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Goodwill Loans To Bad Risk People

Hello there, I’m hoping to get some insight into a small problem I’m having with a good friend.

I loaned my good friend around $500 in January. We’ve been friends for years and she’s normally very responsible and a loyal friend. The job market for her field isn’t the greatest, so when she was job searching last autumn, she was only able to find a job that gives part-time hours to new hires. I loaned her the money, and she assured me that she’d pay me back within two months, once her situation evened out and she accrued more hours. My husband and I had no problem with these terms.

That was a few months ago. She paid me a small sum of money in February, but she still owes me a few hundred dollars. In the past few months, she’s flown across the country for a weekend trip and then invited me on another trip she’s planning in a few months. She’s also posting pictures rather often on Facebook when she’s out at bars, restaurants and clubs. I have no problem with her having fun, but I know that going out twice a week can get expensive, especially if you factor in dinner and a cab ride. When we talked about her paying me back (one month ago and then a week ago), her reasoning is always the same; she said she still needs to get her finances in order and she’s really embarrassed that she owes me money.

I guess I’m feeling a little judgemental that she’s “living the high life” (or at least giving the impression on social media), but still owes us hundreds of dollars. We are trying to save up for a down payment on a house, and right now, every penny and every point on our credit score counts. I’m just not sure how to address it with her that I think it’s inappropriate that she’s spending all of this money and still owes us. I know it could always be worse, it IS only a few hundred dollars, not thousands, but it’s also the principle of the matter. But I don’t know what to say to her that expresses that the grace period has come and gone, and we’d like the money back based on the terms we agreed to.

Thanks so much for any insight 🙂 0427-15

You should accept the fact that you will never see that money again, write it off as a lesson learned and never, ever loan this person money or anything of tangible value to her again.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Redblues November 20, 2018, 8:24 am

    I agree, the money is gone. So is the “friendship”. However, if she suggests an upcoming trip, tell her she can’t afford it until she “gets her finances in order”. I would probably make that comment in response to every thing she says that involves spending money, including Facebook posts of fun nights out. I recently had a friendship end over a small loan for a vet bill for her cat. The “friend” wrote a bad check to cover it, and I got stuck for the $15 bank fee as well. She repeatedly claimed she’d be by to drop off the money, and then would not show up. One day I went over her house and rang the doorbell. I knew she was home. She did not answer. I waited until the first of the month to redeposit the check, because I knew her Social Security money would be deposited that day. (I know she did not realize I could do that.) So I got *most* of my money back. “Friend” gone. Stealing is stealing. When someone shows you who they are, believe it.

    • K November 21, 2018, 5:32 pm

      The only thing she showed you is that she’s poor and was desperate to get her fur-kid medical care. Shockingly judgmental of you given the poor woman is on social security. Your cheque maneuver may have meant she could not afford, rent, food or meds that month.

      • Redblues November 22, 2018, 5:16 am

        She has money for all of those things. She can’t afford the cat, which now requires daily medication.
        Nobody has a right to own a pet they can’t afford, or a right to steal from whomever they decide can afford to to pay for it for them. I am not a charity. Her husband works. Her daughter works. Her daughter’s husband works. They all live there. Shockingly entitled of anyone, to lie and steal for an animal they cannot afford. The “poor woman” isn’t struggling for food. She is “struggling” for a lifestyle she cannot afford, including a big apartment and multiple expensive vehicles. Shockingly judgemental of you, to presume that it is *my* responsibility to quietly accept lying and stealing, because you decided the person who did it is the *real* victim.

        • Justme November 24, 2018, 4:18 pm

          Redblues, good for you! I love your attitude. You are exactly right.

      • CMK121212 November 22, 2018, 10:06 am

        Ehhhhh…Kinda disagree with you there. She didn’t do anything to her friend except loan her money during difficult times and deposit a check her friend gave her in repayment. She was fully in the right to re-deposit the check. Being bad with money and having a sick pet is not a “Get Out of Loan Free” card. I know it sucks – trust me I’ve been broke and desperate. However, her friend didn’t go with Option A – pay the loan back in cash, or Option B – refuse to pay the loan back (for a time or at all). She chose the worst possible option, Option C – write a bad check that could have resulted in the loaner getting overdraft and returned check fees, and in turn, threatening her ability to make her rent, bills, food, etc.. My sympathy is with the loaner who almost got screwed for being a good friend.

