When Friends Don’t Pay Back: What You Can Do

By Martin B

Lending money to friends can be a tricky business, and even the most well-intentioned loans can lead to awkward or uncomfortable situations.

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If you find yourself in a position where a friend owes you money, here are some steps you can take to address the situation.

Approach the Issue Directly: The first step is to talk to your friend directly and let them know that you expect to be repaid. Be polite but firm, and avoid making assumptions about their ability to pay.

Create a Payment Plan: If your friend can’t pay back immediately, try to create a payment plan that is good enough for both of you. Be sure to get the agreement in writing and have your friend sign it to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Keep a Record: Keep track of all communication, including texts, emails, and any payment arrangements made. This will help you to refer back to the agreement if needed and ensure that both parties are held accountable.

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Consider a Mediator: If the situation becomes more complicated, consider enlisting the help of a mediator or professional to help resolve the dispute. This can be particularly useful if your friendship is at risk or if you are having trouble communicating with your friend.

Know When to Let It Go: Sometimes, your friend might be actually unable to repay the debt. In this case, you’ll have to consider writing off the loan and move on. However, make sure that this is a decision that you are comfortable with and that you don’t feel taken advantage of.

Lending money to friends can be tricky, but with clear communication, planning, and a willingness to compromise, it is possible to navigate the situation and come out with your friendship intact.