Taking a loan from your 401(k) "is never a good idea," says Catherine Golladay, vice president of 401(k) services at Charles Schwab.

A recent Schwab study found that nearly a quarter of 401(k) participants take loans from the retirement plans.

A quarter of those who have taken a loan from their 401(k) said they used their early withdrawals to pay everyday bills. Almost 10 percent said they used the money to "buy something special," and another 5 percent used the withdrawals for vacations, suggesting some workers may be making the withdrawals without a full understanding of the consequences of doing so.

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