More than 20 million Americans have personal loan debts – twice the amount compared with 2012

More than 20 million Americans have personal loan debts – twice the amount compared with 2012
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‘Buying a tiger’ and ‘follow David Hasslehoff on tour’ on list of weirdest reasons Americans have borrowed money 

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One of the United States’ leading financial information platforms has revealed the weirdest reasons Americans have borrowed money, with ‘buying a tiger’ topping the list. The site surveyed more than 5,000 loan brokers and personal bankers to delve into the reasons why people take out personal loans, and picked out the most weird and wonderful responses. Building ‘a statue of a loved one’, following ‘David Hasslehoff on tour around Europe’, and ‘invest in vintage porn’ are just some of the other reasons uncovered by the survey.

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A leading financial information platform has revealed that borrowing money to ‘buy a tiger’ is one of the strangest reasons Americans have ever taken out a personal loan for. Building a statue of a loved one, following David Hasslehoff on tour around Europe, and investing in vintage porn also make the list.

Financial experts, asked 5,086 US loan brokers and personal bankers to reveal the strangest reasons they had ever seen on a personal loan application.

The 10 Weirdest Reasons Americans Have Borrowed Money

Ten of the weirdest reasons people have asked to take out personal loans are as follows:

  1. To buy a tiger
  2. To build a statue of a loved one
  3. To follow David Hasslehoff on tour around Europe
  4. To keep an affair secret
  5. To hire an undisclosed celebrity to be present at the birth of their child
  6. To build a working replica of a trebuchet (type of catapult)
  7. To go missing for a while
  8. To hire an acting troupe to recreate the Game of Thrones Red Wedding at their own
  9. To fund a trip to every Applebees in the US
  10. To get a qualification in taxidermy

The full list of 20 can be found here:

A 2019 study conducted by TransUnion revealed that more than 20 million americans had personal loan debts - more than double the amount of people compared with 2012*. On top of this, in the last five years (as of 2019) the number of people with personal loan debts totalling more than $30,000 had risen by 15%**. is part of’s financial goal ‘mall’, a one-stop-shop where users can reach financial goals and comparison shop for any money matter or loan. does this through ten different finance stores with a unified brand which covers everything from real estate evaluations and insurance comparisons to bill payment services and wealth management.

Ethan Taub, founder of, said,

“At, our goal is always to make people feel more at ease about their finances, and choose the perfect option for them - whether it be a mortgage for their first home, or a loan to buy their first car, we help people access dozens of different debt products.

“We can’t be certain which, if any, of these applications for loans were successful - however, we encourage everyone to be; cautious when taking on debt, use loans responsibly, and to ensure they pursue every avenue available to them to make the right choice.”

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Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at) - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver
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