Sticky situation

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by dukebound85, May 1, 2008.

  1. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    Surely most of you have at one point or another been asked to loan a family member money.

    The question is do you do it?

    I ask as im in a real sticky situation. In short here is my story.....

    Im about to graduate this may from college with a couple offers but nothing decided yet. I do not have much to my name and owe quite a bit of loan money back starting relatively soon

    However, a family member of mine needs a substantial amount of money. If he does not have say 3k by friday, he will go to jail. He has no where to turn so he came to me.

    My issue is I need all the money I have for me namely to hold myself over till I get a job lined up. While I can afford (afford may not be the appropriate word here) to give him the money, it would present a hardship on me but i could survive. Another piece of the puzzle is that I have given him money before which has never been paid back (about a thousand lent when i was 15 now 23....alot of money for a min wage job savings) as well as access to my credit cards which i had to pay off slowly but surely which amounted to a couple hundred probably. The person I speak of is my father which makes it all the harder.

    I have no idea what to do and cant believe to be honest that my parents would put me in such a position as it is truly difficult. Factor in that I have to pay all my school and housing, food etc as I dont live at home.

    Any advice as this is seriously gut wrenching for me as i love my dad but at the same time, i dont want to "screw" myself in a sense and be in a similar situation asking for help from others if worst comes to worst. I mean I work my tail off and save so i can look out for my well being.

    many thanks..

    you guys have always given me good advice. i appreciate it very much
  2. nineteentwelve macrumors regular

    May 31, 2007
    Shrewsbury, UK
    Just to help with my opinion before I post it, has he made any effort to tell you how when he'll pay you back?
  3. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    no and my parents tend to live above their means and he doesnt have the best job. there was a stretch where he didnt work for over a year and took role of house dad in a sense. this aggravated me as this could have been easily prevented

    with that said he is my dad...

    also my parents have always been there for me...always. just not financially at all though

    i just hate how stupid pieces of paper can cause so much anguish
  4. Mr.Noisy macrumors 65816


    May 5, 2007
    First off the old saying 'Money is the root of all evil' is very true.
    Even in families the subject of money brings out the worst in people, especially if it's the old 'I havent got it but you have!' situation,
    You need to think long and hard, If you decide to lend it get some assurance it will be paid back when your told it will be. Personally if I can avoid lending money I do, In the Past it's caused me so much grief, because they are family they expect you to go easy asking for it back and so arguments start, your talking about what I consider to be a lot of money, Me personally I say No, you gotta get yourself sorted and financially stable before your able to start lending money, think will you ever need that money ?

    :) just my thoughts on the subject ;)
  5. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    I'd do it.

    Money is also a messy thing with family, but for me, I'd take the hit, even if it meant not getting paid back for a while, if ever.

    But family is first for me.
  6. glocke12 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    That is a tough situation, sorry you have to go through with it. Do you have a close relationship with him? Will you be putting yourself in jeapordy by loaning him the money ? Does he have anything he can sell, like a car???

    I have been in a similar situation. I loaned a brother of mine close to $4000.00 over a two year period, recieved promises that it would be paid back, and never saw a dime. Another brother took out a $2000.00 loan for the first brother and got stuck with it.

    No one can tell you what to do, but if you do choose to loan it to him, I wouldnt expect to be paid back. Id also suggest making it clear that if you loan it to him, there wont be another loan again.
  7. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    There must be alternatives.

    First off, they don't really know you actually have the money on hand, so tell them that you just don't have the money available to give. Then propose some alternative ways you can help them get the money. For instance, you said they live above them means, so tell them that you'll take it upon yourself to sell off their big screen TV to get the money.

    If the situation really is as you describe it, you definitely shouldn't loan them money. If you really can't come up with any viable alternative sources of money for them and you feel the need to provide them directly with your personal money in order to keep a good relationship with them, then you should give them the money, not loan it. If the goal is to try to have a good relationship with them, then giving them a huge loan which'll cause a significant hardship on you, that will be poison to the relationship.

    Never ever loan money to friends or family.
  8. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    I wouldn't give your dad a penny.

