How to Deal: Lending Friends Money (& Getting It Back)

lending friends money

angry friend

This is generally how we feel about lending friends money and never getting it back…

… but we still love them, so this is how we end up acting with them…

happy friends

This is a friend-dilemma we think everyone can relate to, to some extent. You’re bound to have at least one of them in your lifetime. You know the type of friend we’re talking about- the one that may be awesome in all other regards, but just isn’t great with money. So, you know, as a good friend, you lend her some of yours- in the hope that she’ll pull through as a friend and pay you back when she can.

The only problem? She doesn’t.

So now you’re out x amount of dollars and you just didn’t budget for that loss. How do you deal?
Every friendship dynamic is different- so keep this in mind when you’re troubleshooting the issue. You need to know yourself, your friend, and the friendship that you guys have. Money is a fickle matter, that people often don’t like to talk about. We know. At the end of the day though, if it’s bugging you, you’ve got to address it.

These tips, tricks, and considerations may be handy to you (before and after you spread your wallet):

1. Who is this friend (who’s asking for money) to you?

lending friends money

Thinking about who your friend is to you is actually a complex analysis. So many factors go into it- Have you asked them for several favours in the past? Are they loyal to you? How far do you guys go back? etc. This will help you realize whether they are a friend worth lending to or not.

2. Are they asking for your first child? What are the terms of their request?

lending friends money

This is an important one, for obvious reasons. I mean, you’re not going to agree to a ridiculous request that requires you to re-morgage your house or something (at least we hope not- because that’s a whole other can of worms). At the same time, if they forgot their wallet and you’re covering them for drinks- that’s more understandable. For those serious talks, are they going to make a payment plan to you if it is a bigger request? Make sure all the terms of the request is out in the open or else you’ll run into miscommunication issues afterwards (trust us, it’s worse dealing with things after the fact). 

3. Where are you financially? (Gotta think about about yourself too!)

lending friends money

Let’s be serious here. If you’re in a financial situation where you can’t take care of your rent… don’t go lending your rent money for someone else’s rent. Of course, everyone can use more money but make sure you’re not dipping yourself into the negatives by lending friends money. As much as you want to come to the rescue of your friend, you need to keep your own living in mind too!

4. Record everything.

lending friends money

When you do make the decision to help your friend in need, make sure you’re protected. If they promise to pay you back in full by a certain time and you need that money by a certain time, get it in writing. Although this may seem like it bridges the whole trust barrier you have with your friend, you need to realize that money has nothing to do with friendship. As a friend in need, they should understand this.

5. Will they live if you say no?

Life throws curve balls and for most, it takes a lot of courage to ask others for help. Be compassionate and think about where they’re coming from. Is she asking for a loan so she can buy a new Birkin or is is because her boyfriend left her on the streets with nothing to her name? Make you analyze the severity of the situation before you agree to lending friends money.

lending friends money

6. If they put your friendship in jeopardy because you say no… reconsider your friendship.

Sure, it can hurt to be disappointed and to feel like your friend won’t come to your rescue. At the end of the day, everyone is adults, living their lives. If they throw a hissy fit because you decide you can’t lend them money… well, we would suggest you reconsider your friendship with that person. It may be a one way street (i.e. you always giving and them always getting- which is not good news).

lending friends money

7. Be clear about everything.

Money is sticky and so is terms of friendship. At the end of the day, people are humans and they aren’t always predictable. Make sure to be crystal clear about everything- all the terms, all the emotions, everything. If not, you’ll find yourself in a situation you didn’t expect  (for the worse).

lending friends money

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