Everything — even going into debt — has a season.
Individuals who apply for a personal loan in August are about 22 percent more likely to put the cash toward paying for a wedding, according to recent data from LendingPoint.
The lender analyzed 100,000 personal loans it had made dating to 2015. LendingPoint asks its applicants to state the purpose of the loan, and as part of this study, it excluded borrowers who sought to consolidate debt.
"I would have guessed spring to be the big season for weddings, but more people ask for these loans in August, most likely for a fall wedding," said Mark Lorimer, chief marketing officer of LendingPoint.
Meanwhile, September is the month for emergency spending: Borrowers applying for a loan in that month are nearly three times more likely to use the money for surprise expenses.
See below for a breakdown of which priorities tend to drive borrowing for each month.
February is a big month for filers who expect to owe the IRS: "Taxes" were a primary driver for applicants seeking loans.
Regardless of why you need a personal loan, be sure to take a good look at your own cash flow first.
"It doesn't make sense to take out a loan if you're going to have trouble repaying it," said Lorimer.
Be aware of your monthly payment and how it fits in with your regular expenses. A rule of thumb is the "back-end ratio," such that your monthly housing costs and debt payments should not exceed 36 percent of your gross monthly income.
You should also think about what you're hoping to accomplish with the proceeds: Is it for something you can budget?
"Should you take a loan, or should you save a little until you can afford it?" asked Lorimer. "It gets back to making sure you don't take out too large a loan."
Personal loans can be a valuable tool for individuals who are trying to consolidate high-interest credit card debt.
Interest rates on plastic are in the neighborhood of 17 percent, according to CreditCards.com.
Borrowers with sterling credit scores tend to get better rates. Interest rates on personal loans can range from just over 3 percent to nearly 36 percent, according to MagnifyMoney, a personal finance site.
Be sure to keep an eye out for surprise expenses, including origination fees and prepayment costs. Consider these hidden fees alongside your interest rate as you shop offers.