Mortgage applications decreased 0.5% from last week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association, but Americans are still taking out loans, lots and lots of loans.

Personal lending is hitting new highs, according to an article in Bloomberg by Hannah Levitt.

It’s a worrying trend for home loan officers as these personal loans are made much easier by fintech firms, some new to our space, and carry higher risks and onerous interest rates.

In the article Levitt profiles one family that that took out a three-year loan for less than $10,000 with an interest rate at about the same as a credit card — around 23%. And it’s unsecured.

Further, fintech companies originated 36% of total personal loans last year vs. less than 1% in 2010, TransUnion says in the article.

According to the article, personal loans surged to a record this year and are the fastest-growing U.S. consumer-lending category.

“Outstanding balances rose about 18% in the first quarter to $120 billion. Fintech companies originated 36% of total personal loans in 2017 compared with less than 1% in 2010," Chicago-based TransUnion said.

Seeking Alpha Editor Liz Kiesche said that online lenders such as LendingClub, Prosper Marketplace, and closely held Social Finance are driving the growth. At LendingClub, Q1 personal-loan originations rose 20% from a year earlier to $2.1 billion, according to a filing.

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