Paying back money to family and friends

There can be a lot of pressure to pay back the money you owe family and friends. For most people, there’s an emotional element to it. If your income has been affected by coronavirus and you’ve fallen behind on bills and debts, it’s important to start getting on top of your money.

Getting your money back on track

If you’re back at work and able to start repayments, which bills you choose to tackle first can make a big difference.

As much as you may want to prioritise paying friends and family back first, there are other bills – such as Council Tax, TV licence and gas or electricity – that have more serious consequences if you don’t pay.

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The most important thing you can do is talk to the person you owe money to, and not ignore the problem.

Even if you’re worried that your income won’t fully recover for a long time, it’s better to be honest with them.

It’s a good idea to make a budget. This will tell you what’s coming in, going out and what other bills and debts you have. That way, you can use it and maybe even show your family or friend so they can see your financial situation.

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Take a look at our guide How to have a conversation about money

It gives you practical tips on how you can start an awkward conversation about owing someone money, and potentially saving the relationship.

When paying back a family member or friend is wrong

If your friend or family member is threatening you, charging excessive amounts of interest on your loan or have taken something like your passport or bank card away from you, this behaviour might make them a loan shark.

It may be confusing linking the term loan shark with someone you care about, but it’s really important you get advice. Call Stop Loan Sharks on 0300 555 2222 to safely make a report.

They’ll contact you at a time to suit you and give you advice for dealing with the situation. They’ll also explain what will happen next, and help you get the financial, housing or debt support you might need.

Other help available

If you’re struggling with money, it’s important you make sure you’re getting all the benefits you’re entitled to.

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When to get debt advice

If you’ve missed more than one payment or are juggling other debts, it’s important you pay them off in the right order as some are more urgent and some lenders have more power than others.

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Extra support if you’re struggling financially and with your mental wellbeing

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Having mental health issues might mean that you struggle to make the best money-based decisions for you, as well as act on them.

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Remember, if you’re struggling financially and with your mental wellbeing, it’s worth getting in contact with your bank, building society, lender or whoever you owe money to, to discuss your options.

However, picking up the phone and talking about your problems is often easier said than done when you’re struggling with your mental health.

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Most places that you owe money to have policies about supporting you if you’re vulnerable. But they can’t help you unless you ask.

For some general tips on how you can manage your mental health check out Rethink’s guide It covers everything from setting a budget to getting help if you, or someone you care about, is having a mental health crisis.

It covers how to handle debts when you’re unwell, working with banks, free debt counselling, tips for bipolar disorder and depression sufferers, whether to declare a condition, and more.

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Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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