7 Tips on How to Collect Debt from Friends and Family

The title of this post is how to collect a debt from friends and family, but in reality the tips found in this post can apply to collecting debts from just about anyone, your cousins, co-workers, tenants, you name it.

It often feels awkward to collect a debt from people whom we love; we often think that doing so will mean that we are putting money above our relationship with them. The aim of this post is to help people recover monetary loss derived from loaning money to friends and family in a very gentlemanly manner.

How to Collect Debt from Friends and Family Tip #1- Express Your Intention to Collect the Debt

The most important part of debt collection is deciding to collect the debt.

Most of the times when a friend or a family does not pay their debt, it is due to noncollection (in the debtor's part). In other words, when your friend or family does not hear from you about the debt, they usually assume that you don't need the payment. While you may think that this is not true and that your friend or family will always be conscientious about your well-being, this is simply wishful thinking. If a person can get away with not paying a debt, they almost always will.

Collecting debt from a friend or a family is not evil, it is simply being realistic. It is also acknowledging yourself and your needs.

Don't get me wrong. If you don't have any plans to collect on a debt and don't feel bitter about it, then by all means, treat that money as a gift to your friend or family.

Be very careful, though, make sure that you don't neglect yourself in loving others. Remember that before you can effectively love others, you must first love yourself.

How to Collect Debt from Friends and Family Tip #2- Create a Payment Plan

Sit down with your friend or family and come up with a payment plan. When asking for payment to a loan in the thousands, be realistic about it and don't expect that the loan will be paid right away. Make a plan for regular payments to be made within a mutually agreed upon period. An example would be bi-monthly payments (every payday) of 500 pesos within five months for a loan of 5000 pesos.

How to Collect Debt from Friends and Family Tip #3- Collect Every Payday

People with outstanding loans normally live from paycheck to paycheck so what you will want to do is to collect payment every time these people receive a paycheck. Make sure to request or collect payment before all their money goes to the landlord, utility companies, restaurants, malls, and banks.

How to Collect Debt from Friends and Family Tip #4- Send a Reminder

Before payday arrives, remind your friend or family that you will be expecting payment. This will allow your friend or family enough time to incorporate loan payments into their budget.

How to Collect Debt from Friends and Family Tip #5- Make it Impersonal
Whenever you ask for payment, do it through an email, a text message or a Facebook message. The idea is not to feel awkward when doing it. Trust me, if you ask for a debt payment personally or face to face, you will feel embarrassed about it.

How to Collect Debt from Friends and Family Tip #6- Remind your Friend or Family on how long It has been already

For loans that have gone unpaid for more than three months already, you can use this fact to shame the other party into paying. Remember to be subtle about it, though.

How to Collect Debt from Friends and Family Tip #7- Be Polite but Persistent About It

Whenever you send a text message informing your friend or family that you will be requesting debt payment, make your text message sound very formal and polite. When you get a message saying that your friend or family can't make the payment, ask for a lower amount, and if no money can be spared by this person, send another text message the next payday. Do no get weary of collecting. It is the person who owes you money that should get worn down by your persistent payment demands, not the other way around.

I would like to share the experience I've had with debts that inspired me to write this. When I first started working, I lent money left and right to coworkers not thinking about how difficult it would be to collect payment from these people. I even remember one of these people getting mad at me when I asked for a payment. It was as if I was a bad person for requesting payment for a debt. For the past few years, I have tried on and off to collect these debts but to no avail. A few months ago, however, I read a book on persistence and determination, and I tried applying it to debt collection. The results were amazing. One of these debts actually got paid off! I said to myself, 'my faith in humanity has finally been restored!'

Some people, when lending to friends and family, consider the loan a gift or charity. This is indeed a good practice, just make sure that you can afford to lose the money that you'll give away. This way, when no payment is received for the loan, there won't be any bad blood between you and the other person.
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