        That being said, my rule of thimb is if asked for a loan and I can afford it, I mentally write it off as a gift. If I get it back, great, bonus for me. However if and when I don’t get it back, it saves me having to resent the friend or family member over something stupid like money.

      • Rattus November 22, 2018, 2:49 pm

        Agreed. Unless the woman was spending money on frivolities rather than paying back the loan, it seems unpleasantly petty to screw over her minimal finances when she was just trying to provide aid to her pet. If I knew someone in the same position and I was able to assist, I would.

        • Redblues November 23, 2018, 10:35 am

          Redepositing a check is not “screwing her over financially”. It is a legal right. I just made sure I did it when I knew the money would be there to cover it. The fact that it was not a big loan is what would have made paying it back fairly easy. She simply did not bother. She had a couple of months to try. She spent that time lying to me or avoiding me. Had she *asked* in the first place, I would have *given* her $20 towards the bill, which is still not as much as she borrowed, but what I could have just barely afforded to give. But she wanted more and decided to just steal it instead. The vet refused to treat the cat without cash payment in advance. Was that “shockingly” cruel of the vet? Or is it normal not to give services away, just as it is normal not to give money away to people who want more than they have?

        • Redblues November 23, 2018, 10:47 am

          She was not “screwed over”. She was simply forced to make the same financial adjustments she should have made to pay me back in the first place. She screwed me over, or tried to, by writing a bad check for which I had to pay a fee, in addition to the original loan she decided to keep. Don’t own animals you cannot afford.

          • Justme November 24, 2018, 4:21 pm

            I’m with you, redblues!

        • lakey November 24, 2018, 6:11 pm

          I would view giving someone a bad check, that will bounce, to be screwing them over. If you can’t afford to pay someone back, then you tell them. You don’t write a bad check. In my area, the person who is given the check is charged a $20 fee by the bank. Writing a bad check instead of telling the person you don’t have the money is cowardly.

      • Lacey November 22, 2018, 3:51 pm

        Exactly. If she’s on Social Security, a “small” loan to you is probably a ton of money to her. If you know she’s in dire straits, why does the loan matter so much to you? If you couldn’t afford it or didn’t make the loan because you knew she was desperate, why did you loan her money?

      • Kay_L November 22, 2018, 4:10 pm

        And not being paid back in addition to a $15 bank charge may have meant that Redblues could not afford rent, food or meds for that month.

        Don’t assume that people who loan money are always more well off than the people who take advantage of them.

        Paying off what you owe even by a little bit each week is so much better than stiffing someone. $5/week, $10/week, $25/week–something, anything to show that you are making an effort.

        But writing a bad check? That’s actually criminal.

        • Redblues November 23, 2018, 8:33 pm

          Exactly. I did not have that money to give her and I *did* get stuck with the returned check fee. Had she asked in the first place, I might have been able to *give* her a *little* money, but not as much as she expected to get away with stealing. In the end, I got back everything but the returned check fee. She ended up paying her own bank higher fees for bouncing the check in the first place, as well as any subsequent checks she probably bounced before she figured out that my money was no longer in her account. It ended up costing *her* at least as much as she tried to steal from me in the first place, if not more. Banks always get their money. She learned the hard way how to budget for the expenses she tried dumping on me.

  • Leigh November 20, 2018, 8:27 am

    There is also the slight possibility that your friend isn’t footing the bill for what you’re seeing on Facebook. If she’s out with friends, maybe someone else is picking up the tab? Maybe someone else bought the tickets for the flight? Maybe…maybe not. The point is–you don’t know for sure. You haven’t spoken to her about it.
    If she’s been your friend for years, please don’t let money ruin it. Talk to her. Find out more about what’s going on in her life. Is she getting more hours at work and she really did just blow you off, or is there another reason? Facebook isn’t real life, as much as the people posting there want everyone else to believe it is. Talk to your friend. You may find out that she isn’t going to repay you, and you’ll have to decide if the money is worth more than the friendship.

    • Trish November 23, 2018, 10:47 pm

      This comment reminds me of the time my ex husband and I were in college, dirt poor and living off of $1200 per month (we both worked part time and carried a full time school load). His brother had an older, used car he wanted to sell for $3,000, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but to us at the time was a fortune. We were in desperate need of a car and asked him if we could pay for the car after we got our income tax return, which we estimated to be about $3,000. We didn’t expect him to agree to it, but he did even though it would be another two months before we could pay him.

