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A third of credit card holders who loaned out their card got stiffed

About a third of people lending their credit

About a third of people lending their credit card to someone they knew got stiffed, a recent poll found. Credit: istock

There’s being nice and then there’s being foolish. Sometimes the only sensible answer you can give is no.

A survey commissioned by CreditCards.com of more than 2,200 people found that about half had loaned their credit card to someone they knew -- and a third of those lenders got stuck paying the bill.

Thirty percent of cardholders lent their credit cards to their spouse or partner, more than any other relationship. Twenty-one percent of offenders were children and 9 percent were friends or parents.

It’s understandable that you want to “help,” but don’t hurt yourself. If you loan someone your credit card and you don’t get paid back, the bill is still yours.

Not only that, your relationship could suffer. And, it’s just not good personal finance.

  • You could be violating your credit card contract

“Generally speaking, unless the user is an authorized user of the account, you should not allow him or her to use it. While there is nothing illegal about doing this, you most likely are violating your contract with the creditor,” says Katie Ross, education and development manager for American Consumer Credit Counseling in Newton, Massachusetts.

Natasha Rachel Smith, a personal finance expert with TopCashback.com, warns, “In the worst-case scenario, if someone you lent your card to loses it and someone else finds it and identity theft takes place, zero-liability policies won’t apply because of your gross negligence.”

  • Think it through

Adam Dean, a security specialist with GreyCastle Security in Manhattan, says to ask questions such as: “Is this something you absolutely need and why? Why can’t you use your own credit card?”

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