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    • MSE Sarah
    • By MSE Sarah 9th Apr 19, 1:59 PM
    • 190Posts
    • 83Thanks
    MSE Sarah
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I chase the loan I gave a friend?
    • #1
    • 9th Apr 19, 1:59 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I chase the loan I gave a friend? 9th Apr 19 at 1:59 PM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    I lent money to a friend, who promised to pay it back ASAP. But she's since lost her job, and paying it back will be a struggle. It's not a huge amount for me, but it's my money and I worked hard for it. Should I say something, or wait to see if it comes - even if that never happens?

    Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer Money Moral Dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be enjoyed as a point of debate and discussed at face value.

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Page 1
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 9th Apr 19, 2:10 PM
    • 5,940 Posts
    • 9,821 Thanks
    Malthusian
    • #2
    • 9th Apr 19, 2:10 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Apr 19, 2:10 PM
    Write it off and treat it as a valuable lesson.

    If she's a friend then she'll pay it back without needing to be chased, so there is no point in stressing over it. If she needs to be chased it's highly likely the money is gone, so there is no point in stressing over it.

    You can be someone's friend or their creditor but not both. If a friend asks you for money, give it to them, and if they give it to you back it'll be a nice surprise rather than a relief. If you can't afford to give it to them, don't.
    • louisekatie31
    • By louisekatie31 9th Apr 19, 6:54 PM
    • 178 Posts
    • 775 Thanks
    louisekatie31
    • #3
    • 9th Apr 19, 6:54 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Apr 19, 6:54 PM
    I never lend more than I can afford to give, it’s not worth falling out over money. If it isn’t paid back I would forget about it but wouldn’t lend that person money again.
    • pixiebel81
    • By pixiebel81 9th Apr 19, 9:36 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    pixiebel81
    • #4
    • 9th Apr 19, 9:36 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Apr 19, 9:36 PM
    I'd feel bad taking money off someone if they were struggling and I wasn't, but if I wanted the money repaid at some point I'd tell them not to worry about it while they were unemployed. That way I've made it clear I want the money back but only when they're back on their feet.
    Last edited by pixiebel81; 10-04-2019 at 7:44 AM.
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 9th Apr 19, 9:50 PM
    • 5,857 Posts
    • 7,260 Thanks
    theoretica
    • #5
    • 9th Apr 19, 9:50 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Apr 19, 9:50 PM
    By not communicating at all you might leave this looming over them - try talking to them and working out a way forward together.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
    • MalF
    • By MalF 9th Apr 19, 9:53 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    MalF
    • #6
    • 9th Apr 19, 9:53 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Apr 19, 9:53 PM
    I've got £1200 outstanding that I loaned to two people I considered friends who were struggling. One I literally haven't seen since (this was nearly 20 years ago) and the other is now on a different continent...
    • lilmisstrouble
    • By lilmisstrouble 9th Apr 19, 10:20 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    lilmisstrouble
    • #7
    • 9th Apr 19, 10:20 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Apr 19, 10:20 PM
    Ask her to repay at an amount she can afford. She might miss some payments but at least she will be in th habit of repaying and will probably up the payments when better off. She’s probably to embarrassed to mention it so might be relieved to have a solution. It will also stop her asking for more if she sees you as a money tree. If you just ignore it, your friendship will suffer as it will always be the unspoken thing between you. Better to discuss it and then you can make the decision to write it off if you want
    • Niki4r
    • By Niki4r 9th Apr 19, 10:26 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Niki4r
    • #8
    • 9th Apr 19, 10:26 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Apr 19, 10:26 PM
    Talk to them about it, they're probably thinking about it too. Just say you understand the circumstances ave changed so you don't mind waiting until they're back on their feet, but you would like it back eventually (if that's the case!). You may find they want to pay you it back at a small amount per month or something like that
    • Doodles
    • By Doodles 10th Apr 19, 5:45 AM
    • 337 Posts
    • 623 Thanks
    Doodles
    • #9
    • 10th Apr 19, 5:45 AM
    • #9
    • 10th Apr 19, 5:45 AM
    Really depends on the amount. £50 I would write off, but £5000 I would not.
    We are in Transylvania, and Transylvania is not England. Our ways are not your ways, and there shall be to you many strange things.

    Dracula, Bram Stoker
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 10th Apr 19, 7:37 AM
    • 26,168 Posts
    • 69,229 Thanks
    pollypenny
    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.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
    • x40ros
    • By x40ros 10th Apr 19, 8:22 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    x40ros
    I would actually say to my friend that I understand that they are going through a hard time and not to worry about the money. That way the friend will know that they can stop worrying if they were, and may still offer it back when times are better. But that would be a bonus, you have already written it off.
    • Teacher2
    • By Teacher2 10th Apr 19, 8:39 AM
    • 346 Posts
    • 2,658 Thanks
    Teacher2
    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 lover
    • By ska lover 10th Apr 19, 9:03 AM
    • 3,086 Posts
    • 7,467 Thanks
    ska lover
    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 know...is also true
    • Takmon
    • By Takmon 10th Apr 19, 9:14 AM
    • 595 Posts
    • 578 Thanks
    Takmon
    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.
    • Sheepies
    • By Sheepies 10th Apr 19, 9:27 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Sheepies
    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!
    • dysucker
    • By dysucker 10th Apr 19, 9:39 AM
    • 21 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    dysucker
    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.
    • JayD
    • By JayD 10th Apr 19, 9:49 AM
    • 532 Posts
    • 336 Thanks
    JayD
    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.
    • JayD
    • By JayD 10th Apr 19, 9:50 AM
    • 532 Posts
    • 336 Thanks
    JayD
    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.
    Originally posted by pollypenny



    Good advice
    • tallgirld
    • By tallgirld 10th Apr 19, 10:05 AM
    • 481 Posts
    • 321 Thanks
    tallgirld
    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!!!!
    • Cimscate
    • By Cimscate 10th Apr 19, 11:13 AM
    • 134 Posts
    • 144 Thanks
    Cimscate
    Set up a payment plan
    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.
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