      During those two months, we went on a vacation with my family, paid for in full by my parents. We also inherited a new computer, furniture and a car from my grandfather that passed away. My brother in law heard about all of these new things and sent us an angry email accusing us of freeloading and demanding his money immediately. He was pretty sheepish when we explained about the paid-for vacation and inheriting my deceased grandfathers things.

      My point is, you don’t always know everyone’s situation, particularly through word of mouth or social media.

      • Kay_L November 24, 2018, 7:29 pm

        The point is that you still owed him $3000. If you inherited a car, then you either immediately give him back the car or you sell it and repay what you owe, immediately. Or, if you want to have 2 cars, you call him and let him know what’s going on so he doesn’t have the chance to get the wrong impression.

        You know that you were imposing on him. He gave you a break because of your dire straits. When he sees that maybe you aren’t in such dire straits anymore, you can’t fault him for wanting his money back.

        Just seems to me that you should have communicated with him first. After all, if you’re close enough to borrow $3K like that, you’re close enough to let him know what’s going on in your life.

        • Melissa November 26, 2018, 10:57 am

          I’m late to this but just wanted to point out that Trish’s brother in law also could have just asked rather than accused, which is also what I think OP should do. Don’t accuse, just ask what’s going on, let Friend know that you’re being put in a bad position and let her know how it looks to see that she’s planning vacations and going out all the time while she owes a friend a significant amount of money. There’s no need to angrily accuse someone of anything right off the bat.

  • Mizz Etiquette November 20, 2018, 9:02 am

    Uh, no. If she can afford trips, she can afford to pay you back. Even if these trips were paid by someone else (a boyfriend, perhaps?), that still doesn’t excuse going out weekly and spending money.

    I think Admin is correct. Write it off because you’re never going to see that money again. Personally, I’d rethink my friendship with this person as well.

    She’s got nerve.

  • Miss R November 20, 2018, 9:08 am

    Or you could post snarky comments on all her “high life” social media posts.

  • annon November 20, 2018, 9:11 am

    I don’t agree, ask her for the money. Have a sit down with her, explain that she owes you the money which she said she would pay back months ago, and she hasn’t. If she tries to make an excuse, then you bring up the trips, and her social media posts. Set a payment plan of $XX/week until it is paid.
    You should not have to lose out on loaning her money …… BUT as admin says, if you don’t get it back, never again lend anything, and also reconsider what type of friend this is…..

  • jen d. November 20, 2018, 9:48 am

    Yup, never happening. I am not pretending to be above OP – I could easily get trapped in the same situation, but I never lend money. I know it sounds paradoxical, but I don’t think giving money to people who aren’t great with money (and the OP’s friend sounds like that person) is going to help them. I will give money to people who are dealing with financial hardship (which is different), but not people who are perpetually bad with money.

    • Justme November 24, 2018, 4:24 pm

      Jen d, you are a very smart person.

  • Lori November 20, 2018, 10:06 am

    You address it to her the same way you did here.
    “We’re saving for a house and every penny is a point on our score. I notice you are posting on social media that you’re taking vacations and are out several times a week at places that aren’t cheap. I’ve tried being patient, but I really want to be paid back now, I think 50.00 a week is a good payback rate. And just think, that’s only eliminating one of your expensive nights out, so it won’t cut into you finanaces at all!”

  • shoegal November 20, 2018, 10:16 am

    Unfortunately, you are not to question how your good friend lives her life – and once you gave the money – you are not to dictate how spends her time or her money. The honorable thing to do would be to abstain from frivolous spending and to pay you back as she promised but it is obvious that is not her priority. You are able to have as many conversations as to repayment as you would like. Tell her that you really need paid back – that you have some expenses and can really use this money now – and you told me a couple of months. If you are persistent this might produce the desired result or she just may start avoiding you. If she cares for you as a friend she will pay you back.

    • Kay_L November 20, 2018, 12:17 pm

      Actually the opposite that is more apropos. If you don’t want someone judging your choices, don’t borrow money from them!

      That’s what banks are for. That’s what credit cards are for. There are a hundred other ways to borrow money without tapping your friends.

      Probably a good thing to lose a friend like this.

