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How to Say No When a Loved One Asks for a Loan

When someone you love asks for a loan it can be hard to say no, yet there are many ways you can assist them that don’t involve money.


  • Step 1: Listen Listen to your loved one when they make their request. Show that you are concerned about them by asking for more details regarding their situation.
  • Step 2: Explain Explain in as much or as little detail as you are comfortable with that you are unable to make a loan at this time, but you’d like to assist them in other ways.
  • TIP: Although guilty feelings may arise, remind yourself that it is perfectly okay for you to decline their loan request, whatever your reasons.
  • Step 3: Help with research Help them research alternative means of meeting their needs. Potential resources to check are third-party lenders, charities, and government assistance programs.
  • Step 4: Give Give your loved one non-monetary assistance that still helps to relieve their burden. For example, you might lend them a suit for a job interview or watch their kids so they don’t need to hire a babysitter.
  • Step 5: Check in Check in with them periodically to see how they are doing. It helps to show that, although you could not give the money they needed, you are still there for them.
  • Step 6: Make it a gift If you ultimately decide to lend your loved one money, consider making it a gift. This removes future complications in your relationship over payback.
  • FACT: Did you know? Today, our money reads 'In God We Trust,' but in 1777, Pennsylvania’s four-pound note read, 'To Counterfeit is Death.'

You Will Need

  • Listening skills
  • Concern
  • Time to assist in other ways
  • Third-party lenders (optional)
  • Charities (optional)
  • Government assistance program (optional)

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