Should Thelma lend Louise money?



  • Crabman
    Crabman Posts: 9,943 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker Intrepid Forum Explorer
    Perhaps if she lends the 10k but in a 'Dragon's Den' style, assists her not-so-money-wise friend to economise and get the cash flow situation sorted. If she's just given 10k it's going to go straight into the black hole of debt - what Louise needs is some help with organising her finances. Throwing money alone isn't going to help...
  • Lady_E
    Lady_E Posts: 1,046 Forumite
    The money should be lent on the basis that if the tables were turned would the other person do it . Friendship is not about repayment plans etc etc it is about being there for someone no matter what . The times in your life when you have a crisis is the time when you discover who your true friends are, the ones you can can ring at 2am in the morning , the ones who will cancel their holiday to be with you and yes , the ones who will give you money to bail you out. What you decide to do about your debt is for you to decide .

    I am running for cover now .
  • I live with someone with 15K debts on credit cards. It never made any difference how much money I bunged her way (about 8K over the last year and a half) as she almost relies on her credit cards to provide a 'lifes good because I can still afford to treat myself' facade. Reality, because I can still afford the repayments.

    Help/advice in saving money is very unwelcome as it dispells the no-problem illusion which will mean she has to face the fact that there is a problem.

    Consequently, I came to the conclusion some time ago that the best thing I can do is let her get in trouble but make sure I'm there when the poo hits the fan. Anything else is just postponing the inevitable giving her less time in the end to recover financially and emotionally.

    I also have a friend who has been made bankrupt with £40K over card debts. He's not happy about the situation he's in now especially as one or two card companies took to harrasing his mum for repayments (totally illegal by the way). However, he has never made any bones about the fact that it was an important an necessary lesson to learn. He also sleeps a damn site better at nights.

    Bottom line. Don't lend the money, explain your decision, ride out the bad feeling, live with the guilt and make sure you are there for primarily emotional support afterwards. This is especially important as the money problems are only an indication of an emotional issue that is about to surface big time.

    Nearly forgot, I've also done the childhood friend thing two years ago. Only £500 with tiny repayments. This resulted in a ton of lies and ridiculous excuses. This ultimately affected the friendship and ended very messily. Hence the no strings attached attitute when I helped my flat mate.
  • JayD
    JayD Posts: 698 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    My mum always said, 'never lend what you can't afford to lose'. I agree with that. They are friends who have supported each other through everything. Hopefully that friendship would survive both the possiblility of feeling (or wanting) eternal gratitude and the possibility that the debt may never be repaid. For Louise's sense of dignity, it probably should be an open ended loan, with no time scale for repayment but I think that Thelma should think of it as a gift to help her friend out. That said, I guess the short answer would be, I believe Thelma should lend Louise the money :)
  • If she can really afford it she should just give it to her - as a one time only no strings attached gift. If Louise fritters it away that's on her head. It's her money now and Thelma should let her do with it what she will. A real friendship should transcend money, and if either of them find it difficult they should just do nothing in the first place.

    Of course if Thelma is affluent through hard work and judgement rather than luck she could offer to help Louise with a spending plan, but only if it were unrelated to any gifts or loans - otherwise it could be considered patronising.
  • Mics_chick
    Mics_chick Posts: 12,014 Forumite
    Although Thelma can afford to "lose" the cash she should only lend it on the proviso that Louise is completely open and honest with her and allows her to help her change her bad money habits, otherwise she might be used as Louise's permanent stopgap and in an indirect way encourage her to spend even more money...
    You should never call somebody else a nerd or geek because everybody (even YOU !!!) is an
    "anorak" about something whether it's trains, computers, football, shoes or celebs :p :rotfl:
  • People who can afford to lose a large sum of money would seldom take an unacceptable risk with it and Louise is exactly that risk. She is presumably a grown woman with all her faculties and knows that debts have to be repaid. Thelma should tell her that she's on her own with this one and should take responsibility for her own life.
  • Targanielle
    Targanielle Posts: 33 Forumite
    For me, there are two other questions to be taken into consideration.

    1. Has Thelma lent Louise money before to bail her out, and if so did Louise pay her back? She obviously didn't change her ways even if she did repay the loan.

    2. Has Louise got any intention of changing her ways? ie is she saying, if you lend me this to get out of the hole I have dug for myself, I am going to do this and this to change my ways and pay you back as well?

    Personally I hate owing money to anyone and especially to a friend, and I have only once borrowed money from a friend and then I paid it back as soon as I possibly could. Nor did I allow her to lend me more than I could pay back within one month. So if I were Louise I would probably thank Thelma from the bottom of my heart, but turn the offer down unless I knew I could pay her back (which frankly doesn't look likely here).

    Having said that, if I were Thelma I would be happy to lend the money to Louise, but if I did so I'd be under no illusions that it would actually change anything in Louise's life except in the short term. The comments above about it changing the friendship and that in the end it doesn't help the person with problems managing their money are both true too, in my opinion.

    It's a hard one but in the end the decision would have to be Thelma's alone, since she knows her friend so well, and only she can decide whether it's worth the risk of changing or losing their friendship.
  • Yes, is the simple answer, but, she should treat it as a gift, and not expect to recieve anything back, and if she does, it's a bonus.

    She should also make it clear, that louise needs to sort herself out financially, and this is a one off deal, she is not the local cashpoint!
  • I think in Thelma's situation, assuming that this was the first time Louise had asked for/ needed, the money and I could afford to lose it (Jesus how rich is Thelma???), if I really wanted to help out, I'd probably give her some money. Maybe not the whole amount, but something that would help.
    Lending and owing could put huge amounts of pressure on a relationship- Thelma might feel bad having to remind Louise about repayments, Louise might feel pressured - the whole relationship could so easily fall apart because of the arrangement. A gift, although Louise may feel indebted, would avoid the need for an ongoing awkwardness.

    That said, it also depends on whether Louise is the kind of person who is going to keep coming back for more handouts, and whether Thelma is the kind of person that will never let her forget the favour!
    But that taken into consideration, it would make sense for Thelma to find out how much Louise needed to get herself out of the true disaster zone and see the bailiffs off, give her that amount as a gift, and then help her to plan how she's going to pay the rest off. Friends should be able to help each other out, but some advice and perspective is needed by Louise as much as the actual money here.
    "People who "do things" exceed my endurance,
    God for a man who solicits insurance..." - Dorothy Parker
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