    • rindlrad November 20, 2018, 7:00 pm

      I’m going to respectfully disagree with you. In the normal course of events, what you say is true – we shouldn’t concern ourselves with how our friends and family choose to spend their money; however, the OP has loaned money to her friend. IMO, the OP has every right to question why her “friend” has money to travel and go out to eat but not repay her debt, which has been outstanding for several months.

    • Rinme November 21, 2018, 9:01 am

      I’m with shoegal. Lending someone money does not make you the boss of their financial habits. You don’t know ther circumstances, and it should be none of your business.

      • Kay_L November 21, 2018, 12:27 pm

        It should be none of anyone’s business. But, if you ask for and accept a loan from someone, you have made it their business. And if you are stupid enough to flaunt your spending in front of them while not paying them back, you deserve to be confronted, if not simply sued outright.

        If you don’t want other people involved in your finances, don’t involve them. Simple.

      • Rindlrad November 21, 2018, 12:31 pm

        shoegal said, “… you are not to question how your good friend lives her life…”

        Again, I can’t disagree strongly enough in this situation. The “friend” owes the OP money and has done so for several months. The “friend” is spending money for travel and eating out / going to bars, while at the same time claiming not to be able to repay her debt to the OP. IMO, the OP is absolutely within her rights to call the “friend” on her nonsense and tell the “friend” in no uncertain terms that she (the OP) expects the debt to be repaid in the very near future. Now, HOW the “friend” makes that happen (skips eating out once a week, misses an upcoming trip, whatever) is, of course, not the OP’s concern – only that it happens and quickly.

        Once the money is repaid (if it ever is – doubtful, IMO), the OP will, of course, not comment on or worry about how “friend” chooses to spend her money, and I sincerely hope OP will never lend this individual so much as a penny in future. That’s always assuming this “friendship” survives. I suspect this “friend” tends to burn through relationships.

      • Kitty November 29, 2018, 3:06 pm

        In general, I would agree.
        But the OP has lent money to this woman, so I think OP does have a right to know what ‘her’ money is being spent on. Or rather, what her friend is continuing to spend money on, with some of that money being what she should pay the OP back.
        If I end up having a hand in another person’s finances – even through a loan – I believe I have a right to know what is going to happen in those finances, until the original amount is paid back.

  • ladyv21454 November 20, 2018, 10:31 am

    There’s a comment that comes up often on the TV court shows: “Don’t loan it unless you’re prepared to lose it.” No matter how good a friend someone is, and no matter how much they might need the money, if you can’t afford to loan the money unless it’s promptly repaid, DON’T LOAN IT. Also, ANY time you loan money, there should be a written agreement outlining the repayment terms. That way, you at least have the option of taking the person to small claims court.

    • Cheryl AC November 21, 2018, 2:37 pm

      I was going to mention the written agreement too. There ARE things you can learn from daytime court shows that apply to real life; this is one of them. I have one ex-friend who owes me several hundred dollars which I will never see and to me, it isn’t “just a few hundred” as the OP puts it. Unfortunately, I wasn’t into daytime court shows at the time and wasn’t smart enough to get it in writing.

  • JD November 20, 2018, 10:43 am

    I’d try again, explaining that you need the money back and can she have it for you by a certain date. If she’s really your friend, she’ll pay you back. If she’s sort of your friend, she’ll show up with some of the money and tell you the rest is coming, which it won’t be. If she’s simply used you, she’ll drop you as a friend. As Admin says, be prepared to never see it back.
    Perhaps you could also mention “instead of this trip you’d like us to take together, perhaps that money could be used to pay back the loan?” But yeah, you bring up her lifestyle, and I would bet 100 to one she will get all defensive on you and come off as the victim, claiming you are judging and demanding, and harassing her.

  • Harry's Mom November 20, 2018, 11:05 am

    My take on lending people money is not to do so if you cannot afford it. If you have the means to do so, then just give them the money and consider it a gift, and ask that they may pay if forward when they are able. I’ve lent a few friends money now and then and this method has kept the friendship intact. Another idea is to buy them a gift card to a grocery store which will help them direct their money to other places; this has also worked for me.

    • Lacey November 20, 2018, 9:31 pm

      Just wanted to say this is awesome and you sound like a really good friend and person.

  • AS November 20, 2018, 11:08 am

    Tell her that you’d like the money back, as you are putting money away for down payment towards a house. And every dime makes the difference between being able to have some extra spending cash, or not.

