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Good Idea or Bad Idea: Lending Money to Friends

My mother always told me never to loan money to friends, or if you do, don't expect to get it back. She feels, as do a lot of people, that lending money is a sure fire way to jeopardize a relationship. Of course there are always extenuating circumstances, but how do you feel? Do you think it is a good idea or a bad idea to loan money to friends?


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serendipity75 serendipity75 10 years
I have never lent money to someone and have them pay me back in a timely way. I usually have to wait months. More recently, I have a friend who knows I'm not working right now, my husband is in between jobs and she will ask me for $100 to $500. After saying no the first few times (she doesn't take no for an answer by asking me to take a Direct Deposit Advance out from my bank), she said, she can pay me back before my bills are due. I lent her only $60 but the way things have been lately, every $20 counts. Well, bill due dates came and went and she hasn't said a word. This has left me angry, hurt, (her husband makes double what we make) and now I just figure I'm never seeing that money again and I just want to distance myself from her. She asks to borrow money for the silliest things, like paying her Rent a Center bill, or ebay items she came up short for or a car rental for their family vacation. I think I'm more hurt that she knows what a financial crunch we are in and yet she still hits me up for cash.
Jennie Jennie 10 years
I would have to say plain and simply, bad idea.
cubiclequeen cubiclequeen 10 years
I am actually in a very similar situation now. Unfortunately for me the friends that I've lent money to are my b/f's sister and her b/f. Talk about awkward! I dont really have much to be loaning but they just got their own place and I wanted to give them a helping hand. There was a time where they were paying me back a little here and there. Now all that's changed and I am really starting to feel bitter about the money since I've hit some rough patches recently and had to dip into reserves that I swore I'd never touch. We still hang out together and I see them going shopping for toys and such which really bums me out. How can they have money for fun and games and not feel obligated to pay me back? I am still wrestling with this one.
ms_mags ms_mags 10 years
You see situations that involve former friends all the time on those judge shows because the friend doesn't want to pay the lender back. Remember Shakespeare: 'Neither a lender nor a borrower be.' Don't give out money and don't ask for it because then you'd be a hypocrit.
girlgreen girlgreen 10 years
well said, boxem. there are other ways to help out a friend in need besides giving them money.
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
If it's a smaller amount of money, that's fine. And when I say smaller, I mean less than $20. Anything above that I barely have to keep for myself let alone lend out to other people. I would hate to have to argue over getting paid back, too.
kendalheart kendalheart 10 years
I think it very much depends on the friend, if you know your friend and they are trustworthy and you know they are good with money I say yes. If your friend is bad with money and tends to borrow often from people, I would say kknow. I think its def an individual basis type of thing!
boxem180 boxem180 10 years
i agree with controlledspin - if it's more than dinner or something in that price range, it's not going to end well. the only people i'll give a large amount of money to are my family and my fiancee, mainly because i know they won't cut and run. i'd rather support someone by cooking them meals or letting them move in for a month or two while they get things straightened out.
Schaianne Schaianne 10 years
What's sad is that not everyone is like you, Candy Apple, so you do get penalized for their actions. I've lent money to people that I will not hesitate to do so for again in the future ... because they made an effort ... even when they couldn't pay me back when they said they could, they let me know what was going on and COMMUNICATED. My husband and I were in the same situation once where we needed money to move into a place ... a friend lent it to us and we eventually paid it back, so I know how great it is to be on both sides. But I learned what it was like to be on the other side ... I avoided calling her, seeing her, etc ... because I was ASHAMED that I still owed her. She taught me it was ok to owe someone and still have a relationship. But I lent a significant amount of money (almost $6000) to my BEST friend once with the stipulation she pay me back a little every month (I would have accepted $25) however long it took. But, here it is 5 years later and I ended up being the bad guy in the relationship, somehow, because I didn't gift it to her like I did the other "loans"? Unfortunately, she's not the only one that has done that ... and it always seems to be family or very close friends who take advantage of you that way. It is also the reason hubby and I will not ever co-sign a loan, for anyone.
controlledspin controlledspin 10 years
I've seen a lot of my own friends burnt by others. I never am in a situation to lend, but I have never had to ask for it, either, fortunately. One of my friends currently is waiting for the court date to try and get a LARGE sum of money back. After lending to a friend, her and her husband found out he owed probably ten other people and he went into hiding. This person seemed very trustworthy and geniune. I think it's a recipe for disaster unless you are spotting someone for a lunch bill or drinks.
mandiesoh mandiesoh 10 years
i think it really depends. firstly it depends on my own financial situation. if i know i cant afford to lend it, i wont. else, if i have to demand it back when im really broke, the friend might get pressure, and it'll put a strain on the relationship definitely. secondly, its the friend's character! if i know for sure she's trustworthy, then i dont see why not. :)
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 10 years
Wow, it's so interesting to read all these comments - maybe because I've never been asked to lend large sums of money, but I really think it depends on the amount and also the person. Then again, a lot of people have spoken about their best friends, etc. My best friend and I constantly owed each other money through college, but that was for petty stuff, like going out to dinner, etc. We never asked for it back b/c we knew that we'd eventually ask the other person to borrow money for something! But like I said, it was never that much - then again, we were always very conscious of owing each other money - we'd always remember. So again, I really think it depends on the person.
Marci Marci 10 years
People are amazing about paying back money! They'll give up a friendship for a few hundred dollars? That's just mind boggling to me. I agree with your mother that if you lend it, don't ever expect to see it again. We lent a friend in need $2000. She has never so much as alluded to it, and since we went into it with the idea we'd never see that money again, it's fine. But I have my moments with that one....
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
only give what you can GIVE. i have given up to $300 (renr) but only when i can say "please pass on the favor to someone who needs it when you can". again, not for a hot pair of jeans, for things that will actually make a difference.
candy-apple candy-apple 10 years
I don't understand how so many people have said no to this! I'm in a very difficult financial situation right now (jobless, no insurance, a weekly food budget of 30$), thank god i live with my parents and still have a place to sleep, though their finances aren't much better than mine. If it weren't for my wonderful friends I'd probably be selling myself on the streets or something. Seriously though, I believe I'm a good person. Therefore I hate begging for money and accepting it from other people, especially the people I love. However there's a time when you have to put your ego aside and accept the help you need. I haven't been able to repay it so far, I'm very ashamed to admit. So I guess you guys are right. But I'm still so infinitly grateful to my friends and especially my boyfriend who forked out over a thousand dollars on me and basically fed me and gave me a roof in the darkest hour. I know it's just promises but I am working my ass off trying to get a job to repay my debt to everyone. In the meantime, I try to do it in kindness as it's the only thing i can give. If I had money, I would give it all to my friends and that would make me the happiest person in the world.
GQ_send GQ_send 10 years
nah, don't lend money to anybody at all. People always say they'll pay it back but they don't.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
I would definitely tell the person just to take the money and not pay it back. I feel like the best type of person will work their butt off to pay you back. The others probably wouldn't pay you pack anyway, but since you don't expect it back, it won't be as big of a deal when you don't get it.
Cairo Cairo 10 years
Me too Schaianne, I lent $300 To a close Friend, She started to avoid Me I never harassed her for the Money, Never even mentioned it, She just avoided Me, She was such a good Friend to Me, That I decided I didn't care about the Money & consider it a gift, I left that on Voice Mail, I guess She was embarrassed And Just never got in touch with Me, That was over a Year ago, I'm still Sad About it. Never Again, It is too awkward!
Schaianne Schaianne 10 years
Every "friend" I have lent money to has stiffed me and is no longer a friend. =( Even ones that I was patient about ... they just stopped calling me, coming around, etc.
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