I’m owed money by my family or friend! What can I do?
It’s not uncommon to find yourself in difficulty because you’ve lent money to someone who hasn’t paid you back. If this has happened to you, try:
Giving the person a gentle reminder
Employing tact in a situation like this can really help. People with debt problems can often feel overwhelmed. A gentle approach means they’re less likely to avoid you.
Suggesting a payment plan
Paying you off in one go might put your loved one back to square one, which means they need to borrow money again very soon. Putting an affordable payment plan in place means that they can pay the debt back without getting into further difficulty.
Sit down with them and work out how often they’ll pay and how much, making sure it’s affordable for them, so they can stick to the plan. They could even put together a budget, which would help them understand how much they can afford to pay you each month.
Looking for ways to help them with their budget
If your loved one is struggling financially, there are a host of websites and apps that can help them budget. They could look into switching utilities or to a cheaper phone tariff. There's also support available if they're dealing with a financial crisis or emergency. If they need debt advice, let them know that we can help.
There are a few things to avoid if someone owes you money. Don’t:
- Add extra money or “interest” to the debt that they owe you
- Tell other people about the debt
- Lose your temper or use threatening language
These are more likely to make the other person avoid you, and you could even be breaking the law.
I’m in debt but a loved one wants to borrow money from me
If you have debts you’re struggling with, it’s highly unlikely you’re in a position to help your loved one, as much as you may want to. Kindly but firmly tell them no. Tell them of the alternatives, and suggest they get some free and confidential debt advice.