Like many others, Nik Doner, 33, struggled with growing credit card debt and interest charges of up to 30 percent.
"I was going paycheck to paycheck, and I thought credit cards were my only option," said Doner, who is single and lives in Seattle.
Instead, Doner, a video producer and an actor, secured a personal loan to pay down his $5,000 credit card tab and start a savings account. He is now paying off that three-year loan at 9.6 percent.
For those with little to no savings like Doner, rainy days are about borrowing money.
And apparently, there have been plenty of those. The number of people taking out unsecured loans jumped close to 30 percent in recent years, to 13.72 million in 2015 from 10.57 million in 2013, according to the latest data available from TransUnion.
Another 24 million Americans are likely to take out a personal loan this year alone, according to a separate report by Bankrate.
"The personal loans market is hot right now," according to Bankrate's personal loans expert Todd Albery.
"It reflects the good state of the economy," explained Jason Laky, a senior vice president at TransUnion. "Consumers are feeling the benefits of four to five years of solid economic growth and strong gains in employment. And as that happens, they are willing to take out loans again."