August 2023

An Overview of Personal Loans in the U.S.

Jessica N. Flagg, Simona M. Hannon


Personal loans used for a variety of purposes, such as debt consolidation, medical bills, vacations, or the payment of a large ticket item, reached $356 billion or about 10 percent of nonrevolving consumer credit at the end of 2022. Although depository institutions such as banks, thrifts, and credit unions dominate the personal loan market, finance companies, institutions that typically lend to nonprime consumers, hold nearly a fourth of these loans. This paper provides an overview of this nascent but relatively understudied sector of the United States credit market.

Keywords: Consumer credit, Installment loans, Personal loans


PDF: Full Paper

Related Materials: Accessible materials (.zip)

Disclaimer: The economic research that is linked from this page represents the views of the authors and does not indicate concurrence either by other members of the Board's staff or by the Board of Governors. The economic research and their conclusions are often preliminary and are circulated to stimulate discussion and critical comment. The Board values having a staff that conducts research on a wide range of economic topics and that explores a diverse array of perspectives on those topics. The resulting conversations in academia, the economic policy community, and the broader public are important to sharpening our collective thinking.

Back to Top
Last Update: June 14, 2024