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Consider this an addendum to the previous point of using 401(k) funds to make a smart investment -- this time in yourself. A 401(k) loan might be useful for acquiring educational credentials needed to keep your job or advance your career, Gordon says. After all, if it results in a boost to your earnings, you'll be able to save more for your retirement and other worthy financial goals. Just be sure that the piece of paper you are risking your retirement for is worth it.
"You've really got to be careful about where you invest those dollars," Gordon says. "So if someone says, 'I want to get a professional management certification,' understand what the value of that is in the marketplace before you make that investment."
RATE SEARCH: Not ready to borrow from your 401(k)? Apply for a personal loan today.