Consider this before lending or borrowing from a friend

Lending money.

Certainly, few elements of human relations are as potentially explosive as borrowing or lending money.

Even with the best-laid plans and the most sincere intentions, things do not always turn out as expected.

Circumstances may arise that make it difficult or impossible for the borrower to fulfill his obligations.

Or the lender may suddenly find themselves needing the money they lent.

When such things happen friendships and relationships can be in jeopardy.

Of course, an individual may have valid reasons for borrowing some money.

Faced with a financial setback caused by a serious accident or the loss of a job, one may see it as his or her only recourse.

What you should consider before borrowing

Consider principles that apply to the borrower.

Sometimes it is better to go without than to owe money to someone else.


The borrower must realize that until the money is paid back, one is under obligation.

In principle, their resources are not entirely their own.

Paying their debt in harmony with the terms agreed upon must have a high priority in their life, or difficulties will likely arise.

For example, as time passes without due repayment, the lender may become irritated.

Things the borrower does such as buying clothes, eating at restaurants, or going on vacation might be viewed with suspicion by the lender.

Resentment could build up.

The relationship between them and even between their families may become strained or worse.

Such may be the sad consequences if the borrower does not abide by his word.

But what if the borrower is suddenly prevented from meeting their commitment by a circumstance beyond their control?

Would this cancel the debt?

Not in itself.

In such a case, the loving and wise thing to do would be for the borrower to explain the situation to the lender immediately.

Then they can agree on some alternate arrangements.

This will ensure peace.

In truth, a person reveals a lot about themselves by the way they handles their debts.

A nonchalant, casual attitude toward repayment reveals a lack of concern for others.

In effect, a person with that attitude shows selfishness—their desires and wishes come first.

A friend who deliberately and knowingly refuses to pay his or her debts endangers their standing before friends, and their actions may indicatea greedy, wicked heart.

What you should consider before lending

While the major obligation rests on the one borrowing, there are also principles that apply to the one doing the lending.

If we have the ability to help needy ones, we should do so.

But that does not mean that an individual is obligated to lend money, even if the one requesting it is a friend.

Knowing and understanding the very real pitfalls involved in lending and borrowing, the discerning person will give careful consideration to any petitions for credit that they might receive.

Is the request valid?

Has the individual asking thought the matter through?

Is the prospective borrower well organized and well spoken of?

Are they willing to sign a document outlining the terms of the agreement?

Are they really prepared to repay?

This is not to suggest that a friend should refuse a needy friend who seems to be a potential credit risk.

A friend personal obligations toward friends go far beyond good business practices.

In some cases an individual may decide not to lend money to his or her friend in need.

One may prefer to give him or her a gift or offer some other form of help.

In a similar spirit, when difficulties arise in a borrowing arrangement, the lender may choose to act mercifully.

One may wish to take into consideration the borrower’s changed circumstances and stretch payments over a longer period of time, reduce them, or even eliminate the debt entirely.

However, these are personal decisions that all individual must make themselves.