  • lakey November 20, 2018, 11:11 am

    “But I don’t know what to say to her that expresses that the grace period has come and gone, and we’d like the money back based on the terms we agreed to.”
    You don’t need to express this to her because she already knows. You’ve talked to her about paying you back twice. She has a character flaw. A lot of people who need to borrow money are like this. They spend money on things they don’t need when they can barely pay their living expenses. If she is a worthwhile friend in other ways, continue doing things with her, but don’t ever lend her money again. You could ask her again in a couple of weeks, by telling her you need the money for something, but if she doesn’t pay you back, you’re stuck.

    By the way, I don’t have a problem with your being judgmental. You loaned her money. She promised to pay you back. She broke that promise. It’s perfectly normal and reasonable to be judgmental about that. You were treated badly.

  • Devin November 20, 2018, 12:25 pm

    If she suggests a trip together, calculate the costs and tell her she can pay your way since she owes you money anyways! A weekend at the beach – well that’s $200 a night for three nights. If we split the room, then that’s $300 each. Oh and since you still owe me $300, why don’t you take care of the hotel and we’ll just call it even. See how quickly she back pedals on that repayment plan!

    • pennywit November 20, 2018, 12:48 pm


    • Bea November 21, 2018, 3:41 pm

      Honestly, my mom and I do this! Not because we don’t want to or can’t pay each other back the very few times money is borrowed. It’s just easiest to not exchange money if something else can be done.

      She helped float me to get out from under an old debt that was on a payment plan. Then right when I was due to pay up, we had plans to go to a sports event. I was going to buy the tickets and she’s reimburse me for hers, so I said “Why don’t we just take it out of the $200 I owe you?” Boom, only owed her $100 that I gave her at the event.

    • Bea November 21, 2018, 3:44 pm

      This is actually how my mom and I operate the few times I’ve borrowed from her! If we made plans a couple months later, say sporting tickets, I would pay, plus dinner and parking. We easily ate up the debt.

      But I also would never stiff my mom or anyone else. It’s the timing factor that makes it doable in that case.

  • pennywit November 20, 2018, 12:44 pm

    You can’t control you friend or her activities. All you can do is control yourself. I think it’s fair to ask for the money back one more time, now that she’s apparently doing well. If she pays you back, that’s great. And that’s probably the limit of etiquette. If she does not pay you back, you enter a different realm. You then have to consider what steps to take — forget about the money and remain friends, realize the money is lost and stop being friends, or take her to court to enforce the terms of the loan.

  • staceyizme November 20, 2018, 1:23 pm

    She’s a little tone deaf if she’s suggesting travel while still owing you money. I wouldn’t mention it again and I would write off the money. I’d probably also write off the friendship. It isn’t about the money, exactly. It’s about her disregard for the promise she made and her hope that you will absorb the loss. It isn’t honorable or a charming trait in a friend.

  • JAN November 20, 2018, 1:52 pm

    I would be tempted to ask if you can “borrow” some money (for whatever reason) and see her response.

    You’ll have to make the judgment as to whether you’re willing to maintain a friendship with someone who has this type of behavior (obviously not lending them money again).

  • kingsrings November 20, 2018, 3:28 pm

    Well…..the majority of the cases on Judge Judy are just this – friends or family suing each other over unpaid loans. But that is only successful if one has that promise of repayment in writing. It has to be proven that they were going to pay you back. If you have this, you can take her to small claims court. But keep in mind that even if the court rules in your favor as they probably will, she still might not ever pay you back. In the end, nobody can legally physically force anyone to pay them back.
    You have to weigh the pros and cons of the matter and determine if it’s worth it in the end. But I’d definitely advise ending your friendship with her. What she did to you is so rotten and you don’t need that kind of person in your life.
    I saw something similar transpire online between a friend of mine and her friend. My friend had gotten a loan from her friend and was asked on Facebook in a thread about money and jobs if she was able to pay her back yet. My friend said not yet. At this time, she’d been working full time well over a year and didn’t have that many expenses. I was shocked to see that answer. I’ll make sure I’ll never loan her money lol.

    • rindlrad November 20, 2018, 7:49 pm

      Ok, I’m going to confess to loving Judge Judy and The Peoples’ Court. Kind of destroys a little bit of your faith in humanity, but you do learn some basics of how to protect yourself legally in basic transactions (selling a used car, renting apartments, etc.).

