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Reader Question: 401(k) Loan to Pay Off Credit Card?

Reader Vj dropped by with the following question:

If you have $10,000 worth of credit card debt at 10% interest would it be advantageous to get a loan from your 401K to pay it off and pay yourself back?

According to Liz Pulliam Weston over at MSN Money, this is one of the 7 most common 401(k) blunders. I’m not sure things are so black and white, but here’s what her article says:

What seems like a great idea — Borrow your own money! Pay yourself interest! — has plenty of traps for the unwary:

~ The biggest pitfall is the risk you take should you lose your job. Your loan would become due, and, if you couldn’t pay it back at once, you would owe income taxes and penalties on the unpaid balance.

~ The interest rate you pay yourself may be lower than what you would pay most other creditors, but paying yourself interest is no substitute for the real return you would be earning if you had invested those payments instead.

~ Borrowing from your retirement funds is often a sign that you’re overspending — particularly if you’re using the proceeds to pay off credit card debt. People who use “easy outs” like 401(k) and home-equity loans to pay off their cards often don’t change the underlying behavior that put them in the hole. They just run up their balances again, winding up another day older and deeper in debt.

There are several great points in there, but in the end it is still a possibility. But I would rank it as a “last resort.” Then again, if you’re having trouble paying your credit card debt, wouldn’t you also have trouble paying your 401(k) loan?

There are some definite alternatives you should look into first. Try this:

    Find some “0% APR for one year on balance transfers!” credit card offers. These are very common – Chase is offering it on their Freedom card, currently. There’s always several floating around. Read over the terms, but don’t apply yet.

    Call up your current credit card company, and tell them, firmly but politely, that you’re going to get this 0% balance transfer, and move your money off their card. Chances are, they’ll offer you a lower rate. Take it. This way, even if you can’t move your money, or if you can only move some of it, you have a lower rate on the original card.

    Apply for that 0% balance transfer card, and hopefully, you’ll be approved. Move as much of the balance as you think you can pay off before the introductory rate ends. This part is very important. If you can’t pay off the whole $10,000 before the intro rate is up, and the regular rate isn’t better than your original card(s), then only move what you can pay off in the year.

This plan assumes that you’ve been making regular payments on all of your cards and bills, and thus have a clean enough credit history to qualify for a 0% intro rate. Since the original question had 10% interest rates on the credit card, that’s a pretty safe assumption (if your recent credit history was bad, you’d be looking down the barrel of 30+%!).

All in all, the 401(k) is not the first place I would look, not by any means. Do you have savings sitting around earning less than 10%? Do you qualify for a Lending Club loan at less than 10%? Is there anything you can trim down in your budget to free up some more funds for paying down this debt? If you can’t spend less, can you think of any ways to earn more?

Oh, and cut up the card(s) until it’s paid off. Once it is paid off, if you feel that you can use it without carrying a balance month-to-month, you can always call up the card company and have them issue you a new one. But no matter what method you use to pay down your debt, especially if it’s a loan from your 401(k), the key is to not charge anything more to that credit card.

69 responses to “Reader Question: 401(k) Loan to Pay Off Credit Card?”

  1. Finance Guy

    Hey,

    First off, congrats on the site move. The new site looks AWESOME!

    Second, I agree with you that trying to borrow from other sources to pay off the CC is a good idea. However, (a) 10% for a CC is actually pretty low and so I don’t think you need to resort to extreme measures, and (b) if you are actually desperately trying to pay off that CC, you may be in fiduciary trouble that will prevent you from borrowing more.

    Basic financial convention suggests that taking a 401k making about 10% a year to pay off a 10% CC just about breaks even. However, in this case, I would still hold the 401k, as there is a change that the 401k’s return rate can increase while at the same time, forces you to be more responsible with debt (since you know you have to pay off the CC before incurring more).

  2. stubsy

    If i had the money sitting there I’d clear the debt.

  3. No Credit Needed Blog » Blog Archive » Carnival of Personal Finance #94 Hosted By No Credit Needed

    [...] Poorer Than You Endless Giberish We’re In Debt Credit Card Lowdown B.A. Student 1 Mans Money The Time and [...]

  4. Stefanie

    I was just thinking about this concept this morning, the first day I am eligible for and fully vested in matching funds from my employer.

