September 28, 2021
Which one would you prioritize out of your college fund: Your dream career or the surgical expense of someone close to you? One sister chose her career in medicine over her sister’s husband’s surgery and refused to pay for his operation. Was it a wise decision? Here’s what experts say.
If you lend money to family or friends, beware: You may never get it back! However, don’t you feel it’s inhuman not to lend money to someone close to you despite knowing they’re having an emergency? Experts claim that nearly 46 percent of people who lent money to their friends or family reported a negative outcome.
Apart from not getting back the money you lent, you’d eventually damage your relationship with the borrower. That’s the findings of a survey by Bankrate.com. Nearly 37 percent of the people never got their money back, and 21 percent experienced a fractured relationship with the borrowers.
REDDIT WOMAN'S UNEXPECTED REFUSAL
When a loved one asks for money, things can get complicated. Whether it’s writing a cheque to a family member or a friend in need, most of us have lent someone money. One Redditor decided to go against social standards by refusing to lend her brother-in-law money for his surgery. Sheexplained
“I refused to help, and she had a meltdown at my aunt’s house, calling me heartless, cruel with no empathy. She said that her husband’s health should be a priority and I needed to help because education is nothing compared to someone’s health and asked if I’d be happy to see her as a widow and my nephew with no father”.
When lending money, the amount matters. For instance, if you’re lending a small amount, non-repayment wouldn’t usually damage the relationship compared to lump-sum loans. According to MarketWatch, you should never borrow money to your family and friends.
WHAT IF THE BORROWER DOESN’T REPAY?
Refusing to borrow someone money could damage our relationship with them. That’s precisely where this woman felt trapped. Despite being emotionally cornered by her sister, the Redditor decided to choose her future over her brother-in-law’s surgery, explaining:
“I asked my friend, and he said let them sell the cars and all the luxurious stuff they bought to afford the surgery and warned me if I give them money, I’ll never get it back and may not be able to go to medical school.”
Shockingly enough, the brother-in-law once poked fun at her father’s funeral. Introducing money into a relationship can complicate things. Experts claim that lending money and not being repaid launches a power imbalance into a close, well-understood relationship.
IT’S YOUR HARD-EARNED MONEY
Money is a complicated topic for people and borrowing from family and friends is something most financial experts will advise you to avoid. But some people decide to do it anyway. Another woman explained on Reddit why she didn’t want to support her sister financially:
“My parents agree that Lucy and Nick should not have still been trying for a baby. But, when I said I want to stop giving them 2 weeks worth of my monetary compensation I receive in exchange for my life, they said I was in the wrong.”
Things go awry when the borrower takes you for granted and avoids repaying you. Eventually, some people become human ATMs when acquaintances frequent them for financial credit and never pay them back.
KNOW IF THEY ARE GENUINELY IN NEED
Loaning $20 to a friend and lending $2,000 are two different things. Whatever the amount, experts claim you have the right to know where the money is going. Daniel Wesley, the founder of CreditLoan.com, claims:
“You don’t want to be an ATM. It’s nice to be in a position to help out, but it’s better to make sure the borrower is working toward something, so the loan is a means to an end versus something that enables them.”
Some people always lean on others to help cover their financial problems. According to a Federal Reserve survey, around 40 percent of adults cannot cover a $400 emergency expense. It would either not pay it or afford it by selling something or borrowing from their family or friends.
SOME LOAN REQUESTS NEED TO BE TURNED DOWN
While getting loans from financial institutions incurs interest, borrowing money from friends and family usually comes with very low or non-existent interest rates. Also, the absence of binding contracts urges borrowers to think there’s no urgency to repay the loan. Viral Bhatt, founder, and advisor of Money Mantra, says:
“Learn to turn down requests after lending money a couple of times. Also, politely ask them to first repay the outstanding amount when they approach you for new loans.”
Another factor to consider when you’re lending money is how close you are to the borrower. Lending money to a person you barely interact with increases the risk of not getting repaid on time. Also, as a lender, you need to know if the borrower’s need is genuine and their ability to repay.
STIFFED UPON REPAYMENT
Some of us might feel the urge to help a loved one in their time of need. Their helpless situation may evoke our emotions and make us do something that we may regret. However, experts claim that if someone doesn't repay you, the sense of betrayal can permanently damage your relationship.
Bruce McClary, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling vice president, explained that people often loan money to their friends or family in good faith. They assume the borrower would repay on time, and because of this, they don’t put things in writing. Eventually, it leads to regret when the borrower fails to repay the money as promised.
Many people turn to their acquaintances for some extra credits, especially during challenging times. Though turning to trusted confidantes for a helping hand is no crime, your ability to repay and keeping your promise as a borrower is what matters the most.
Experts say that introducing money in a relationship can potentially leave both the lender and the borrower experiencing stress, anger, and/or embarrassment. Navigating this situation can be pretty tricky. However, as a lender, you can avoid problems by communicating clearly before extending another loan to someone.
Lending money to your friend or family means the entire relationship changes. Apart from being a friend, you become a loan officer. There is also a high degree of unpredictability for the lender because you may have no idea how the borrower is with the money.
Several experts have advised that it’s always better to put an agreement in writing before you loan money to someone. Though lending money to friends or family is risky, you can still preserve your relationship with them as long as you’re aware of the pitfalls in lending money to them. What do you think? Your comments are appreciated! Thanks for reading!
September 14, 2021