6 Rules for Borrowing Money

Borrowing money from friends and family presents unique challenges. Learn how to be a responsible borrower and preserve relationships.

Professional Development January 7, 2021

Borrowing money during emergency situations can seem like a more practical option than taking out from any formal lending institutions. Such a financial decision can help you get out of a difficult but temporary situation. In addition, borrowing from friends and relatives is quite easy, as they usually have no requirements or interest.

So what are the things you should remember when you borrow money from friends and family members? Here are the six simple reminders you might want to consider:

  1. Borrowing money requires transparency and humility.

Talking about personal finance can be difficult because people tend to avoid such a topic. Therefore, asking for help requires some level of humility and willingness to be open and honest about your financial condition. Before you decide to ask for a personal loan from friends, make an honest assessment whether the purpose is legitimate or not. It’s not reasonable to ask to borrow money just because there is a sale at the mall. Explain exactly why you need the money, such as bills or other emergency situations. Your friends will understand your financial condition if you are more transparent and realistic.

  1. Whatever the outcome, don’t take it personally.

When you approach your friend for a loan he or she could say Yes or No. Whatever the answer is, don’t take it personally. Your request may be approved. However, after you have explained your financial need and they say No, you need to understand that it may not be the right time.

  1. Set up a clear agreement.

If you are a borrower make sure that you are able to reach an agreement about a timeline for repayments, including the interest rate on the loan, if any. In other words, setting up clear repayment terms, whether in written or verbal, is always a smart move. It’s better to have a few awkward discussions now than to have a strained relationship due to unclear agreements and expectations.

  1. Don’t break your promises.

Many healthy relationships have been ruined because of irresponsible borrowers. Before you make a promise to repay your friend at the end of the month, make sure you are capable or can afford to pay the loan on time or within the grace period. Be realistic by considering how much can you afford to repay and when. An open dialogue can create understanding and trust instead of an embarrassing situation.

  1. Make sure borrowing is just a one-time request.

We usually borrow money because of legitimate emergency situations—hospital bills, car repairs, accidents and calamities, and other emergency situations. But, borrowing money from your friends many times can be irritating and annoying. Responsible borrowers don’t use a friend or relative as an ATM. In other words, do not always depend on your friends and relatives financially when you can manage your finances well save for an emergency fund.

  1. Do not let debt problems destroy your relationships.

If you lend money to a friend or family member, be aware that you may not get your money back and your relationship may never go back to normal. This may cause tension between you and the borrower, and may also cause guilt, remorse, and anger. If you find yourself in such a situation, never let the money destroy the relationship.

Be a responsible borrower. Always remember the lender may be affected financially if you’re unable to pay on time. If you have trouble repaying the loan, explain your situation to the person who lent you the money and try your best effort to fulfill your financial obligation. Remember, as a teacher having a great relationship and good reputation is more important than money.

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. —Proverbs 22:7


Jun Amparo

Amparo is a University Counselor and lecturer at Asia-Pacific International University in Thailand. He is a speaker and has written two books about marriage and personal finance. To read more of his work, please visit his blog, www.richlyblessedtoday.com


  • | January 8, 2021 at 10:22 am

    Thank you for the practical reminders pertaining in borrowing money. in our churches particularly here in Thailand, many relationships are broken and many friendship uncertain and being in the silent mode due to irresponsible borrower!

    • | June 22, 2021 at 10:15 pm

      Yes, I agree. Thank you very much Pastor Pellazar for your comment.

  • | February 13, 2022 at 1:52 pm

    Is it a sin for an adventist to get loan

  • | November 5, 2023 at 1:46 pm


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