    I think the penalties for withdrawal are almost negligible if you are receiving a 100% match from your employer. Only if you hadn’t intended on investing that money in the first place. Why not jack your contribution up to the max matching rate for a few months, and then take a loan out to pay of the credit card debt. Whether or not you take a tax hit (what, an extra 10%??), you still made buku bucks on the match.

  5. No Credit Needed » Blog Archive » Carnival Focus: Credit Posts

    [...] Poorer Than You writes about paying off debts. Should you borrow from your 401K to payoff your debts? Here’s a quote from the article that I think “speaks volumes”. Is there anything you can trim down in your budget to free up some more funds for paying down this debt? If you canít spend less, can you think of any ways to earn more? [...]

  6. MossySF

    A final note about borrowing from a 401(k). When you borrow from a 401K, you get getting pre-tax money out. However, you have to repay with post-tax money. If you do the math, this means you pay a penalty equal to your marginal tax rate for the borrowed money.

    As for employer matching — that’s not “free money”. That’s part of your compensation package where if you went to a competing employer who didn’t offer a 401K, they would have to pay you a higher paycheck for the same work/skills/situation. What’s really happening is you have the option of giving back some of your pay to your employer by not contributing to the 401K.

  7. Kathleen Ford

    Here is what I don’t get though; you can still make contributions while you’re taking the loan out, and the interest you pay on the 401k loan goes back into your account. So as long as you feel stable in your job, isn’t this still a good idea?

  8. Gmoney

    This comment: “Yeah, but you’re paying off the 401k loan with AFTER tax money, so you’re being penalized”, is irritating because it doesnt consider the alternative. Guess what folks, you’re paying off credit card debt with AFTER tax money too.
    What no one talks about is the more likely case where folks are paying much more than 10% interest rate on their credit card. CC interest rates are rising. many cards are easily past the 16% mark.

    Which is better, losing big money on high CC balances with high interest rates, or paying a similar monthly payment WITHOUT suffering hundreds of dollars in lost interest (this particular case uses a high-debt situation as an example)?
    The pitfall of continued high spending and job loss is still valid, but nothing I’ve read here convinces me it’s better to pay high interest on high CC balances while ignoring a 401k loan plan.
    If you don’t qualify for a zero pct intro APR with a CC, then you have to look at the 401k option, IMHO (provided home equity is not an option).

  9. Tom

    IMO, this is an awful way to pay off debt. You’re going to pay more than 10% in fees when you withdrawl early. So you can almost think of it as being a 10%+ interest loan, couldn’t you?

  10. Your Consolidation Loan Ltd

    You also need to bear in mind that Consolidation Loans may not always be the best option for certain individuals. If you cant afford to make repayments or if you have a bad credit history then some lenders will charge you even more on interest rates, putting you further in debt in the long run.
    Taking out a consolidation loan in certain situations can be a great help, if, and only if you can control your spending and if, and only if, you get rid of all that ‘plastic’ that may have got you into debt in the first place.

  11. PH from Bad Credit Remortgage

    Yeah, the whole issue of having to make payments if you lose your job make sthis far too risky. In the UK you can at least have insurance cover to make payments for a specific period of time. Although not a long term solution it could be a stop-gap option.

  12. Jamie

    I think taking a low interest loan from your 401 k is an great idea, if you cut the credit cards up. Paying back the 401k you choose the time in which to pay back and its automatically deducted from your paycheck. Good luck.

  13. Valerie

    What is a Prosper Loan? Never heard this term before. Thank you.

  14. Jane Doe

    It would be better to just cut off your expenses, I am sure that in 90% ot the time this can be done. Try earning more, if not.

  15. Janni

    If you take money out of your 401k to pay off your debts, you may regret it later. Taking out a loan or an early withdrawal will reduce your eventual retirement account and may force you to work longer.

  16. First Time Mortgages

    Finding 0% APR cards is my preffered way to initially handle debts. Plus you can move around fromo lender to lender after the introductory period, which can be up to 6 months. You can literally save youself a ‘bundle’ with just this one method.

  17. Nick

    Taking out a 401k loan to pay unsecured debt is always a bad idea, because 1) you are securing your debt, and 2) now you don’t have as high of a balance-to-credit limit ratio, so your credit score goes up, you end up with additional credit cards/limits, and you end up spending the money on the same credit cards again anyway. So now you effectively doubled how much you owe….never mind what happens if you lose your job/default on your 401k.

