Americans are turning to up-and-coming fintech firms instead of traditional banking options to pile on debt.
The unsecured personal loan market hit an all-time high last year, surging 17 percent year over year to $138 billion, according to data from TransUnion released Thursday.
Digital-first financial technology companies were largely responsible for that momentum.
"The rapid growth in consumer loans sits squarely on the shoulders of fintechs," said Jason Laky, senior vice president and leader of TransUnion's consumer lending line of business. "They continue to be the main driver."
Last year, fintech companies issued 38 percent of all U.S. personal loans, according to TransUnion. That's up from 35 percent a year earlier and just 5 percent as recently as 2013. Banks' market share however, is heading in the other direction.
Traditional banks' share of those loans is down to 28 percent from 40 percent five years ago. Credit unions are down to 21 percent from 31 percent in the time period. While their market share shrank, they still saw overall growth in total loan balances, according to Laky.