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Money Moral Dilemma: Should I chase the loan I gave a friend?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
31 replies 12.7K views


  • Teacher2Teacher2 Forumite
    546 posts
    Mortgage-free Glee!
    I loaned a colleague £20 about 20 years ago when her purse was pinched. So did a lot of other people. She never paid me back as I suspect she thought I was well off and did not consider she was robbing the two children I was working hard to feed. She never stopped her subscription lifestyle with mini breaks, weekends away and so on either.

    It was a very cheap lesson at £20 and must have saved me £100s since.

    I will give money to those who need it but I will never compromise friendships with loans.
  • ska_loverska_lover Forumite
    3.8K posts
    I would mention it, but not chase her IYSWIM

    'Dont worry about that loan until you are back on your feet'
    The opposite of what you also true
  • TakmonTakmon Forumite
    1.4K posts
    1,000 Posts Name Dropper First Anniversary
    I don't really understand how you can consider someone a close enough friend to lend them money but then are unable to talk to them about it.

    I've never lent anyone money who i would find it awkward to talk to them about it. If they are a good friend they will be the one who mentions it too you if they original plan to pay it back changes.
  • SheepiesSheepies Forumite
    8 posts
    Second Anniversary
    I wouldn't even consider asking a recently unemployed friend for my money back if I didn't need it. Give her a chance to get a new job first!
  • dysuckerdysucker Forumite
    32 posts
    Seventh Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    I've been burned lending money to people enough times that I no longer do it for large sums, just smaller disposable amounts (such as covering lunch, rounds of drinks) that are easier to get back.

    Large sums always seem to cause problems and arguments, and then you're relying on somebody to return the money.

    Now I normally say to people, unless you're prepared never to get it back, don't lend it. It's a gamble, and it can also cost your relationship with that person.

    If I were you, I would tell your friend you're still expecting the money back, but for now, you will give them more time to sort out their issues before asking for it back in full. It shows you care about their circumstances, but also shows that you're being firm with the money you lent in good faith.
  • JayDJayD Forumite
    572 posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    It's good to help a friend when they need it. I am not totally against loaning money if it's a genuine need but I agree with others here that, when lending to friends or family, you should consider it a gift, and if they repay you, then that is a bonus. Especially as, in this case, your friend has lost her job and seem financially unable to repay you anyway. Write it off and look after your friend. It sounds like she is having a rough time.
  • JayDJayD Forumite
    572 posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    pollypenny wrote: »
    If she's struggling, and you can afford to wait, tell her so.

    It'll take a weight of her mind, too, and she'll appreciate it if you are good friends. If neither of you mention it, it might fester as an embarrassment.

    Good advice
  • tallgirldtallgirld Forumite
    484 posts
    Part of the Furniture
    Yes you should mention it.
    I used to help people out financially and now I don't as I lost thousands acting like a bank.
    Stopped doing it years ago and am a lot better off for it and happier!!!!
  • CimscateCimscate Forumite
    140 posts
    I lent a good friend £3000 some years ago when her business went down. It was on the understanding that it would be paid back on sale of personal assets ( her suggestion not mine) but did not happen. I got an occasional payment, this went on for years. When I would pluck up the courage to mention it there was always some disaster. Eventually I got her to set up a regular monthly payment plan with a very small interest rate, I definitely lost money and although we are still friends it affected my feelings towards her. I would never lend a friend money again, the personal cost in emotions is too high. So I would say set up a monthly payment plan as soon as she is back at work even if its a small amount otherwise it will affect your friendship. I see no reason why you should write it off especially as this is supposed to be a friend.
  • REJPREJP Forumite
    178 posts
    Third Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    As already noted, depends how much value you place on friendship.
    I would write it off and keep my friend, she has enough to worry about at the moment. You say it is not a huge amount to you, so let it go.
    Maybe when she gets financially secure she may pay you back.
    My motto is you cannot buy friendship.
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