    • pennywit November 21, 2018, 8:28 am

      But that is only successful if one has that promise of repayment in writing.

      Not necessarily. I’m not going to go into an exegesis of contract law, but there’s more to it than this.

    • Lynne November 21, 2018, 2:32 pm

      “But keep in mind that even if the court rules in your favor as they probably will, she still might not ever pay you back. In the end, nobody can legally physically force anyone to pay them back.”
      Well, if they are working, they can certainly have their wages garnished

    • Bea November 21, 2018, 3:46 pm

      She made a payment. That’s usually enough to confirm it was a loan. Still you’re right, a judgment isn’t going to bleed a turnip! And small claims court is a mega pain, even us business folk just write it off.

  • LEMon November 20, 2018, 4:06 pm

    Even if the person you loan to is honestly and desperately trying to pay you back, loans can damage friendships. I loaned to a good friend and they worked hard to pay it back (and communicated when there was a problem), but they felt guilty every time they saw me. I wasn’t thinking about the money: I wanted to talk, hang out. Things didn’t go back to normal till they paid me in full.
    Based on that I really don’t want to loan money again. Even if you get everything back, the experience may be rough.

  • Suzanne November 20, 2018, 5:00 pm

    Sometimes we hold friendships in higher regard than our friends do; this seems to be the case here. Your friend knows that she owes you money and she’s embarrassed about it but not to the point that it’s a priority for her.
    My advice? Consider letting go of the debt your good deed in the friendship and walk away.

  • Two Pi Man November 20, 2018, 6:25 pm

    After some bad experiences many years ago, I made a rule never to loan money to friends. If I decide to help someone these days then its a gift with no expectation of repayment. I’m much happier this way.

  • Hannah November 20, 2018, 10:42 pm

    My dad once said to me when I was in college, (complaining about a friend who hadn’t paid me back after forgetting her debit card at the dorm on a night out) “only banks get their money back.” I’ve always remembered that years down the road– I rarely lend out money, because frankly, I don’t expect to ever see it again. I’m all for giving out of the kindness of your heart when you are able, but leave lending to the banks.

  • Abby November 21, 2018, 8:14 am

    Wow, she told you she was too broke to pay you back but then invited you on a weekend trip?

    If it makes you feel better, OP, she is likely financing her trips and evenings out using credit cards. They probably haven’t been paid in full over the last year either. Some people just can’t resist living beyond their means and expect to be subsidized.

    You have two options- 1. drop it and your friend will likely “forget” she owes you money, or 2. continue to ask and your friend will probably tell your mutual friends you’re harassing her and make you out to be the bad guy.

    Either way, you have overestimated the integrity of your friend. I’m sorry.

  • SuburBint November 21, 2018, 8:39 am

    My mother always told me never to think in terms of “lending” money. If one gives money to someone, consider it a gift. If it gets paid back then that’s a bonus. I’ve never given money to anyone with the expectation of being repaid, and it hasn’t always been. But because I’ve only chosen to “lend” when I know I could afford not to be paid back, it hasn’t been an issue. Money issues between family and friends become ugly so quickly, at this point OP needs to decide if this friendship is worth $500 or not. In my opinion, if a friendship can be ruined by $500 (I do realise that that is a significant sum) then it probably isn’t a friendship worth salvaging.

  • Rinme November 21, 2018, 8:52 am

    This story happened 3 years ago, according to the timestamp. I do wonder what happened. Is OP in the audience?

    As for the question, I believe in only ever lending the money you’re comfortable gifting. This way, getting it back is a bonus.

    Otherwise, friendship is over. Lenders become overly involved in the borrower’s finances, and it’s destined to end badly.

  • Lisa Marie November 21, 2018, 9:38 am

    I have loaned money to my grown children. We had a written agreement and I had them initial by their payment on that same form every time they gave me cash towards it. I didn’t push them but I got my money back and there was no argument on how much they paid when. I did not loan more money until their loan was paid back. This has worked for us. Kind of hard to end the friendship with children.

  • Margaret November 21, 2018, 11:53 am

    I have a relative whose father-in-law died. Her husband was in charge of settling the estate. He found that his father had lent a large sum of money to a “friend” and it hadn’t been paid back. The “friend” seemed to believe he didn’t have to pay back the money since the loaner had died. The son wasn’t impressed. He took the guy to court and got a judgement. The guy finally paid back the money when his house was being foreclosed on to satisfy the debt.

