Lending credit cards to friends and family can ruin your credit score

Personal Finance

In 2014, about 550,000 fraud and identity theft victims said that someone they knew had compromised their information, according to Javelin Strategy & Research data pulled for CNBC.

Federal law limits your liability on unauthorized charges if your credit or debit card is stolen and if you act quickly.

Which law applies depends on the kind of card in question. For instance, your liability for fraudulent charges on your debit card is limited to $50 if you report the card stolen or lost within two business days of finding out about the theft.

But these protections don’t apply if you gave your card to another person and he or she misuses it. In that case, the friend or family member is considered an authorized user — and you’re on the hook for the charges.

Nearly half of the individuals polled by CreditCards.com said that they were comfortable with an immediate family member charging more than $100 on a borrowed card.

“Ultimately, you’re better off just saying no,” said Schulz. “It may make for an awkward conversation, but it’s better than finding yourself in a financial mess.”

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