Reluctant to lend money

| 22/08/2016

How do you suggest dealing with people who ask to borrow money from you, but you just don’t want to and you have politely said “no”? I hate being asked for money. I was badly stung one time (never got my money back) and I vowed never to lend money to anyone again. In fact, that episode taught me to make better financial decisions for myself and I am in good shape financially because of it.
I think if you ask someone for a favour, you should be prepared they could say no. But here, I politely decline, then people start to press and I find I have to explain myself — which I shouldn’t have to. What say you, Auntie?

Auntie’s answer: First let me give you my short-form answer: I agree with you. If you don’t want to lend someone money, just don’t do it.

I am sure, though, that along with you, many others have come upon situations where someone has approached them for a loan. I would go further to suggest the ones asking might often become, shall we say, fairly enthusiastic in their request, if they are initially turned down, making the potential lender feel very uncomfortable.

I will be very blunt here: I do not like being put in that position. Please don’t mistake what I say to mean that I do not like helping people or lending money to friends and family in financial need. But, if you have been asked and you have declined, that should be it. You should not have to explain your decision, or be made to feel guilty or like the world’s most awful person for saying no.

So, this is what I suggest: When you, as you have in the past, politely decline a future request for a loan, and then are pressed to give a different answer, respond firmly that you are simply not in a position to help. I would then ask the person to please respect you and your decision, and stress that asking again will not change your answer. You might also emphasise that you do not want this to affect your relationship, and would hope they feel the same. The idea is to prevent a drawn-out and difficult conversation.

I know that it is much easier said than done, but my final advice would be stand your ground. As you said, if someone asks for any kind of favour, they should be prepared to have their request denied. If you do not feel comfortable lending someone money, you should not have to.

Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (7)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I loaned 5 figures to a very good friend, of over 15 years, to help prevent her from losing her business, with the promise that it be paid back within 4 months. But instead, 6 months later she need another injection to which I said no. Then she asked if I would co-sign a bank loan, to which again I said no. I was not in the position to loan her the funds even the first time! But I did it gladly, to help her. At the time she was my BFF.
    It took over 2 years and an angry letter from me to get it back. She no longer speaks to me.
    I’ve been told since that I was lucky to get any of it back. She owes another friend about the same about. For over 11 years.
    And I’d bet that if she read this she wouldn’t even think it was about her. That’s how little she thought of it.
    Never loan money that you cannot afford to lose.

  2. Anonymous says:

    “Neither a borrower nor a lender be” springs to mind.

  3. Anonymous says:

    4 tings do not lend : Car ,boat, wife, money

  4. Anonymous says:

    “No” Easy.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I always ask now they intend to pay it back, I also explain, that if I have to ask for it back then the trust is broken and lending again is unlikely. I’m 60 years old and always been paid back to date. There have been times that I myself have had to borrow and we must not forget that bad luck can hit any one of us. In some cases I have listend to people ask to borrow money and deciding after listening to the story not to lend but to give, knowing they could not pay it back. In short decide if you are lending or giving, makes a big difference.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Oscar Wilde — ‘Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.’

  7. Anonymous says:

    Truly “ask anything”.
    Good intentions pave the road to hell and No good deed goes unpunished comes to mind.
    These two is easy to remember.