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Don't lend money to a friend, you will lose both!
Sajith Marakar & Lakshmi Rajesh

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November 14, 2007

We asked Get Ahead readers to send in their opinions on lending money to their friends/relatives. Here's what Sajith Marakar & Lakshmi Rajesh have to say about their moneylending experiences:

I knew this English proverb since quite long time. But always I end up with the same kind of problems. I am confused in handling these issues. I could reduce the frequency of lending money to others but still end up with same kind of stories.

When your friend is in need, how can you say NO to him keeping enough money in your account? Or can I apply the management techniques to maintain the relations? Then what kind of relation it will be? I am successful in recovering the outstanding of my company but not mine!

I had two good friends in Coimbatore (TN), Mani and Raja (not real names). Raja was my colleague. One day, surprisingly, he got terminated from our company! There were more than 25 employees working in our office but nobody had the courage to even talk with him after the termination, except me and another common friend!

I went to his house the same evening. I was so sad seeing his wife and two kids! Their parents and relatives were not in good terms with them because of their inter-religious marriage. I advised Raja to meet the job consultants available in the city and many of my friends who are working in other companies. Also I helped him to make his CV more attractive and came back.

Next day morning, he called me and asked for Rs 2,000 and promised me that he will pay me back with in one week.

This story happened in May 2003 but still I didn't get back the money. When my wife was admitted in hospital for delivery, I called him and asked for money but he didn't call me back as he had promised. Forget about the money, I lost contact with him and don't know where is he and what is he, now! I lost a good friend!

Mani was one of my friends whom I used to visit frequently and when I get de-motivated! A man full of energy and confidence! He was a marketing freelancer in Coimbatore. Once he invited me to his office! It was in a small building which he owns. His wife was running a private clinic (she is a doctor) in one part and another part is his office.

I found a white board in his office. There were many companies' names and bank names written on the board with amount and date! The total amount comes around Rs 1,40,000. I thought that it may be the details of his customers and due dates of payments to be received from them! When I asked, he surprised me by telling "these are my commitments in this month"! He has put it in public to remind him always and motivate himself!

Honestly I congratulated him because that amount was too high when compared with his total income. But he was able to manage!

Next morning I got a call from him asking me for Rs 5,000 and he promised me that he will repay in couple of days! I had around Rs 30K in my account at that time which I had taken from ICICI Bank [Get Quote] as a personal loan. It was hard for me to tell him NO in that situation.

My installment for that loan was over one year back but still I didn't get back the money! The sadder thing is, I lost one more friend!

                                                                                                                                                         -- Sajith Marakar

'I do not lend money to anybody under any circumstance'

I want to tell you two related stories of mine. After the first and second incident I have never ever lent money to anybody.

I had started working in 2000 and was earning a monthly income of Rs 4,000. The company where I was posted had some very nice people. I was friendly to all of them including an office boy named Victor. He was married and his wife was expecting their second child. He used to talk about problems and his mounting bills and cost of living. In a city like Bangalore, where IT professionals earn like hell, it's quite a nightmare.

It so happened that his mother was hospitalised and had to be operated. He came to me one day and asked for about Rs 1,000 saying that he would return Rs 100 every month and he was in dire need of money. He also requested me not to tell anyone in that department and I agreed.

Everything went smoothly and one day another person came and asked me if I had paid money to this man and I said yes. He told me not to believe him as the Company had helped him and he was given Rs 5,000 cash as well as complete reimbursement of the operation and medical treatment he gave his mother. I was shocked.

So I decided to ask my money back. He had the cheek to tell me I was recently married and my husband working in a good position and no kids so Rs 1,000 should not matter to me. I should forget it. I was dumbfounded.

I nevertheless asked him to give me the money back saying my husband was angry and was asking for it. I told him my husband maintains my accounts (my poor husband does not even question me on what I do and what I earn). In spite of all this he said now, later and never returned the money.

After that I felt so ashamed to ask him my own money and stopped. He has also happily forgotten about it. He at that point in time was being paid Rs 7,500 as monthly salary. I even quit that company later but never got my money back.

I should have been wiser but no, in the next place, a colleague of mine asked me to lend some money as he was in great financial difficulty. I agreed and gave him Rs 5,000. Later in the month, the boss had given him a raise and that day I was not in office for some reason. He told everybody not to let me know. He stopped coming to office without notice and left Bangalore for good. I am told he is now in Pune.

After these two incidents, I do not lend money to anybody under any circumstance. 

                                                                                                                                                       -- Lakshmi Rajesh

Disclaimer: This is a reader-driven feature. The views expressed by the readers are their own, and not that of has not altered the material presented here and does not endorse it in any way.

Have you even found yourself in such a situation? Has a relative/ friend who borrowed money from you defaulted on repayment? How did you handle things?

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