    They've shown no responsibility with money before. If they can't pay back a fifteen year old $1000 over 8 years that's appalling. They could have just cut down on their expenditure to have paid you back.

    That's a good idea.
  9. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    Yup, there are tons of alternatives if the OP is interested in hearing them. Here's another good one - He can tell his mom he'll help her pawn some of her jewelry so she can get the money she needs now and get her jewelry back when she pays back the pawn broker.
  10. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    If you do need to loan them a smaller amount say $1500 as they don't have enough stuff to get the cash otherwise, get them to set up a standing order to repay you $100/month for 25 months (to repay the first debt too) to go out of their account on the first day of the month.
  11. theyoda3 macrumors member

    Sep 27, 2006
    Based on the information you have given, I would personally not give him the money without collateral. If he has no collateral or nothing to exchange with you then I would either not give him money, or only give him a portion of it. If you were to give him, for example, 1/3 of the amount then maybe he and you could find two other people to loan him the other 2/3. That way, there is a greater chance of being paid back and it is a compromise. You will have other people to support you when you try to get your money back and you will also not be out the entire sum of money. Your father sounds like he needs to grow up a bit and be more responsible with his money and other people's money. Compromising will help him do that without leaving you screwed over financially or relationally.
  12. theyoda3 macrumors member

    Sep 27, 2006
    I agree with motulist's statements. Get them to sell some of their stuff. You should not sacrifice yourself if they have not yet made significant sacrifices.
  13. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    You can't expect family to repay money that you 'give' them. It just can't happen. You can try and agree on some sort of terms, but at the end of the day it's family - if they don't pay you back what, exactly, can you do about it?

    I fully understand the position you are in and have been in a similar situation myself. Given that family is family, I did everything I could to provide all the money and support I could afford without putting myself in financial uncertainty. Sure, it has meant I've had to cut back, but I haven't put myself into any debt or jeopardised my future plans. I was very careful not to throw good money after bad.

    It doesn't sound like you can really afford to part with the money.
  14. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    Based on their history of being worthless about repaying debt I wouldn't give it to them without some sort of deal that ensures you getting paid back. (that PLUS the $1000 from when you were 15... that is despicable of them!)
    Something along the lines of a direct debit to your account monthly. (someone else mentioned that)
    OR the pawning idea or holding onto their stuff until you're paid. ANYTHING other than just giving it to them with their 'word'.

    If they can't agree to help you to help them then they can kindly piss off. (in my humble opinion)

    However, in my experience, money can be very damaging in these situations. You may be better off just saying no entirely.

    I digress. :eek:
  15. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003

    **** him, if he's going to jail then it's likely his own damn fault.
  16. windowpain macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2008
    Man, after reading through the op a few times you are certainly in a no-win situation.

    If you lend him the money, you are in the difficult situation of getting it back. But given the situation you don't really have a choice. If the roles were reversed and you needed money from him, you would hope he would help you out.. But I wouldn't count on seeing it again. And a situation where someone owes you money just causes bitterness if it isn't repaid (and/or in full/quick enough..etc) It's a difficult situation situation isnt it..

    I personally believe that people treat you how you allow yourself to be treated. You seem like a great guy and want to do the right thing, but don't end up being there everytime he needs cash. You are not responsible for his situation, he is.
  17. YeahIKnow macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2008
    Has your dad been in jail before? Even so jail is not a place I'd want my dad to be in and I'd gladly pay 10 times that amount to keep him out. I'm sure there's some situation you're not telling us about but he's your dad, he gladly spent all the money he had raising you and you obviously have caring parents to turn out so well. £3000 is a lot of money for a cash strapped student but remember that in years to come it'll be small change, small change that will help your dad more than you.
  18. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Sorry man, but I'm going to go with the "Loan him the money and take the hit" crowd. Sure, logically speaking, there's no way you should lend him the money. However, in 6 months, if your father really is in jail, how are you going to feel? You'll be making a starting salary of $60,000 per year (according to your previous thread), and your is in jail.