  18. Robert

    I’m in that situation now…I first consolidated all my credit card debt with a 16% loan…..It kills me ever month to see the interest I pay to these companies…I feel my only option is taking a 401K loan as expensive as it is…banks keep me in the poor house……I feel I will not reload the cards and I will live as much as I can without CC’s. I really want out debt is the biggest stressor in my life…..I want it to end…..thanks for the forum….

  19. Robert

    Thanks Stephanie…I did transfer part of my expensive loan to a 6 percent loan….but of course there was the 3% fee on top of that….

    Thanks for the info on Prosper Loans…I will look at that more tonight when I come home from work.

    Best Regards,
    Robert

  20. CreditCardBalanceTransfer

    GREAT LOOKING SITE!!! if you are trying to pay of some debt….you might consider a balance transfer with a credit card. Most balance transfer credit cards are at 0%. By taking out your 401k you might get taxed alot and it might not make sense if you are in debt already. Check the numbers first before anything.

  21. Frustrated

    Stop talking about tax implications on a 401K LOAN!! You’re killing me here! You are NOT taxed on a LOAN only a WITHDRAWL.

  22. Yolanda

    Here’s my comment…. I have taken a 401k loans in the past where I have paid them off with no problems, switched jobs and the loan switched with me, and switched jobs again and the loan would not move with me. In the last instance I was hit with the penalty and I’m paying for that now. But even still, this is a great option I believe for a couple of reasons. 1. I was able to reduce my interest debt and invest in a new business with my husband. 2. I was paying myself back with interest instead of the credit card company. 3. The interest I was repaying myself was more than the interest I was getting from my 401k investments. Now, if you lose your job for any significant amount of time, won’t you tax burden be less because you don’t have the income? If I had lost my job instead of getting a new job, my taxable income for the year would not have been as much and the penalties for what became a withdrawl could have netted out the lost of income for the year. In a perfect world, we could let our 401K sit there and make us tons of money, but when it comes to loosing your home or borrowing against your 401K, I would highly recommend borrowing against your 401K. Well, that’s my two cents. :)

  23. Ed

    If youdon’t have the option of transfering balance to a lower apr then a 401k loan is not a badd idea.
    The only risk is if you lost your job and you could not repay within 60 days window.
    In my case, I have over $7K in 24% APR on CC and 401k offered me %6 apr on a loan- when planning to repay in 12 months, I found that i saved myself over $1200is only 6%.
    CC companies are ripping me off and I tried everything to negotiate my apr with them but had no luck…
    Lastly, even though I am paying myselft the 6% apr, but remember guys that when the 401k matures, you will pay taxes over the incurred interests.

  24. Brentos

    I’ve almost done this with my 401k but held back in the end. Glad I did and I think things will rebound in about a year from now.

  25. Charles

    Would anyone find it beneficial to withrdraw my whole 401k if I’m looking at 15k in credit card debt at 30%APR. I was late a few months on my payments and I can’t get it down nor get a new cheaper card. Also any idea on when I could take the 401k out without having to pay it on my 2008 tax? I’ve been buried for 4 years now and I just need to get out

  26. Brentos

    Charles, I would think long and hard about touching your 401K if you are under 50 years old. It will rebound and eventually make your more money than you think.

    Do you have real estate? You could consider a HELOC. Please leave more information.

  27. Charles

    Nothing else of value, late twenties, not making a great chunk of change but hoping to change that. I’ve just been stuck under this credit card debt for so long and now it seems like I need some breathing room. I was thinking about just sucking it up and taking it out after this tax year is over, hoping to make more money next year and just starting from scratch. It’s not a ton of money in my 401k, maybe 7k, but it will allow me some breathing room and knock my monthly payments down a lot. I know it’s just delaying the problem, but at this point i was hoping for some room to make things more manageable once I start to make a bit more.

    Thanks again for the response!

  28. Charles

    Sorry, no real estate so that knocks out Heloc.

  29. Charles

    Also when could I withdraw w/out having to be hit w/ the tax/penalty for 2008? I know it’s putting the problem off but I feel that with a year of strict budgeting I can get things under control.