  • Cheryl AC November 21, 2018, 3:04 pm

    One of my husband’s sisters has borrowed money from us and always pays it back on the promised date, but she warned us not to lend money to their brother, as she has lost money doing that–he never repays. Well, said brother asked us for a small loan, which we laned him despite my misgivings. I reminded my DH what his sister had said, and his reply was that she may have been exaggerating. That was seven months ago and no sign of the money or any hint that he owes it. We have written it off and I have refrained from I-told-you-so, but when he has asked for a similar amount of money on a family thread, we have ignored his pitiful pleas. Meanwhile, he posts about the little extras in his life that he is enjoying. We haven’t mentioned the debt mostly because my DH is a conflict avoider and it is money we can stand to write off–once. Had it been for more money, I would be pushing to get him to at least admit he owes us the money and sign a repayment agreement. Taking him to small claims court would be a colossal waste of time and energy and filing fees. I am sure he already talks smack about us behind our backs to his little cadre of “poor me” friends. I could not care less.

  • doodlemor November 21, 2018, 3:31 pm

    Read this years ago in an advice column.

    Email your friend and tell her that she still owes you, say, $1200. With a little luck she will email you back angrily with the correct amount. Then you will have a written record that you could take to small claims court.

    She isn’t planning to pay you any more, OP, and has likely justified this in her mind. Perhaps even the threat of court would squeeze a bit more out of her.

  • Jenn50 November 21, 2018, 3:59 pm

    “Go on a trip with you? Oh, no, I can’t afford that. I lent a friend money and she never paid it back. Unless and until she does, things like travel and going out to the bar are not in the budget.”

  • Catherine St Clair November 23, 2018, 6:47 pm

    If the friendship is over anyway, there is nothing lost in confronting her with her trips and spending habits that indicate she is spending money she does not need for necessities. I would tell her that I am trying to purchase a house, she owes me money, and I need it back. Set up a weekly payment plan and email her a reminder if the amount does not appear when it is due. I don’t lend people money. That is what banks are for.

  • Lara November 24, 2018, 1:19 pm

    My parents were missionaries in third-world countries for their entire adult lives. They weren’t wealthy, but generally had more money than the local people where they lived. They many times had people coming to them requesting to borrow money, and they developed a policy to deal with it, so that it would not interfere with their relationships with people. This is what they said: “We do not loan money. We will, however, give you this money. It is a gift, and you have no obligation to pay to it back. If, at some point in the future, you choose to return it to us, we will accept it, but we do not expect it.” They said you could see the relief on the faces of people, many of whom were too poor to really be able to pay it back in the future. Today they are retired, but they still keep to the same policy and approach any time the question of money comes up.

    I think it’s a general good rule to never loan money that you can’t afford to lose. And by telling people that it’s a gift, and not a loan, they made sure there would never be awkwardness, resentment, embarrassment, and all those things that can’t destroy friendships when a loan is unpaid. In this case, OP, you have to decide what matters more to you–the money or the friendship? If you rate the friendship more highly, forgive your friend her lapse and don’t bring it up again. If she does eventually repay you it will be a happy surprise. If the money matters more, then you can press her on it, or even file a claim in small claims court.

  • Kitty November 29, 2018, 2:55 pm

    I think telling her bluntly that you are expecting her to pay you back, and that preferably sooner, rather than later is alright. You have already given her a grace period. It may come across as rude to talk about money so bluntly (I know I get very awkward when talking about money), but that IS your money and you really need it.

    If she talks about needing to sort her finances, even telling her that perhaps cutting back on clubs or not going out for a night at all for a week or two would help tremendously. You need to step on toes here, and you should not feel ashamed. This isn’t a friend (anymore). See it as a “business transaction”. You loaned them money. They have to pay it back.

  • hematite December 3, 2018, 10:28 pm

    If you give a loan and need the money back, you cannot financially afford to have given the loan.

    If you give a loan and resent the lack of repayment, you cannot emotionally afford to have given the loan.

    This is why, if I give money to a friend or relative, it is a gift. I do not watch for how they handle their finances afterwards for some sign that they were outwardly deserving of such a gift or “mishandling” such. I do not place strings on the gift (must be used for “x” alone). It is a gift. If I cannot or do not want to give the gift, then I do not. Once the money is out of my hands, it is spent and gone.