||Ask Dr. Don
My friend thinks I'm a bank
Dear Dr. Don,
I have a good attorney friend whom I have lent money to on several
occasions over the past 10 years. He always does pay it back, but
sometimes it's several months later than he initially promises to
repay me. He does include a generous amount of interest.
Right now he's requesting a $1,000 loan to give him
extra comfort for a vacation. I am really sick and tired of loaning
him the money, but I don't want to be a bad friend. Please advise.
Thanks very much,
I'm conflicted, too. Your friendship shouldn't
depend on the Bank of Ron approving loans of indeterminate length
and interest with your friend deciding on the loan terms.
On the other hand, he's got a track record
of repaying you with interest. There are a lot of loan write-offs
in the friendship loan market, and your friend hasn't forced you
to write one off yet.
It sounds to me like you want to test the friendship
and see if he'll still be your friend even if you don't loan him
the money. To that end, it's easy enough to say that money's a little
tight for you right now and that he should ask someone else for
Before you take that step, ask yourself why you truly
object to these loans. Is it because you don't like your friend's
assumption that the Bank of Ron will always be there for him? You
don't like the idea of financing his vacation spending? Or is it
something else altogether? It's natural to be curious about whether
your friendship can survive you drawing a line in the sand about
these personal loans, but a sea change after 10 years of being there
for him is going to make your friend question what brought about
this change in you.
If you can lend him the money without causing yourself
a financial hardship, I'd argue for a middle-of-the-road position
where you tell him that you'll loan him the money this time around,
but he needs to find other ways to finance his spending in the future.
That sets the stage for a discussion about your feelings concerning