  30. Brentos

    I’ve been watching this thread the last few days and it’s seems to me Charles that for the amount of money you owe, I would consolidate your debt and change your personal income and out-going ratio – that is code for pain ;-)

    Stephanie is right – you don’t want to sell while you are down in the market. Things will turn around. I’ve personally lost over 35K due to the global economic downturn, but I have no intention of selling off any of my 401k.

  31. Delaney

    Personally I dont think it ever a good idea to borrow money from your 401k.

  32. Niv

    Hmm,i would not borrow money….ever.

  33. Strike

    Wait a second, use a 401(K) to pay off a credit card? As said before, you can’t just go and pull all of your money out of a 401K without a penalty. This is something I think would be best speaking with a investment advisor about.

  34. Bruce

    Does anyone have any information on these Debt Consolidation companies? Or even perhaps one that you’ve used/heard is legit? I’m looking to shed $15k in credit card debt amongst 3 cards but I can’t get my interest rates down and have been struggling w/ the monthly payments.

  35. Ann

    Personal loans can be paid in easy installments, it looks better on paper than the revolving credit of credit cards. The fact that a personal loan has no compounded interest makes it a better alternative to get rid of your credit card debts.

    1. Mike Jones

      personal loans do have compounded interest, you idiot.

  36. Joel

    Great points – I don’t like the thought of borrowing from my 401k unless it is absolutely needed to ensure stability…

  37. sluiser

    I discovered one very compelling reason to use a 401k loan to consolidate credit card debt – your FICO score improves significantly. In my case, I moved $20k in debt from credit cards to a 401k loan. I believe this is the general case – the 401k managers do NOT report to the credit agencies. So from the perspective of Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, I just paid off $20k of credit card debt. The 401k loan does not show up as a new trade line, and no inquiry is reported, additional bonuses as far as the FICO score is concerned, relative to other loan consolidation options. The 401k loan is, of course, a loan obligation, so if you apply for a mortgage or other loan, it does need to be reported to the financial institution.

    I probably sound overly enthusiastic, so I must say that I do see the consequences of what can go wrong. This is not for everybody, and options need to be carefully considered. I would only recommend it for those with a very stable job, ample funds in a 401k, and a comfort level with low interest-bearing 401k performance. It is particularly attractive if you need a FICO boost, as in the case of an upcoming large purchase or refinance.

  38. Annie @ Credit Dispute

    It takes determination to pay off credit card debts with personal loans and the strategy will not work for lesser mortals. But if you think you have what it takes, this can help you turn things around.

  39. Brett

    With the market up 40% this year now is a good time for responsible people with high interest credit card debt to turn things around with a 401K loan… (I know a bit of an oxymoron)…

    My financee has $10K in credit card debt, but $30K in her 401K…. She pays $600 a month to her credit cards.. and 15% of that is interest!!!

    She’ll save THOUSANDS in interest to credit card companies by taking a 401K loan.. And I’m worried about another stock market crash.. So cashing out a percentage of her 401K up 40% on the year is a good idea in my opinion.. i’ll help her out if she loses her job and needs to pay back the loan sooner…

    Oh and her credit score will sky rocket also.. 401K loans don’t show up on credit scores..

  40. Jifka

    I find myself in a serious bind. Because of a separation, my wife and I maintained two households for over a year on a single income and thus racked up quite a bit of CC debt ($30K+). We’ve reconciled but are now buried in this debt. We intended to do some home improvements and put our house on the market in an attempt to reduce our burden, but then the market fell apart. Now we also owe much more on the house (mtg + HELOC) than it is worth, even if it could sell. With all of our expenses and debt payments, we’re under water. I have about $19K in a 401K, and before everyone jumps on me, we’re seriously considering draining it to eliminate a large chunk of the high-interest CC debt. That would free up major cash flow (~$800/mo) to get us above water and start paying down the remaining debt. I know most people are dead set against doing this, so before you respond keep in mind:
    1 – We’ve already stopped contributing to the 401K
    2 – We can’t just “tighten our belts” and pay off the debt. Our belts are as tight as they go and we’re even neglecting major expenses at this point (dental work, plumbing repairs, etc.)
    3 – We’ve already exhausted the renegotiation and balance transfer route
    4 – Borrowing against the 401K isn’t an option with my employer, and I’m switching jobs in a month (thus allowing the disbursement)
    5 – We’re not adding to the debt – the CCs are going unused.

    What I’d love to hear is a more pragmatic response to situations like mine instead of the old “start changing your behavior and stop borrowing…then borrow against your 401K”. Our behavior has already changed and our options have all dried up.

