8 things to keep in mind when borrowing money from your friends

8 things to keep in mind when borrowing money from your friends

every now and then, you may find yourself in a situation that requires you to borrow money from your friends. whether it's for some food because you forgot your debit card or because an unexpected expense came up which put you in a financial bind, friends can be a great source of support during times like this. however, although these may be people that you are cool with and frequently hang out with, you still should be cognizant of "borrower etiquette". if you've found that evey time you ask a particular friend for money they tell you "if i had it, i would give it to you..but i don't", then maybe you've already gone against one of these typically unspoken laws of the borrower. 

8). approximate dates work best for repayment, whenever applicable. 

when you find yourself having to ask for money, you should have some specific dates in mind about when you will pay it back. it shows the person potentially lending you the money that you are serious about paying them back (which is a plus) and it also provides something tangible to hold you accountable for. saying things like "i should be able to pay you back by.." are #NoBueno because it makes you out to be indecisive and irresponsible. why would someone be excited to lend money to an indecisive and irresponsible borrower? 

7). don't lie about what you need the money for.

sometimes, you may be hesitant to tell someone why you need to borrow money from them because it's either really personal, embarrassing or highly confidential. if it's one of those things, you should try saying something like, "i can't disclose why i need the money, but just know i'm not doing anything illegal and this is when i plan to pay you back." at the end of the day...that's all a borrower really wants to know; are you doing anything illegal, and when will i get this money returned? don't make it a habit of why you need the money because you'd be surprised who knows who.. people talk. if you ask me for money to pay your rent..and i find out that you actually used it to get new speakers put in your car...chances are, i'll be less likely to lend you money in the future..because if you'll lie, you'll cheat. and if you'll cheat.. you'll steal..and if you'll steal... you'll kill..and i don't endorse murderers. 

6). there are limits to how much money you will be able to borrow. 

you know how banks give people different credit card limits, based off of their history with credit and their ability to pay money back on time? the same is kinda true with borrowing money from people you know. more often than not, your "limit" is based off how long i've known you, the relationship we have (or don't have) and my impression of your character overall. while other facts do soemtimes come into play..these are some of the main ones i consider when determining how much money to lend someone. the interesting thing is that your "limit" on how much money you can borrow from someone is typically an unofficial one that is more implied than it is explicit. i don't have to tell you "the most you can borrow from me is $20"; all i have to do is make up in my mind that $20 is all i'm willing to part with when it comes to you..and my actions will follow suit.  

5). communication is key.

if we agree to a specific date that you'd pay me back and your circumstances change, let me know. period. don't avoid me. don't stop coming around. don't feel the need to "play broke" everytime we are around one another. communicate! it's so simple... yet apparently so difficult for people to do. you never know how someone will react when you are honest with them. but if you aren't honest with your circumstances...you've essentially just "lowered your credit score" with that person. 

4). it's good to return funds with the same urgency you requested them. 

if it's one thing i truly despise...it's someone who has so much urgency, determination and humility when they need to borrow money; but then when it's time to pay it back, not only are they not pressed to return to sender, but now they also have an ego... like they are doing me a favor. it's so crazy how people think, sometimes. bottom line is... you should seek to return money with the same urgency you asked to borrow it. and another thing, if you borrowed $100 at once, be responsible and return the $100... at once. don't get the money and then try to negotiate a payment plan where you pay them $10 for the next ten months. the only time this is acceptable is when it's brought to the table at the beginning and all parties have agreed. otherwise, it's just kinda classless.  

3). don't assume that the person you're asking for money has the money to give you. 

if you ask for money and someone responds and says, "i don't have it." that's not for you to follow up with some passive aggressive response like, "come on man, you balling. i know you got it." if someone tells you they don't have the money to give you... they either 1) legitimately aren't in a space to lend out money at the time or 2) aren't willing to lend money to you, specifically. either way, you aren't getting the money...so chill out on trying to count their pockets. 

2). just because i have not mentioned it, doesn't mean i forgot that you owe me. 

a person should not have to send you a request by text, email and carrier pigeon to make you aware of money you borrowed from them. some people are "hard up" with theirs; they'll consistently make you remember that you owe them money until you pay them back. i'm not one of those people, however. i won't bring it up to you that you owe me money...because you know that you owe me money. i'll just vent about it to my friends.. chalk it up as a loss and ultimately decide not lend you money again. we can still be "cool" though, i guess. i think what people fail to realize is that no matter how much time has passed, the debt is there. never acknowledging it and moving forward like nothing ever happened is one of the worst things you can do as a borrower..just so ya know.

1). avoid asking to borrow money when you already owe money.

seems like this would be obvious, but you'd be surprised how often people develop the audacity to ask for money from someone they already owe money to.... they've really got some nerve. there are two types of problems with doing this. the surface level problem is that you are now a "high risk" borrower, meaning you are less likely to get the money from me, anyway. the deeper level problem is that you've somehow lost control of your finances or you just have poor financial literacy; both of which are problems needing to be correct as soon as possible. so the next time you think about asking someone for money that you've yet to pay back, don't. 


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