.     Purpose: TIAA loans are versatile and not just for emergencies or hardships. They can be utilized for various personal reasons, making them adaptable financial tools.

2.     Repayment Period: The repayment period for these loans can fluctuate. In the client's case, it was set at five years. This means you have a maximum of five years to repay the loan in full. Nevertheless, there's a significant caveat: the interest rate.

3.     Interest Rate: TIAA loans are tied to the prime rate plus one percent. As of August 2023, this equated to a substantial nine percent.

4.     Repayment Mechanism: Generally, the loan repayment is directly linked to your checking account, which implies that you must repay it directly from your bank account.

Greg also emphasizes a crucial feature - the possibility of continuing contributions to your retirement plan while repaying the loan. This can be a valuable strategy to ensure you maintain your retirement savings momentum.

Plan-Specific Considerations and Contacting TIAA 

It's crucial to acknowledge that loan provisions can differ significantly between retirement plans. What's permissible in one plan might not be allowed in another. Therefore, the most prudent approach is to reach out to TIAA directly. They can provide precise and up-to-date information concerning loan provisions applicable to your specific plan.

Greg underscores that while he can offer guidance on various aspects of retirement planning, when it comes to loan provisions, TIAA is the ultimate authority. Their representatives possess the expertise to help you understand the provisions relevant to your plan and to address any inquiries you may have.


In conclusion, comprehending the loan provisions of your TIAA retirement plan is indispensable. It's a valuable tool that can provide financial flexibility when required. However, these provisions can be intricate and subject to significant variations contingent on your specific plan and contracts.

When pondering a loan, always scrutinize the terms closely, particularly the interest rate, as it can substantially impact the overall cost of the loan. Furthermore, consult with TIAA to ensure that you have accurate and up-to-date information regarding loan provisions within your retirement plan.

By equipping yourself with knowledge and making judicious decisions, you can maximize the benefits of your higher education retirement plan while securing your financial future. Remember, the effort invested in understanding these critical provisions is an investment in your retirement well-being.

Contact Information: If you have questions or need assistance with your retirement plan choices, you can reach out to Greg Shepard at greg@shepardfiancial.com

📆 Jump on MY CALENDAR to see how we can improve your higher ed retirement plan

Check out my YouTube Channel 

Other educational podcast episodes found at HigherEd Retire Podcast

*Nothing discussed in this blog post should be construed as investment advice.  Each situation is unique and you need to receive professional advice from independent fee-only financial advisor that's familiar with higher ed retirement plans prior to implementing any strategies discussed or thought of on your own.  

**S&A Financial Services, Inc. is a registered investment advisor. Content presented is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice or as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Always consult with your tax advisor or attorney regarding your specific situation.

Blog Content