Letting Family or Friends Borrow Money

Posted by Mrs Money on December 10th, 2009

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After I posted ‘The Debt Shoebox’ story, I received an email asking me exactly how Mr. Money and I dealt with the debt shoebox. The person was curious why I wasn’t more upset about the debt and what exactly came of the situation. What I did at that time wasn’t something I’d probably openly advocate, but I am so thankful it worked out for us. I let Mr. Money borrow cash from me to pay off a lot of his debt.

These are actual pages from the notebook I used to keep track of his debt repayment.  This totally makes me laugh!  I remember a lot of the time he would just pay all the rent one month ($650) and I would deduct $325 from his balance because that was my part of the rent.  Six years later I think it’s hilarious that I tracked it this way!

At 19, I had about $3,000 to $5,000 saved up in my savings account (I can’t remember exactly), which I think is a pretty decent amount of money saved up for someone that age. The amount of debt he had wasn’t horrible, but it was something I knew he needed to take care of quickly. I do remember he had balances of about $2,000 on a student loan, $360 American Eagle credit card, $200 Discover card, $100 BP credit card, and $300 RadioShack card. All of those minus the student loan had gone to collections. Ugh. He had set up payroll deductions to pay on the student loan, and nothing else on the others. We called the companies and settled on an amount, they drafted the money from my checking account and he was free and clear. But not with me. He now owed me money, which we kept track of in this book. Every time he made a payment, I’d subtract the amount he’d paid from the amount he borrowed.

Being older now and definitely more mature and financial savvy, I realize that the decision I made to let him borrow money probably wasn’t the smartest. I am thankful that it all did work out though, and here we are now, married for over four years. At least it all worked out.
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Have you ever let friends or family borrow money? Would you advise people to do so?

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15 Responses to “Letting Family or Friends Borrow Money”


  1. Robert says:

    I will give friends money occasionally, but I never “loan” it out. It always ruins friendships…

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    I’ve always heard it ruins friendships too. It’s tricky sometimes though, if a friend is in desperate need. I’m kind of a softie.

    [Reply]

  2. Revanche says:

    Oh heavens, not anymore! But that’s my whole blog, and summed up in the guest post I did for Brian at My Next Buck. If I can’t afford to give it, I can’t afford to lend.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    I’ll have to look up your guest post and read it. I’m hoping it didn’t end tragically for you…

    [Reply]

  3. Deirdre says:

    Exactly – after having had a relationship end because my boyfriend borrowed large amounts of money from me and never paid it back, I’ll only lend money if I can afford to lose it, and don’t expect it back.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Did you get a new blog? I like it!

    I feel so lucky that things worked out for me. Truth be told, if it hadn’t I would have been in a huge mess and really mad at Mr. Money!

    [Reply]

  4. I have loaned money to my sister who is two years younger than me. She pays back about $20-$30 a month because she has an automatic payment for her cell phone (on my account) every month. Whatever extra left over goes to the balance she owes me. I think your keeping track with Mr. Money was a good idea because it gave you both a chance to communicate about money, and for him to show you that he could be accountable for the money he owed. I’m glad it wasn’t too huge an amount!

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    I used to have my brother on my cell phone plan too. That was a pain because I was in CO and he was in MI. I’d feel more comfortable lending family money. I’m glad my scenario worked out too!

    [Reply]

  5. H Lee D says:

    I haven’t loaned money, but I’ve also never been asked. I was, however, offered a loan of about $7K from a friend which I most certainly repaid in little bits and pieces over time. I was eternally grateful (he totally saved my butt).

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    If I had a friend that was in dire straits I would do it. Well, I guess depending on the amount. :)

    [Reply]

  6. It’s Nice to finally see a site where the blogger knows what they are talking just about.

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  7. Robert has it right. You can make a “loan” to friends, but just don’t expect to get repaid. Friendship should be worth more than a few bucks. :)

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  8. People use to say that fight your friend first before making friendship. There are some friends also that makes friendship so that he can get some benefits from them. Be careful while making friendship with them. And as I see the balance sheet that you had shown in the article, I thought you have done a good job. What you have done is the best things that you need to do it earlier.

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  9. christine campbell says:

    I borrowed from my mother with a promissory note @6% simple interest, when my mother was gifting to her children a sum, they refused to honor my promissory note, they (older sister & brother came up with this idea) deducted the borrowed amount plus 8% compounded interest, saying it was the potential the money could of earned if it had still been in my mothers pot. The interest was more than the loan, the lawyer I spoke to asked me if my family has feelings for me that I maybe unaware off. And here I thought it was love all along. Don’t borrow from family, you will regret it for the rest of your life. C

    [Reply]


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  1. Never Let Friends Borrow Money | Ultimate Money Blog- Save Green and Live Green! 26 03 10

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