More than half of Americans have personal loans of at least $100,000, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
And nearly 70% of Americans with credit cards say they had some sort of personal loan from them in the past year.
The new survey, which is based on data collected from a random sample of 1,093 households, found that 47% of borrowers had a loan made by a personal lender and that nearly three-quarters had a personal credit card.
In contrast, only 37% of all Americans had personal loans made by credit cards and just 12% of those with credit card loans said they had used their credit cards to make payments.
Nearly one in five Americans who borrowed money from a credit card in the last year said they did so because they didn’t want to repay the loan.
Nearly a quarter of borrowers with personal loans said their personal debt had grown because of a job loss, a disability or medical costs, while another 25% said they lost their job because of illness or injury.
The rest of borrowers said they experienced an increase in their debts because of inflation.
The survey also found that almost a quarter (23%) of Americans say they’ve had a credit score drop in the two years since they borrowed from a financial institution.
Among the most common reasons cited for the drop were credit card debt and bad credit scores.
The findings underscore the importance of credit for many borrowers, said Rebecca Miller, the director of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Center for Credit Studies, which commissioned the survey.
Credit cards and credit card loan default rates have fallen sharply in recent years, which has meant that people who have had their credit scores drop can’t get out of debt and cannot refinance their loans, Miller said.
She said that while credit card borrowers are at risk for having their credit score rise, the overall number of people without credit cards has remained steady over the past several years.
The Fed survey found that a majority of Americans surveyed (59%) had borrowed money for the first time from a lender that does not have a high credit score.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans (65%) had used a credit device to get money from their credit card or personal loan, and nearly a quarter had used an installment payment to get the money they wanted.
Almost three-fourths of Americans who have been to the bank or made a purchase with a credit transaction said they have had to make a change in their credit history, according the survey, and one-third said they would try to change their credit.
The federal government has recently been looking at how to help consumers with personal loan debt to make sure they don’t become victims of fraudulent schemes.
Last month, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) announced that it would offer loan modifications to those who have defaulted on their loans.
The Federal Reserve is also proposing new regulations that would require lenders to review a borrower’s history, offer better service and provide more information about their credit histories, according, the Fed said.
The government has been trying to encourage lenders to make better decisions on people with personal debt by making it easier for consumers to change credit information.
The National Credit Union Administration is also pushing to make it easier to get a credit report for all Americans, according a statement from the agency.
“Credit scores provide consumers with a wealth of information, such as credit scores, income, and other financial information, that can help them make decisions about whether to borrow, invest, or invest,” the agency said.
“When consumers are able to make more informed financial decisions, they will save more money, invest in the things they love and be better off financially.”