    I know it's not fair, but they've been there for you and actually do "love" you, right? If they were miserable, uncaring crap parents who didn't care where you were, or how you ended up, I'd say fark them. However, if you happen to have the unfortunate luck of being born to parents who are bad with money, yet love you deeply, and you love them back, I'd just suck it up and give them the money knowing full well they won't pay you back.

    However, I'd tell them it's the last time you'll ever do this to them again, and tell them to start living within their means. Tell them that even if you had a nice job, you won't lend them money again. If you don't make this the last time, you're going to regret it, since they know you'll have a decent job, take home decent pay, and have MORE money to lend them than ever. :eek:
  19. furious macrumors 65816


    Aug 7, 2006
    Personally I do not lead money to my family. What I do do is help them organise their finances. Basically I offer them a service that is worth several thousand dollars. I believe it is a win win. I have seen my brother go from spending every cent he has to owning a car and a caravan and living more comfortable than he ever has.
  20. brad.c macrumors 68020


    Aug 23, 2004
    50.813669°, -2.474796°
    I understand the hardship this would place you in, but my advice is to ask yourself this: In your heart, could you give him the money freely, without strings or any obligation to pay it back?

    If the answer is yes, then do it. To call it a loan, or to expect payback of any kind, opens you up to hurt and disappointment in the future. I wouldn't do it for a friend, but this is family. Normal rules don't as easily apply.
  21. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
  22. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    In my opinion, you should not think about this as a loan. What I mean is, don't "lend" him the money unless you're willing to never see it again, because that is almost certainly what is going to happen.

    For me, the decision would come down to this: is this a one-time thing, or will it keep happening (maybe not with the threat of jail, but one way or another)? If your dad is going to be sponging money off you the rest of your life, money that you really need, then you need to take a stand at some point, and it might as well be now.

    On the other hand, although you listed a couple times he's borrowed money and not repaid it in the past, it doesn't sound like it happens all the time. If you think this is really a one shot deal, then I think you should help him. Going to jail is a pretty serious consequence.

    One last thing. I don't think it's right for your dad to have put you in this position. However, now that you're here, I think you need to be honest about the likely consequences of not giving him the money. This sort of thing can cause bad feelings that last years. That's not to say you should necessarily give him the money. If you have to cut him off, then you have to cut him off. But I do think it's something to think about.

    Sorry about this, and good luck.
  23. LeahM macrumors 6502a


    Mar 18, 2008
    In my opinion, I have seen this situation happen before, but if there is a reason for him to go to jail then he made that decision. Your supposed to be his child, bailing you out of trouble. It sounds like hes dependent on you and he needs to grow up.

    So definately no. He needs to live with his life choices. If he lives above his means, then they can take out a loan from a bank or sell some of their belongings. If they have gadgets and such, then they obviously know how to get money.

    Its hard but you need to watch out for yourself and stick to your guns.

    Best of luck

    EDIT: what has he done that hes being threatened to go to jail?
  24. heehee macrumors 68020


    Jul 31, 2006
    Same country as Santa Claus
    I would "lend" him the money. Judging by your post, I'm sure he spent more than $3000 feeding you, put clothes on you, put a roof over your head to get you where you are right now.
  25. Eelko macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2008
    Amsterdam, Paris & Brussels.
    True, the best way to help your father / family seems to me to help him/them with restructuring their finanances. If they live above their means, take their credit cards away, see if they can apply for 'debt councelling' if such a thing exists (may be typically dutch), see if you can return expensive items to the original seller or sell them through ebay, etc.

    If your father doesn't know how to deal with money in general, see if you can teach or help him by sitting together every day/week/month to show him how much he can freely spend per day/week and how much is needed for fixed costs, to pay off debts etc. You can soetimes even ask for 'guardianship' of their accounts - if the situation is that serious.

    Sure, you can pay him the 3K (and i'm not saying you shouldn't), but that will not solve the problem - unless something else happens it will just mean your father will learn to rely on you...

    Good luck!

    BTW, how realistic is it that your father would have to go to jail?
    Most likely, the person(s) he ows money to will prefer to settle on some kind of repayment scheme - as your father sitting in jail will not bring them anything.

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