Back to list

Owing Family or Friends

It's great if friends or family can afford to help each other financially, but if repayment becomes difficult, you need to take care to avoid money issues getting in the way of good relationships.

Nobody wants to feel they've been taken advantage of, or to be treated unfairly by somebody close to them.

Things you can do

  • Maintain the trust

    To maintain the relationship you need to be open and honest about your financial position and genuine about your difficulty.

  • What can you afford?

    Offer a partial repayment or payment by affordable instalments over an agreed period of time.

  • Are they really expecting to be repaid?

    If you genuinely cannot repay them or it would cause you serious hardship, would they consider waiving the debt?

  • Another way to repay?

    Could you repay the loan by helping with jobs, such as babysitting or gardening, instead of repaying cash?


  • Managing on a limited budget means prioritizing your spending on things with the greatest impact.

    Consider the relative impact on your life of not paying for rent or food, against the impact of deferring a payment to a friend.