51 Reasons I Won’t Lend Money to Friends and Family

don't lend money to friends

“Should I lend money to a friend?” is a question that comes up on this site from time to time. A lot of people say it’s a bad idea in almost all cases, while others say they will lend without the expectations of getting the money back. While I’m generally adverse to lending to friends and family, I have done it on a number of occasions. Even though a lot of people would be against this, I feel that if I can help my friends, then I should. I have lent as much as $10,000 to a friend and have lent money in smaller amounts to a number of different friends for a variety of reasons. Although I have heard the horror stories and bad experiences of lending money to friends an

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15 Responses to 51 Reasons I Won’t Lend Money to Friends and Family

  1. Wow! Those are a lot of reasons. I only have one reason. Experience has shown that tension over money is a good way to damage a relationship. My solution? I never loan money to friends or family. If I can afford it after paying myself (retirement accounts) and my bills, I will give them the money. Give it and forget it. Good article.

  2. ben says:

    I hate people that expect to get money just because they ask. I have family members that think that it’s Okay to ask other family members who have money to lend it whenever they want. While I refuse, they take advantage of others who aren’t as strong willed. I hate to see people manipulated into throwing away money like that on people who don’t deserve to get it.

  3. Great post with *a lot* of information. I can attest to how annoying it is when someone you rarely talk to asks for money. I don’t mind helping a friend, and like you said, its understandable we don’t see each other all of the time, but if the only time I hear from someone is because they need something….

  4. Marguerite says:

    Of course you only need to meet one criteria – I totally agree – it’s not helping someone lending them money when they fit any one of those 51 reasons

  5. Cindy says:

    While I don’t disagree with any of the items on the list, I think the list could be seriously pared down — a number of the 51 things seems like duplicates: You Lack a Plan and You Can’t Explain How You Plan to Pay Me Back, or You Blame Your Financial Situation on Others and You Have an Excuse for Everything, etc.

    But even with some consolidation, your reasons are excellent.

  6. jeffrey says:

    I would agree with you — it was more a stream of consciousness exercise and I’m sure there are more than a few that are similar and could be combined.

  7. mcydav says:

    Nothing is worse then lending money to your friend. It’s six months later and you still haven’t been paid yet and then they tell you that they had a fabulous vacation. Hello…where’s my money???

  8. BMEPhDinCO says:

    I really needed this today, thanks for the list, I’ll be sharing some of these reasons next time someone tries asking for money!

  9. Agreed. Ultimately the best way to help someone is to help them get educated with saving/budgeting specifically and other personal finance concepts is general.

  10. Gailete says:

    Very impressive thought process. At the risk of having stones thrown at me, you forgot to mention seeing how much they are spending on their pets, especially if they need money for food or basics like the utility bills. I knew a couple once that were as poor as the proverbial church mice. They stopped in with their big German Shepherd sized dog with their sad tale about how they didn’t have any food in their house and had just spent their last couple bucks for a hamburger at Burger King for all three of them (yes, the dog got his own burger as well!). This BK was right next to a grocery store where they could have gone and spent the same amount of money and walked out with several simple meals worth of food. While if I know that someone seriously had no food and children to feed I would help them out but if their dog comes first and they make sure he is fed before themselves, well that is also a want to me not a necessity. If you are that poor that you can’t feed yourself then you can’t afford pets, period.

  11. BARBIE says:

    The old adage of…if you lend a friend money you will lose both…has happened to me twice. Both gave me a date of repayment and signed promissory notes…which made no difference to them. Never again!

  12. Marsha says:

    Not to seem tacky here, but you have a promissory note! Sue them. Sounds tough, but given the eventual outcome (lost friendship, strain on dwindling conversations with the borrower) if you go after what is rightfully yours, you may end up with a judgement in your favor. I did, and the court ordered the friend pay me $3000 of the $5,500 by 9:00 THAT night, and the rest in monthly installments for 1 year (it amazed me how my friend came up with $3000 *that night*! Hmmm). A promissory note is very powerful, verbal loan is tougher, but it can be done. It’s worth a try.

  13. Anna says:

    Feeding a pet is not a want, it is a need, a necessity. If you have committed to having a pet, you have made a promise to that animal to take care of them, no matter what. It is an ethical issue. Unless of course you think the animal should be able to provide it’s own food, housing, and medical care?

    And don’t say that that’s what shelters are for–the vast majority of animals that enter shelters are killed there–70%+ of cats and 60%+ of dogs. Better than a slow death on the streets, but it’s not a happy ending for the majority of animals. Ever seen a healthy but unwanted animal be euthanized? They don’t go easily.

    I would absolutely feed both my kids and my pets before myself (and have done so in the past). Attitudes like yours are why 95% of my (now substantial) charity dollars go to animal charities–to help counteract the heartlessness of so many people towards innocent, helpless, sentient beings.

    For anyone who is struggling to feed their pets, many areas have pet food banks that will provide free food for pets. There are also a few pet food banks that work online.

    http://www.saveourpetsfoodbank.org/national-locations.php

    http://www.petfoodstamps.org/

  14. Dana says:

    I actually never have a problem with friends. I lend them money and they always pay it back. They never give me a specific time, but they let me know that they’re working on it and pay me back little by little, instead of me having to harass them for it. But family does this to me all the damn time. They seem to think that just because they’re family, they get a free ride. Honestly, though, I don’t owe them anything. I never asked to be born and them taking care of me is something they kinda had to do since they wanted to have me. In fact, I sued my mom for six thousand dollars that she refused to pay because she’s my mother. I cut ties with pretty much all of them due to money issues. The only person I would think to lend money to is my dad. He doesn’t pay it off with money, but he’ll by me new games and controllers equal to that of the money, so it’s a fair trade to me. Also, nothing wrong with your list, but it kinda seems a little snobbish to me. You repeat yourself so many times on similar topics that could’ve been addressed once. That, and I didn’t agree with your attitude on finding a second job. One, not everybody has the time. You make it seem that it’s easy, when in actuality, it’s not. I work 12 hours a day, seven days a week. I get paid a measly eight dollars, or less every hour. Not much, but I can still live comfortably with my cat. You seem to forget that the human body needs rest. I don’t have much free time to suddenly get and maintain another job, what with needing to sleep and eat. Second, it took me a couple of years to actually get my first job, and it was part-time as a grocery store clerk. I checked everywhere, from fast food places, to book shops. Nobody was hiring. So it would be hard to randomly get a second job out of thin air. But you seem to be able to do it by pulling it out of your ass.

  15. Dana says:

    @Gailete
    Wow, you must be an animal abuser then. A pet is no different than a kid (in actuality, they’re cheaper, so your whole rant is misleading) and needs to be taken care of. It’s disgusting that someone like you would even think of starving an animal because of money issues. You need to reflect on what it means to be human. If everyone went by your logic, then homeless people should be sent to shelters and killed as well since they can’t feed themselves.

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