Most 401(k) participants won't take loans from their retirement accounts, even if they have the option.

According to a report by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and the Investment Company Institute, 87 percent of participants in the 2012 EBRI/ICI 401(k) database were in plans offering loans, but only 21 percent of those eligible for the loans had one outstanding at the end of the year.

Of those who had an unpaid loan, the average balance was $7,153, compared with $7,027 in 2011.

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