Some people have no problem lending small amounts of money to family and colleagues. But, as many posters on Mr. Money Mustache Forum indicate, context matters. If a friend forgot his wallet, lending him money for lunch or parking is no big deal, most people seem to agree. The amount isn’t enough to ruin a friendship, and, in most cases, the debt can be easily repaid later.
However, when it comes to bigger loans, people are more reluctant to lend cash to their peers. And that’s not too surprising. Unpaid debts of hundreds or thousands of dollars can lead to grudges and ruin relationships.
So, what do you say when a friend wants to borrow a large amount of money or keeps asking for cash day after day? Here are a few tips on how to handle the situation.
Useful Tips on How to Refuse When Someone Wants to Borrow Money From You
When turning a friend down for a loan, be respectful of their needs, and respectful of your own boundaries.
- Respond ASAP
Respond as promptly as you can. When someone is in a financially stressful situation, you shouldn’t give them false hope or leave them wondering if you’ll eventually offer help. Time is especially of the essence if your friend needs money for paying bills. By saying “no,” you free them up to look for other solutions.
- Explain Your Limits
Tell your friend that you put a limit on how much money you lend to others. Let them know that, while you may have been happy to lend them $5 for lunch last Tuesday, borrowing more than that is off-limits. You don’t want your friend to feel singled out, so be clear that you follow this rule when dealing with any friend or family member. Explain your reasoning, as well. Maybe you’re tight on money yourself, or maybe past experience has taught you that giving out large loans is a bad idea.
- Don’t Be Wishy-Washy
Whatever reasoning you give, be firm, direct, and concise in your wording. Don’t be vague or leave any room for questions or argument. Make it clear that your decision is final.
Some Alternatives You Can Offer Instead of Lending Money
This person is your friend, so you don’t want to just say “No” and send them on their way. Offer to assist them in other ways if you can. Here are some ideas:
- Help them save money with a more efficient budget
Give your friend some advice on managing money. If you have a budget, share your budget outline with them. You could also help them identify unnecessary expenses, such as gym memberships and subscriptions.
- Lead them to a financial expert
If you don’t have any advice to share, point your friend in the direction of a financial expert. For example, you can help them research local credit counseling services.
- Show them how to apply for a loan payday loan or another source of funding
Options like payday loans and bank loans can help your friend manage debt. Never offer to be a guarantor for a loan unless you’re actually willing to take on your friend’s debt if their situation worsens. Not everyone will qualify for a low-interest loan. If your friend is dealing with loan rejection, steer them toward their employer. It’s possible to ask an employer for a cash advance. Most companies are willing to assist employees who are reliable and trustworthy.
- Help them find a new job
Whether it takes the form of freelance graphic designing or driving for a ride-share service, a side-gig can help your friend pull in extra income. You can also assist them in setting up a yard sale.
You might feel guilty about rejecting your friend’s request but aim to get past these negative feelings. You have to be respectful of your own financial situation, and you have to be willing to let others take responsibility for their money management habits.
If you don’t want friends to ask you for money in the first place, it’s wise to keep your financial situation a secret. Don’t talk about your income or your rainy day fund unless it’s necessary. If people know you have emergency savings, they’re more likely to come to you for help.
References and Sources
1. Have you ever lent money to a friend? Retrieved from https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/have-you-ever-lent-money-to-a-friend/
2. Here’s Why Friendship and Money Don’t Mix Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/heres-why-friendship-and_b_8912842
3. My Parents Asked Me for Money: What Should I Do? Retrieved from https://www.thebalance.com/my-parents-asked-me-for-money-what-should-i-do-2386101
4. How to Stop Fighting About Money. Retrieved from https://www.investopedia.com/how-to-stop-fighting-about-money-4687199
5. Five Key Rules to Follow When Lending Money to Friends and Family. Retrieved from https://lifehacker.com/five-key-rules-to-follow-when-lending-money-to-friends-1780147903