Life & Relationships

It’s fine to ask friends to pay you back. Here’s how

how to ask friends to pay you back

Once in our lives, there will come a time that a friend will need to borrow money from you for whatever their reason is. As a friend, it is a request that is hard to decline to, unless you really don’t have the means which they should understand.

But let’s say you’ve let them borrow some cash, and when they’re supposed to pay what they owe you, they suddenly do not get in touch with you. You are expecting your money to be returned on a certain date but they seem to have forgotten it.

Would it be rude if you ask them to pay? Of course not. They owe you. It’s your money.

No matter the relationship and the amount of debt, they have to be accountable for that. I’ve met people who just forget other’s debt from them and let it pass, simply because they’re shy or do not want to look assertive. But this shouldn’t be the situation. One need not be shy to get back their hard-earned money. Otherwise, it’ll keep happening and people—friends—will keep borrowing from you and, maybe, pay you never.

How to ask friends to pay you back


Give them a deadline

how to ask friends to pay you back
via Giphy

Offhand, let them know when you’ll need the money back. Just like them, you also have bills and payments to deal with, and money isn’t something that just grows in your garden. Heck if it does! Kindly let them know that you’d appreciate if they pay on or before the said date. Giving them a deadline will sort of signal them that it is neither a gift nor a donation. Gently remind them at least two days before so they can remember what they owe you.

Message them after due date

how to ask friends to pay you back
via Pinterest

It’s been a week after the agreed date, yet you haven’t received anything. Don’t let it pass yet. Don’t hesitate to touch base and ask them how they’re doing. When they reply, it’s your chance to kindly ask them about their payment. Chances are, they will say sorry and ask to pay you back sooner. If they need more time, it’s okay. Repeat the process should they forget to do it again on the next promised date.


Tell them where you need the money for

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via Giphy

If they seem to intentionally keep “forgetting” their promise to pay what they owe you, inform them that you’ll need it for something. Your house rent, utilities, travel budget, business—give them a reason why they have to pay you ASAP aside from the fact that it’s a given rule to pay debts. At least, they’ll know why you’re persistent in asking them for the money.


Related: Why you should start saving at a young age 


Try the installment payment method

how to ask friends to pay you back
via Tenor

In some cases where your friend cannot give it back in full due to financial reasons, ask them if they can pay you a certain amount monthly until you receive the total. It will take time but it gives your friend a good option to pay you little by little. It’s a win-win situation.

If all else fail, let it be their last debt

how to ask friends to pay you back
via Giphy

Should a friend never pay you despite their promises, the best you can do is think of it as a gift and never let them borrow money again. It’s tough to do but if they’ll need some money for the second time, it’s likely that you’ll also have a hard time getting it back or they won’t ever consider paying you again. Unless we’re talking about hundreds of thousands or millions, there are legal ways to handle it.

My key takeaway is, money shouldn’t damage the friendship. However, a friend in debt shouldn’t let the money ruin their integrity. There’s nothing to feel bad about getting your money back, you worked for it. 

Have you had similar experiences? Share in the comments! 


(20) Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Never a borrower or a lender be. That’s what I’ve been taught x

    1. Actually! But sometimes it’s hard to say no to a friend. Thanks for reading!

    2. I’ve come to learn to say no, sometimes we do things because we do not want to look certain way if we refuse. But if they had the courage to ask for money why should we be shy when asking to get it back?

      1. Correct. Thats what I always thought. You dont need to be shy for asking your money back. 🙂

  2. I have never been in this situation. I’ve lent things to friends and they have got damaged that kind of thing. Great tips if I did ever lend money to a friend. I can imagine it being a very tough balancing act that you need to manage sensitively.

    Lots of love, Helen x

    1. I would be angry if someone returns something they borrowed from me with a damage. 😂

      Thank you for reading, Helen!

  3. As a Filipino, I understand the struggle of letting people borrow money off you and for people not paying it back. So, most times I try not to lend money to people as much as I don’t lend money from others myself. If anyone asks me for help financially nowadays, I either say no (if I don’t have any money to spare) or just give them the money without asking for anything in return. If they pay me back even without asking then good, if not at least I helped.

    But thank you very much for this. I know it can really be of help to others, especially those who are introverted or shy😁✨

    1. Personally, I lend money to “a few people” but up to a certain amount only (so it wont be bothersome if they dont pay). And yes, it’s good that you don’t lend money as much as you dont borrow from others. Thanks for reading, AJ 😊

  4. Lauren says:

    Great tips, it can be awkward but with your advice asking for money back should be a little easier!

  5. Great post! Thank you for sharing these tips! I think these tips will be very useful.

  6. This is something I struggle with for sure, thanks for the good advice!

  7. Boomer EcoCrusader says:

    Great tips. My dad always used to say “Never lend money to a friend. You’ll end up losing the money and the friend.”

    1. I agree on that. I lost a friend because of lending money a few years back.

      1. Boomer EcoCrusader says:


  8. Great tips! Loaning money between friends can definitely be a bit awkward at times. I’d never not pay someone back but just because you wouldn’t, doesn’t mean everyone else would do the same

  9. I really never lend money to anyone because I consider a loan out is money gone in many instances and it can break friendship.

  10. I always make sure I pay my friends back straight away but not everyone is like that! I am not afraid to let my friends know I need my money back or that they owe me, I am happy to remind them until I get it back 😂 xx

  11. Abundance of Flavor says:

    Ugh I definitely don’t like giving people money because I hate running into situations like that! For me, if you don’t pay me back after I ask once, it’s like being blacklisted in my book and I won’t lend any money to you again. It just makes me so awkward and uncomfortable!

  12. It can definitely be awkward to ask someone to pay you back, but I love the tips you shared here. I think it’s important to be kind and considerate, but also real with people! 🙂

  13. Oof, this is a delicate situation! I like your ideas to make sure the friend knows why you need the money and then offer a payment schedule. It would be so difficult to say “no” to a friend in need, so I appreciate this advice!

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