How do I get money back from a friend without ruining our friendship?

Money and FriendsDear Gwyn,

I lent my friend money a few months ago.  We both agreed that she would pay me back and that it was ok to remind her. Now it has been six months and I could really use the money back. I don’t want to pester her, and I don’t want to ruin our friendship. How can I get my money back from my friend without ruining our friendship?

We rely on friendships for so much more than just a companion for tea.  A good friend is by your side through life, the good and the bad. And when a friend is in need we want to do everything in our means to help our friends; including when our friends are in need of money.  When you lend a friend money, how do you get money back from a friend?

Let’s hope that you lent money within your means. As much as we want to help our friends, it seems that lending money to friends never ends well.  Here are a few ways to make collecting your money easier.

  1. Redefine the Agreement: Hopefully you set up an agreement, including a timeframe, with your friend when you first lent the money. Regardless, set or reset the terms which should include payment schedule, final payment and the interest if applicable.
  2. Remind Your Friend: Do not be afraid to remind your friend that he or she owes your money. If the sum was a large financial burden to loan, you may choose to remind your friend more frequently.  Remember to be polite but firm provided that you are working within the terms of your agreement.
  3. Choose the Tone of Your Relationship: Hopefully, you and your friend are able to maintain your relationship, afterall that is why you were able to make the loan. However, know your boundaries. If ever you feel that your friend is taking advantage of you, think about if the friendship is worth the headache and heartache to continue. In the worse case scenario, you may need to leave your money or friendship.
  4. Do Not Lend Additional Money. Period.

Remember that most likely, as much as you want to collect your money, your friend doesn’t want to be in your debt, and both of you want your friendship to return to normal.