  41. Krizco

    Jifka-
    I am in a different, yet similar, sitution and totally agree with you. My husband had to sell his business and has not worked in over 2 years due to medical issues. He has applied for disability and has been denied. He has a lawyer and is in the appeals process but we have been told it could take another 12-18 months before we see any money…even if he is approved.

    I have been the sole provider in our household and have used credit cards just to get by(charging gas and food and other necessities)…I have not fell behind on the mortgage, yet, as it is my #1 priority. You do what you have to do!

    We are now seeking credit counseling and considering debt settlement or even bankruptcy but I have an old 401K with $35K justing sitting there. I have a current 401K with about 40K, which I am no longer contibuting to just so we can get by. Paying off my current debt that is around $25K(with 21% to 28% interest rates) seems like a great idea to me even with the penalties involved. I could free up about $700 a month, be debt free and start contributing to my current 401K again. I would at least having a starting point and could get back on track again and no longer have to charge the groceries and necessities fo life. I’m desperate and feel like I have exhausted all our options. We have no savings and there is no equity in our house. We have actually lost value. Just the freedom from the “mental” issues involved with financial problems seems like a good investment to me. Sure, I care about retirement but right now I am not even close to that and the peace of mind that comes with being debt free seems like the right thing to do. I’m 39 and can not live like this anymore.

    Just curious what decision you made?

  42. Jifka

    @Krizco, we’ve decided to take the penalty and use the 401k to pay off our CC debt. As you’ve stated, that frees up a huge mental burden and keeps us from digging deeper into the hole. It just didn’t make sense to continue throwing money away on high interest payments for years.

    One other comment – so often in these discussions, I see posts like “I’d never use CCs” or “always pay off your balance each month”. Unfortunately life deals you some difficult hands, and simplistic responses like that never work. In our case we’re choosing the lesser of two evils (drain the 401k vs. bankruptcy).

  43. pete

    all this “don’t touch your 401k” talk is simply scare mongering by the neoliberal powers that be. The “Experts” tell you to save and save and invest and invest, meanwhile interest rates creep down and markets collapse, and the dollar loses value. If you are middle class, don’t worry about silly tax implications, it’s paralysis by analysis. All the silly tax implications for a $10K will mean about $100 in real money. This is nothing that should keep you from using a tool that could turn your finances around. Do what makes sense to you.

  44. Mark

    So I’m 26yo and I have a $4,200 debt on my 16%interest CC because of moving expenses. I’ve been on my job for 2 years and have collected around $14k on my 401(k) for which I am fully vested. However, I can only borrow around $6,500. Based on what you guys comment here, wouldn’t it make sense if I borrow the $4,200 @ my 401(k)’s 3.5% interest? I ran some numbers and I can pay it it 3 years paying a little over $112/mo. Isn’t this a good deal? I still have 30+ years to recover the “loss” on compounded interest from my 401(k) and I will still contribute 10% to my 401(k) as I have been doing for the past 2 years (my company matches my contributions as well). PLEASE ADVISE, I want to get rid of this stupid CC debt!!

  45. Michelle @ Merchant Advance

    I have to agree, getting the 401K is definitely risky. I also do agree with cutting up the cards until you have paid off all your debts, If you have trouble paying your debts in the first place, even resorting to borrowing money to pay off your debts-then it would be a good idea to actually stay away from them and learn to spend within your means. Otherwise, everything will just pile up and bury you someday.

  46. John

    My wife and I are 50 years old. We have roughly 200k in our 401k and have credit card debt of 15k. While we don’t have problems making the monthly payments (minimum + $200 or $300) it irritates me to see how much in interest we are throwing away while my 401k sits there earning zero in todays market. We could pay off the loan in 3 years. I am interested in hearing comments about this strategy. (yes we have stopped using credit cards)

  47. Dave

    Question: We are in late 40s. We had a business loss about 5 yrs ago that cost us nearly 100k. I have 40k in 401k, but am thinking about taking loan out to pay off our our debts we have, so we can refi house. I have dramatically decreased contribution in 401k, as we have been investing successfully elsewhere, even in this horrible economy. If I didnt have 401k, with other investments, with returns receiving now(in bad economy), if economy remains horrible, I can still retire VERY comfortbaly at 62. What drawbacks am I missing? as I am not going to leave my job, been there 24 yrs now (continued working while having business).

