Outstanding loan rates for 401(k) participants is an interesting thing to look at, it may be a sense of the strength of 401(k) participation.
At the end of the first quarter of 2021, about 14% of 401(k) participants had outstanding loans. The percentage fell steadily throughout last year after edging up to 16.3% in the year-ago period from 16.1% in the fourth quarter of 2019.
The loan rate was over 18% during the Great Recession of 2008-2010. I wonder whether CARES Act distributions thanks to the COVID pandemic may have something to do with that shrinking amount.