Trending Topics

‘You Should Have Written Up a Contract’: I Loaned a Friend Money to Help Save Her Home. She’s Made No Effort to Pay Me Back. Now I’m Pissed to See Her Taking Trips with No Care In the World.

The Center gets to the heart of the lifestyle, parenting, relationships and finance conversations impacting the culture. Convene here to express and share personal and poignant points of view that arise in everyday life.

I’ve always been very generous and selfless when it comes to money. I’m the friend you can come to and ask to hold something until payday. I know this about myself and the role I play in my friend group, and I’m okay with it—at least I was.

A few months ago, one of my close friends fell on hard times and came to me for financial help to save her home from foreclosure. The first thing I did was take her to my church because we have a special ministry that helps with bills and groceries. They gave her $500 to go toward the back pay she owed on the house, and I decided to give her the remaining balance of $6,500 that she needed without hesitation.

STOCK PHOTO: Getty Images

I considered writing up a contract but thought better of it because this is one of my close friends, and I knew she would be good for it. I presented her with the check, and she was able to save her home and keep a roof over her and her children’s heads, thankfully. To be honest, when I gave her the money, I was very laissez-faire about when she should pay it back. Regretfully, I think my exact words were, ‘Just get it back to me when you can.’

As time went on, I had no inclination to ask for repayment of the loan until I saw some pictures on social media that shocked me. My friend was in Europe gallivanting across the globe with another group of friends. Not only was she in Europe, but she was visiting countries that she and I had promised to visit together. This really stung, and it sucked! I was hurt and somewhat disgusted by my friend’s travels.

I talked to some of the other women in our group of friends, and they all gave me a blank stare as if to say, ‘I told you so. You should have written up a contract.’ They also made some other good points, such as not assuming she had paid for the trip to Europe—that it could have been gifted to her and perhaps even planned months in advance.

STOCK PHOTO: Getty Images

Personally, I didn’t want to hear any of that, but I’m kicking myself for not formalizing the transaction and having her sign a contract. Currently, I have several stragglers out there who owe me money, and over time I have just lost interest in forcing the issue and trying to collect it from them. It’s not worth the headache, but it seems I haven’t learned my lesson from being the “captain save a friend.”

Regarding the money I loaned my friend, I pulled this money out of my 401k, which was slated to be used for an investment property I intended to buy. It’s been six months now, and I’m feeling used and as though I’m being avoided ever since she returned from her trip. I’ve been getting mixed messages with respect to advice on how to handle the situation, and I do not want to lose a friendship over money. My mother always told me that money and friends do not mix, and I’m thinking I should have listened for sure.

Should I strong-arm my friend and demand repayment in full, or should I manage my emotions and give my friend a chance to pay the money back in installments?

Send us your queries to [email protected] and let our readers offer some perspective on how to navigate these conversations. 

Back to top