  48. Shawn Harstad

    Just found this googling. A lot of good info here. I have a whole lot of credit card debt and am thinking about using the 401k loan to pay most of it off. Can someone tell me how it gets paid back? Do your current pre tax contributions continue? Does your employer matching contributions continue with it? Can you back the loan monthly and make lump sum payments to pay it down? Thanks this is very helpful.

  49. Hai Schebler

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  50. Will

    I took a loan out of my 401k about a year ago to pay off some credit card debt and it was the greatest thing I could have done. I wiped out two high balance cards each with a 22% interest rate. I saved hundreds, probably thousands of dollars I would have paid in interest on those cards. My 401k loan payment is deducted from my paycheck semimonthly and the rate is only about 7%….If you are secure in your job and have high interest rate cards with high balances and live somewhat paycheck to paycheck, then this is a no brainer….

  51. Mike Jones

    If you can pay off your credit cards that are 25% and pay the loan back to your 401(k) and pay off your credit cards every month, you would be stupid not to do it.

    Pay the minimum back to your 401(k) loan, but build up an emergency fund so that if you lose your job, paying off the loan is not a hardship.

  52. Mike Jones

    The dumbest financial mistake is to carry a credit card debt. However, if you are looking at bankruptcy, it is a great place to get easy cash. If you go bankrupt, it is worth it.

    The only thing that is wrong is that the retirement plan rules doesn’t allow for loans from IRAs. Why should a 401(k) be the only place to be able to borrow?

    Additionally, you cannot take a loan and use your IRA or Social Security benefits as collateral. What a stupid government.

  53. My 2 cents

    Here’s my 2 cents: Only you can decide what is right for you. Getting financial advice from the internet is so scary because no one has your exact financial situation, nor do you know what the situation is of the person who is giving the advice.

    If you’re someone like me, who is extremely financial responsible, and due to recent credit-card company strategies during this recession, you’ve watched your balance grow and have tried for years to get it under control but can’t, then take the money. I have been a miserable soul these past 3 years because I never used to have any debt.

    And don’t listen to people who tell you to transfer your balance to a 0% card. I used to have a credit score in the 800s (seriously), and by trying to transfer balances to new cards I have hurt my score so much. How? The new credit card company will take all of your information up front about the balance you want to transfer, tell you that they will take the full balance, and then start your account. However, they won’t take the full balance. And in my experience, your original credit card company will then reduce your available credit because you have a new credit account open. If you’re in debt, opening new credit accounts is the WORST idea, because it will hurt your score so much it’s unreal. Then what are you left with? Two maxed out cards and two payments to make. Either deal with what you have if you can, or do whatever you can do get out of debt immediately! I never had a problem with debt until 2008 when the credit card practices changed.

    Does everyone remember 2008 when people lost thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, in their 401ks? Use it while you can instead of “hoping” that it’s there for your retirement. What good will retirement be if you’re miserable and unhappy today? You will probably die of stress before you even get to retire.

    Think about it. Just make sure you do this as a last resort, and only when you’re making the conscience decision that this is the final straw and that you’re never getting into debt again. If it’ll turn your life around, why wait to get your life back together?

  54. Brian

    Well, it’s been a few years since this blog post. The stock market seems to be constantly down, or at least fluctuating. I think borrowing against your retirement account is a pretty good idea these days.

    I can pay 18% variable rate interest on a modern day credit card, OR I can pay 5.25% interest on my retirement account, 1% of which goes to them, and 4.25% goes to me.

    Seems like a no-brainer, considering retirement accounts are constantly losing money. Would you rather lose money every month, or gain 3.25% interest (4.25% – the 1% fee you’re paying)?

  55. Vivian

    I constantly emailed this webpage post page to all my associates, as if like to read it afterward my friends will too.

  56. Jay

    I have checked with my companys 401k loan program, I have approximately 90k in my company plan. I can get a 401k loan at 4.25% and pay it off with automatic payroll deduction. I plan to borrow 18k to pay off 18K in credit card debt varying from 18-24% interest. It’s a loan and not a withdrawl. I want to get rid of the debt and retain some of my monthly income o build up emergency fund. My job is secure, been employed here going on 18-years. I see no problem if you eliminate cc spending. Your thoughts?