Four Things to Consider Before Taking Out a 401(k) Loan

There are lots of potential downsides to dipping into your 401(k) early.

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Unless you're a creditworthy sovereign nation, you've probably gone through life assuming that your can't borrow money from yourself. Well, thanks to the arcane rules surrounding 401(k) retirement accounts, you actually can—well, sort of. We keep these accounts cordoned off from the rest of our finances because they're tax-free until we cash them out, but just because you haven't paid taxes on it doesn't mean that it isn't your money. If need be—and most do not recommend it—you can borrow from your retirement savings and pay it back, with interest.