It's easier than ever for consumers to take out personal loans to pay down high-cost debt or fund big-ticket purchases, and two new studies show that they are taking full advantage of their options.

A report from TransUnion found that the dollar volume of unsecured personal loans is growing at a rate of 25% a year and that the number of Americans currently paying off a secured or unsecured loan increased 18%, to 27.3 million, between the third quarter of 2013 and the same period in 2015.

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