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Personal loans from the candidate

Candidates may loan their personal funds for campaign purposes. When they do so, they are making contributions to their campaigns. Unlike other contributions, these candidate contributions are not subject to any limits but are subject to additional reporting.

Not considered the candidate's personal funds

Personal gifts and loans

If any person, including a relative or friend of the candidate, gives or loans the candidate money “for the purpose of influencing any election for federal office,” the funds are not considered personal funds of the candidate even if they are given to the candidate directly. Instead, the gift or loan is considered a contribution from the donor to the campaign, subject to the per-election limit and reportable by the campaign. This is true even if the candidate uses the funds for personal living expenses while campaigning.

Bank loans used in connection with campaign

Bank loans are not considered contributions from the bank if they comply with FEC regulations on bank loans.

When a candidate obtains a bank loan for use in connection with his or her campaign, the loan is considered to be from the bank and not from the candidate’s personal funds. The candidate is acting as the agent of the campaign.

Forgiving personal loans

The candidate may choose to forgive all or a part of a loan from his or her personal funds to the campaign. The candidate must file a signed statement indicating that he or she forgives the loan.