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
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
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
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.
Try the installment payment method
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
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!