Vouch Study Reveals Shifting Societal Norms in America: Lending to Friends & Family No Longer Taboo

New research finds that when it comes to lending a helping hand to family and friends, millennials lead the way with open wallets

It’s Proven! When it comes to lending money to friends & family, women and men really are from different planets

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Be prepared to dispel the belief that friends and family shouldn’t talk about finances. According to the results of a nationwide online study commissioned by the world’s first social network for credit, Vouch, and conducted by Harris Poll in June among 2,024 U.S. adults, nearly 3 in 4 Americans would gladly lend money to friends and family. Not surprisingly, millennials ages 18-34 lead the pack with 84 percent responding they would lend money to friends and family. The pioneering survey revealed other discrepancies in lending and borrowing preferences across a number of categories, such as age and purpose of loan.

Older generations have traditionally warned younger generations of the woes and risks in lending to those close to you. But findings from the survey demonstrate a general societal shift towards more open lending across all age groups--especially when times get tough. According to the survey, 80 percent of adults stated they would loan money to family members in the event of unexpected costs and 76 percent said they would do the same for friends.

“Growing up as a first-generation American in the 70s and 80s, I noted the difference between the way my extended family talked about and shared finances versus the way other families did. My Taiwanese parents spoke openly about money and shared financial resources with my aunts and uncles but money seemed to be a forbidden topic for other families. That attitude has changed in the last several decades and modern Americans are happy to help out friends and family when they need a loan,” said Yee Lee, CEO and cofounder of Vouch. “We founded Vouch based on the premise that Americans are ready to talk about the money. By doing so, Vouch provides a more transparent, accurate and effective way to lend money than just looking at credit scores.”

Millennials With Open Hearts and Wallets

Today’s youth tend to be more open to changes than previous generations and that extends to finances. According to the survey, millennials are much more open to borrowing and lending with friends and family than other generations, regardless of a loan’s purpose.

  • Millennials are more likely (67 percent) than any other age group to lend money to friends compared to 51 percent aged 35-44, 47 percent aged 45-54, 47 percent aged 55-64, and 44 percent aged 65+.
  • 34 percent of millennials would consider loaning money to a friend for educational expenses, compared to just 3 percent of those aged 65+.
  • 56 percent of students would be willing to lend money to a family member for educational expenses compared to 23 percent of retirees.

Men and Women have different lending and borrowing practices

As a whole, society is shifting its attitudes about lending, but between the sexes there are still some key differences. Men and women share varying attitudes regarding lending to friends and family and for what purpose:

  • Men are more likely to loan a larger amount to a family members than women; 53 percent of men willing to loan $1,000 or more compared to just 36 percent of women.
  • Women might be willing to help out with life’s frequent smaller money problems - 66 percent of women indicated that they were willing to loan less than $500 to a friend, compared to just 50 percent of male respondents.

The findings from the survey serve to further dispel the long held belief that lending to family and friends is taboo in America. Within this changing landscape, alternative lenders like Vouch stand to better serve borrowers today and into the future by offering borrowers and lenders new ways to serve each other.

To learn more about the survey findings, methodology, and Vouch, please refer to the Vouch website and blog.

About Vouch

Vouch is the first social network for credit, helping borrowers proactively build their creditworthiness to get better rates on loans, larger loans, or both. Founded by PayPal alumni and former banking executives, Vouch provides a network for everyone, regardless of their credit history, to build credit for the future. In contrast to other consumer lenders that focus on an individual’s credit score in isolation, Vouch analyzes the network of people who know you best to make more informed decisions about your creditworthiness. The company is based in San Francisco, California, and is backed by IDG Ventures USA, First Round Capital, Greylock, AngelList, Core Innovation Capital, Data Collective, Stanford StartX Fund, Pacific Crown, Michael Levit and Cooley LLP. For more information, please visit www.vouch.com.


This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Vouch from June 19-23, 2015 among 2024 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact press@vouch.com.


SutherlandGold Group for Vouch
Mark Wheeler, 646-799-0225


SutherlandGold Group for Vouch
Mark Wheeler, 646-799-0225