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Lending Money To Friends

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I made this terrible mistake a few months ago of lending money to my friend. What happened was my friend had gotten into some money issues with his credit card and could not make his payments. He came to me and asked me for an interest free loan for 6 months so he could pay off his credit card debt completely. I agreed because he was a friend, yet asked him to sign a contract with me and had both of us sign the contract.

The contract went as follows: Mr. XXXX XXXXX agrees to pay back (ME) by Sept 15, 2013, the following amount ($XX).

We then signed and dated the contract at the bottom.

Why I am upset?

Not only has my friend not contacted me since I lent him this money, but they have also not responded to a single email I have sent them. I reminded them that the date of our contract was coming up and that they owed me this amount and they still have not responded.

This entire process has really upset me. Not only do I not trust me friend, but I also have lost money unnecessarily. Has anyone else ever dealt this this sort of situation in the past? I don’t know what to do.

 

David Author
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13 COMMENTS

  1. David, that’s a tough call. It’s devastating to help a friend and get burned, but despite the signs (lack of response, etc.) you don’t know that for sure since it’s a few days until the deadline. For the immediate future, I’d try to wait and see what happens. If the deadline passes, you can decide how you want to proceed since you do have a signed agreement.

    For myself, most of my money requests come from family members. I’ve learned to only lend an amount that I don’t care if I lose or not given the need and on the rare occasions I lend money I try to forget about it as soon as possible. For very close friends I would do the same. I don’t know if everyone would follow that policy but I can live with that so I do.

    Over time I have found that if you lend money to a friend and they pay it back, it makes you closer. If the opposite happens you’ve lost that friend or it changes the friendship for me. Money’s very important to me and very personal, and a deal breaker if a loan is not honored.

  2. Beverly,
    Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. I am very disappointed with this but I know that these things have ways of working themselves out. I appreciate the sensitivity.

  3. […] @ Financial Nerd writes Lending Money To Friends – I made this terrible mistake a few months ago of lending money to my friend. It has not […]

  4. […] @ Financial Nerd writes Lending Money To Friends – I made this terrible mistake a few months ago of lending money to my friend. It has not […]

  5. […] @ Financial Nerd writes Lending Money To Friends – I made this terrible mistake a few months ago of lending money to my friend. It has not […]

  6. […] @ Financial Nerd writes Lending Money To Friends – I made this terrible mistake a few months ago of lending money to my friend. It has not […]

  7. I don’t lend money to friends anymore, even if I know I could help them. I had 2 friends who kept me waiting for many months, although the ‘loan’ was ‘just for few days, till I get the paycheck’.

    One of them acted as if nothing happened and I barely gotten my money from him after almost one year. Another one said she had the money available to pay me back in 2 weeks, but didn’t bother since she knew I have enough money to survive, so I don’t ‘need’ it.

    Lesson learned: whenever they ask for money, I find a reason not to (we’re saving for a trip, we need money for a car repair etc.)

    • Dojo thanks for posting. I couldn’t agree more and have started to operate in that way as well. I recently read that Steve Forbes recommended for all young investors as a number one rule, never ever lend money to family. If he’s not doing it, not sure why any of us non-Forbes 500 people!

  8. I’ve been in similar situations in both sides of the table. After understanding the stress one feels of borrowing money through friends and also never getting the money back I’ve lent to friends, I’ve taken a stance to always say “no.’

    Everyone has the best intentions but circumstances change. Your friend will think you have enough money to lend him that he doesn’t need to pay it back any time soon because as a friend you should understand his situation. You as the lender will never benefit from this transaction. You say no you look like the bad guy. You say yes and want to be paid back you look like the bad guy.

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