Ask the Readers: Have You Ever Loaned Money to Family?

By Ashley Jacobs on 21 February 2017 55 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Karen, Michael, and Karla for winning this week's contest!

Lending money to family (and friends for that matter) can be tricky. It's natural to want to help a relative out of a financial bind, but relationships can change for the worse when money enters the equation — especially if the money loaned isn't paid back when you expected it to be.

Have you ever loaned money to family? Did the arrangement work out the way you wanted it to? If you have never loaned money to family, is it something you would consider in certain situations?

Tell us if you've ever loaned money to family and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

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Guest's picture
Tina Schmidt

I have not lent family or friends money. I've seen both in my intimate circle. One worked out well and the other led to some hard feelings, but they got past it.

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Karen Patterson

Only to my adult children - and got most of it back!

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Ronda

Yes I have loaned money to family. Some pay me back, others did not. Most of the lending was when I know they were in rough patches in life and I knew they needed a bit of help.

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Mami2jcn

No, thankfully I've never loaned money to family.

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Elaine Mulkey

My husband and I loaned money to my brother one time and his brother one time. Neither one paid us back even though they knew that we were "loaning" the money. Obviously, it was a mistake. We have five children and really needed them to pay us back. We will not loan money again due to our experience.

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Donna Sako

Yes. After my parents died I loaned my sibling my half share of the property. He paid me back after a few years. I also loaned my sons money and one paid his off the other is still working on it. The only issue is the payback could take longer or you risk losing it all. Unless you really know who you lend it--I would not advise it.

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Elena

I have never loaned money to family

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Julie Wood

I have not loaned money to family, but I have given family members money to help them out when they were in bad shape financially.

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Karen

I have loaned money to relatives, but my rule about loaning money is that it's an amount I don't mind parting with in case I don't get it back.

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Christie

Nope. But we have borrowed money from family, which we paid back with interest after signing papers with a payback schedule. Anything we've ever given family has been a gift.

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Guest

Yes to my son and daughter in law a couple of times. Twice I ended up saying that it was a fit, but the other time I made them pay it back due to the particular situation.

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Liz

I haven't - I potentially would depending on the circumstances, but I think it can get messy easily so I would try to avoid it.

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Linda

Yes, I have. It was a medical emergency and I gladly loaned a relative the money.

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Chris

I have loaned money to one family member, which I didn't get back until I was unemployed and then got it back.

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Lisa

I have not lent money to family or friends. I don't think I would. If someone needed money for an emergency and I had the funds, I would probably give it to them.

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Natasha

I have not loaned money to family members, but part of that was not having money to lend! I'm not sure I would consider lending the money; I'd rather think of it as a gift to avoid the pitfalls of how I'd feel if I was never paid back.

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Kelli

No, I've never loaned money to a family member. They are better off than me, so they wouldn't ask.

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Elle

I have not loaned money before.

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Jeast005

Yes - several times to my younger sister who has yet to pay me back. As a commenter below said,"but my rule about loaning money is that it's an amount I don't mind parting with in case I don't get it back."

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Guest

I've never loaned money to friends or family. As my parents taught me, it is generally not a good idea to loan money with expectations of getting it back (they both had bad experiences), better to gift it if you want to help out.

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amanda sakovitz

I haven't lent money to family before.

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Ernest S.

I've done it, and it worked out, but I can see how sensitive it could be. I definitely would not recommend it!

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ihtok tooj

Yes I have, to my brother and he paid back in full.

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Jeff

yes I have. Uncle's house burned, as a kid I gave all the money I had to them.

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Karen Kristie

Yes, I have loaned money to immediate family and only a few close friends. I got most of it back, so all good.

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Mary W

I have not loaned money to family. I have given money as a gift but never loaned it. Makes for better relationships that way.

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Sarah

No I have never loaned money to anyone before mostly because I don't have money to loan out!

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Julie Lundstrom

Yes I have loaned money to family and many times it doesn't turn out good.

