More than 36 million U.S. adults say that they have had a negative experience when lending out their personal credit card to a loved one or acquaintance, according to a study released on Wednesday.
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The most common problem reported was overspending at 19%, with other top complaints including not getting paid back (14%) or not getting the card back at all (10%).
Personal finance site CreditCards.com conducted the survey with over 2,250 adults, of whom nearly 2,000 of them claiming to have never owned a credit card themselves.
Nearly half (49%) of those polled, who are either current or former credit cardholders admit to letting someone else use their personal card, with nearly 35% of them noting an unfavorable outcome. Younger adults were the most likely to be negatively affected. Millennials, in particular, who have loaned out their cards faced a negative result compared to 31% of Gen X (ages 38-53) and 26% of Baby Boomers (ages 54-72).
"They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and that could certainly be the case with lending a credit card. If you're going to do it, proceed with caution,” Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst for CreditCards.com, tells FOX Business, adding that your best move is to make sure that you set the expectations clearly before you hand the person your card.
“Better to have that conversation up front than to have to do it after something goes wrong,” he says.
Additionally, more than half (52%) of past and present cardholders making less than $30,000 annually have run into the most problems. Nearly 61% of people who own a credit card say they would let an immediate family member borrow it, while 39% says they would never lend to family. Spouses/Partners at 39%, children at 21% and parents and friends at 9% were the most common offenders mentioned.
Schulz advises people that they shouldn’t let just anyone use your card.
“Our survey showed that millennials were most likely to get burned, and that's likely due in part to the fact that they were more likely than any other age group to lend to friends and coworkers. Letting your wife or husband borrow your card is one thing. Letting Allison from accounting or that guy you play basketball with on Thursday nights borrow your card is something else entirely,” he adds.
Ultimately, he says, the best practice no matter who is it, is to just say no at the end of the day.