Experts agree that taking a loan from your 401(k) plan is rarely a good idea. But research suggests participant loan-taking from 401(k) plans is on the rise, particularly since 2008, when layoffs and financial turmoil left many American workers with nowhere else to turn for funds.

"We have seen an increase [since 2008], and I don't think that's very surprising, given the economy today," says Denise Preece, assistant vice president of field services with OneAmerica.

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