There are several polite ways to turn down a request for money. If a friend or relative asks for money, you might be eager to help. But given your own financial situation, giving a loan can prove challenging. You want to help, but at the same time you don't want to complicate your own personal finances. Fortunately, there are ways around this situation. Here are seven ways to turn down a request for money.
1. Sympathize with Their Situation
Being sympathetic is one of the best ways to turn down a request for money. Listen to your friend or relative as she expresses herself. Even if you're unable to lend a helping hand, providing a listening ear can give the encouragement and support they need. Don't quickly change the subject or bring up other topics. The other person may see through this trick.
2. Be Honest
You can be honest with the person without divulging too much. For example, about three years ago a certain friend was constantly asking us to borrow money. Even though she always repaid the loans, the requests became annoying. After a while I finally said, “we had some unexpected expenses pop up and we can't lend any money right now. It was the truth, and I was able to say no without sharing too much of our personal information.
3. Don’t Make Promises You Can't Keep
If you don't have money to lend, don't tell the person that you’ll help in a few days or a week. This gives the person false expectations. If you know that you can't afford to give a loan — or if you simply prefer not to — be honest from the beginning.
4. Respond to a Request within 24 Hours
Additionally, don't keep the person hanging. If someone asks for money, they probably have an urgent need. Therefore, if you receive a voicemail, a phone call or a text message asking for financial help, as a courtesy respond within one day. The sooner you get in touch with the person, the sooner she can find a solution to her financial troubles.
5. Offer Suggestions
If you can't lend money to a friend or relative, maybe you can brainstorm possible solutions with the person. How did you get through tough times? Maybe there are safe, alternative lending solutions that the person hasn’t considered. Or perhaps you know about opportunities that can help the person generate quick cash to solve their financial problems. Giving sound financial advice can be just as good as going into your pocket.
6. Be Firm
After politely telling someone you cannot offer a loan, the person may persist with their request. Don't give in. It's important that you remain firm. Being firm does not imply being impolite.
If you can't lend someone money, the person may seek a personal loan and ask you to cosign. Cosigning a loan is a big decision, and you'll need to fully weigh the pros and cons. On one hand, cosigning might help the person solve his financial problems. But on the other hand, you're also responsible for this loan. Only cosign if you're prepared to make the monthly payments if the other person defaults.
We live in tough economic times, and as more people deal with layoffs and other financial issues, requests for money may increase. Lending money is a personal decision, yet you shouldn't feel obligated if you’re cash-strapped. What are other ways to politely turn down requests for money?