It’s time to once again delve into the depths of Punny Money’s search engine referral logs to find out what people were looking for that brought them to this site. Today’s burning question…
Okay, so that’s not quite a question, but the intent is clear: someone is having his or her pockets nipped at by friends, family, or co-workers. Maybe this person is moderately rich and is the target of constant “can I borrow” questions, and he or she doesn’t know how to say no.
Fear not, weary searcher. The next time someone asks you for a quick fifty thousand dollars that “I’ll pay back real soon,” you can pick a reason to deny the loan from this list.
How to Say "No" When Someone Hits You Up For A Loan
- Lie. Leave your morals at the door and use a fake excuse to dodge the request for a loan. “I’m broke,” “I have to help my sick aunt,” and “I gave all my money to that delightful fella at Punny Money” are all good ones.
- Avoid the person. They can’t ask you for money if they can’t find you. Don’t answer your e-mail, change your phone number, move–do whatever it takes to avoid a person who might be looking to borrow a few bucks from you.
- Look unattractive. Offer to extend the loan, but present an outrageous interest rate (42,000% APY works for me) and a 63-page borrowing agreement. Hopefully they’ll leave you alone and chase down a dummy who didn’t graduate from the School of Punny Money like you did.
- Spend all your money. Put every dime you make toward the worthiest cause you know: you. Buy a Ferrari, take a trip to everywhere, or just set your pile of money on fire and watch it burn–anything to avoid lending a penny to anyone else.
- Avoid liquidity. Let “cash” be a four-letter word for you. Shove your money into long-term CDs, play the stock market, invest in real estate, or load it on a rocket ship to the moon. This way you can keep your cake and eat it later.
- Make it a strict policy. Engrave the words “no personal loans, no exceptions” on a plaque and put it over your front door. Just be sure to stick to your policy or you’ll have to find another option.
- Tell them the whole truth. If you violated your strict no-loan policy, you can just come clean and say “I just don’t feel comfortable lending you my money, Nick.” A true friend won’t hold a grudge and will understand your decision.
- Point them to alternatives. There may be better options this person hasn’t yet explored. If they own a home, suggest a home equity loan or line of credit; or help them sell their possessions on eBay (buying the best ones yourself!); or be the getaway driver while they hold up a bank.
- Help them not need the loan. Use what you’ve learned at Punny Money to help your friend or relative straighten out his or her financial life. Chances are they can get by fine with a bit of smart advice.
- Gift the money. If you’re loaded and want to avoid the awkwardness that can come from a friend defaulting on a loan, simply give them the money instead. Just try to keep the gift on the down low so more “friends” don’t try to hit you up in the future.
Got a tip for turning down money-sucking vampires? Comment here or send it to Punny Money–I promise to pay you back with more great personal finance tips soon.