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Gererdene Gibbons

I have loaned money to family and friends and the only thing that makes it work for me is that I have a personal rule not to loan anything I'm not prepared never to see again. This has proved useful and sad in that I never did get back any of the money. I do have a rule though not to lend a second time unless the first debt is paid.

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Monique Hubert

I loaned money to my brother once several years ago, and though it ended up okay in the end, it out more strain on the relationship than I would have preferred. I don't like having hard feelings over money.

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Jen D

I can't say it better than Karen Patterson did in her comment: "Only to my adult children - and got most of it back!"

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Matty

No way, Jose! Too much drama. I would just give it as a gift and not expect it back...

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MelodyJ

Yes I have. Big mistake I got some back but not all of it.

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Michelle D.

No I have never lent money to family before.

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Susan P.

My father created loans for his 4 children for cars and home purchases which we all paid back on regular payments. I am doing the same for my daughters.

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Catseye

Yes, I loaned $500 to my stepdad so he could start a business. The business lasted about 6 months and I didn't get my "investment" back, so we both lost money. That was decades ago and I haven't lent money to family since that incident.

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Bethany M

I've never had family ask

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Susan Smith

No I have never loaned money to a relative.

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Lisa

I never have; I believe in giving money away, if necessary.

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Guest

No but my husband has given my MIL thousands of dollars over the years. I think something important to remember is that it is never a loan. No matter what the other person says, no matter how they promise to repay you...they won't. It's a gift. If you aren't able to give it as a gift, either for financial or personal reasons, say no because you will never see that money again.

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Natalie

I have never loaned money to family, because I don't have much!

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K. McGarrett

One good reason to practice 'stealth wealth'. In other words, don't flaunt your well-off situation. Don't talk about your investment accounts and great profits made in real estate. Some people will justify not paying you back on the grounds that you don't really need it. You should be spreading your wealth around. (some people think like that)

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Rebecca Ross

I've never loaned money to family, but I did to a friend, and only got $200 of the $750 back. Never loaning again, only giving, if I can afford to do it.

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Laurajj

I have loaned small amounts to family members, but never a large amount. Everyone always paid it back in a reasonable time frame, so I never had problems with it.

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Guest

I've loaned money a few times--most of the time it's been repaid. I don't usually lend unless I'm prepared to lose it, so it's not a large sum.

I like Gererdene Gibbons' rule, it's one my own father-in-law used to quote: don't lend a second time unless the first debt has been paid.

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Raina

I've never loaned money to family, although my younger sister did ask once if she could borrow a couple thousand dollars. I turned her down because I know how that sort of thing can ruin relationships. She was mad about it at the time, but I believe it was for the best.

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Daniel

No, I have never loaned money to family. I would consider helping a family member out, but probably not through money. For example, I might let them stay in our home for a while or help them find a job.

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Donna D

No, I have not loaned money to family.

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SKB

Yes, I have loaned money to one of my children on several occasions - not all of which has been paid back.

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Guest

Yes I have. My son who lives in Germany needs help from time to time. I'm at fault, I tell him not to pay me back. I did loan money to a friend and he paid me back on time.

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CYNTHIA

I have not done it but I would do it in a heartbeat! I trust my family members would pay me back. Helping them out is more important than when I get my money back. I know they would do the same for me.

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Kim D

I haven't loaned money to family members, but would do so in certain situations. However, I wouldn't think of it as a 'loan,' but as more of a 'gift' to prevent hurt feelings and tense relationships in the future!

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Happy Love

No. I believe that a loan to family should be considered a gift.

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C Hui

Yes to my children but I didn't consider it a loan because I didn't expect them to pay me back.

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Louly

Yes, but I make them put it in writing like I would do for anyone else.

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Erin bit

No I haven't

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JD

Yes, actually I loaned money to someone to bail them out of jail. However, I followed Suze Orman's advice and considered it a gift, not a loan. That way I wouldn't hold a grudge if it was never paid back. Believe it or not, he paid me back in small amounts over the next year!

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CF

I have never loaned money to a family member before