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What to Do When Your Boyfriend Asks to Borrow Money

You don’t feel comfortable loaning your boyfriend money, but you don’t know how to say no to a guy you’re dating – and maybe even in love with! These five tips will help you know what to do when a man asks you for money. Even if you have the spare cash, it might be smart to say no when your boyfriend asks to borrow money.

These tips are inspired by one of my readers. “My 65 year old boyfriend is preparing to retire,” says Barbara on Signs It’s Not Smart to Loan Money to Someone You’re Close to. “Part of his preparation will be filing for bankruptcy and walking away from his home/mortgage. He owns a really nice motorcycle that we both enjoy. He has asked me to buy his bike in order to protect it from the bankruptcy. This purchase would equate to me paying him $10,000 and him then making payments of $250 a month. We have know each other for about eight months and I like him a lot, but this request has made me uncomfortable. My boyfriend isn’t asking to borrow money, but it feels dishonest. I don’t want to buy his motorcycle. What do I say?”

My vote is that she tells her boyfriend, “No, I can’t loan you money.” She needs to let her boyfriend buy his own bike and take care of his own financial situation. She shouldn’t give her boyfriend money even if he promises to repay the loan. She should never put her financial security at risk for a man who is filing for bankruptcy! Her boyfriend may be a nice guy to date, but he’s not good with money. Barbara needs to trust her instincts and learn how to say no when a man asks for money.

That said, however, I know it’s easy for me to say “No” because it’s not my boyfriend asking to borrow money. I understand how hard it is to say no when a man you love asks for money and you don’t want to disappoint him. Saying no to your boyfriend is especially difficult if he really needs a financial loan for property or even something as serious as bail. You may feel pressured to say yes even though you know it’s not a good idea to loan him your money.

What to Do When Your Boyfriend Asks for Money

One of the smartest ways to respond when a man asks you for money is to tell someone you trust. Talk to your parents, or your smartest friends, or even a counselor or savvy coworker. If you’re embarrassed or ashamed to tell people that your boyfriend or a guy you’re dating is asking to borrow money from you, there is something wrong with his request. You know your boyfriend is asking to borrow money because he’s not good with the finances. You know you can’t afford to give or lend him money. You’re here because you don’t want to lend him money – and you’re right to be hesitating.

when a man asks for money
What to Do When Your Boyfriend Asks to Borrow Money

In almost every case, I think girlfriends should say no when their boyfriends ask to borrow money – especially when he is financially bankrupt or has a bad credit rating. He does not know how to manage his finances, you won’t get your money back, and the money will always be between you.

Your boyfriend’s financial mismanagement does not mean he’s a bad guy or that you should stop dating him. It simply means that you should keep your finances separate from his. Even if you marry this man, you need to make sure you are financially independent and that you retain your own good credit rating.

If you decide to say yes when a man asks you for money or a guy you’re dating is begging for a financial loan…

1. Never lend a man money if you’re already in debt

Here’s more of Barbara’s story (my reader whose boyfriend asked to borrow money): “He is a very generous man, but he is not good with money as evidenced by his need to file for bankruptcy at this stage of the game. I’m retired and on a fixed income, this is a lot of money for me. I currently carry $11,000 in debt that I am trying very hard to pay down. I also have a savings account with about $1,200 in it. Though I do have stock I could sell if need be, I don’t feel that is very wise of me to sell it at this time.”

You should never loan money to your boyfriend when you’re already in debt! Do not put your financial future at risk because your boyfriend can’t manage his money. You can love him with all your heart, but keep your money in your savings account, stocks, and retirement investments.

2. Separate business from your relationship – because a financial loan is business

“My problem is that I think the world of him, but his mismanagement of his own money make me very uncomfortable in trusting his ability to repay me. Do I go with my gut feeling? How would I explain my reasoning to him without hurting our relationship?”

Yes, you go with your gut feeling. Your instincts are telling you not to loan money to this man. Barbara knows it’s not smart to give this man money by buying his motorcycle and hoping he pays it back. Dating a guy who wants to borrows money – even for a “guaranteed” return on a “smart” financial investment – complicates the relationship in ways that won’t be easily fixed.

3. Tell your boyfriend the truth: you can’t afford to lend him money

Here’s what to say when a man asks if he can borrow money:

“I think the world of you and I’m happy in our relationship, but I just can’t afford to lend you money. I don’t want a loan to come between us, or have a negative effect on our relationship. I’m sorry you’re going through this financial situation but I have my own financial responsibilities to deal with.”

The less you say to your boyfriend when he asks for money, the better! But you could also say, “I’m in debt, I have mortgage payments, I don’t earn much money, and I don’t know what my financial future holds. I wish I could help you, but I don’t have the money you need.”

Are you worried, anxious or even scared to say no to your boyfriend? Then maybe he isn’t the right guy for you to date. A healthy, loving relationship allows you to say no when a man asks for something. If your boyfriend gets mad or upset because you decided to say no to his request for money, there are more serious issues than finances.

4. If you say yes when your boyfriend asks to borrow money…

If you lend money to a guy you’re dating, make a contract. Insist that your boyfriend sign it. The contract has to contain the loan terms: how much money your boyfriend borrows, when and how he’ll pay it back, the interest rate, and the final date that all the money will be repaid.

Asking your boyfriend to sign a financial loan contract will feel awkward and strange, like you don’t trust your boyfriend to repay the money he owes you. This is why it’s better to just say no when a guy you’re dating asks to borrow money! But if you really want to loan him the cash, search the internet for “sample loan contract.” You don’t need a formal agreement or loan document — just include the loan terms I listed above. Remember, however, that a loan contract won’t guarantee that your boyfriend will repay the money he borrowed from you.

5. Don’t count on getting your money back from your boyfriend

If anyone asks to borrow money from you – whether he’s a guy you’re dating or a man you’ve known your whole life – the smartest thing you can do is say “no.” The second smartest thing is to assume that if you loan him the money, you’ll never be repaid. Most men who ask women for money aren’t financially responsible, have heaps of debt, or have a bad credit rating. These aren’t just serious problems in his life. They’re red flags for your relationship.

When you lend money to a guy you’re dating, expect you’ll never be repaid. This is how your relationship will survive because you won’t resent your boyfriend if he doesn’t pay you back. If he does, you’ll be happily surprised!

If you can’t talk to your boyfriend because he’s too busy, read What to Do When Your Boyfriend Doesn’t Have Time for You.

How will you respond when a man asks you for money? Your big and little comments are welcome below!

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60 thoughts on “What to Do When Your Boyfriend Asks to Borrow Money”

  1. A lot of men these days think that women owe them. They believe they are worth more than anyone else. No one is more valuable than someone else. People are not sacrifices but they tend to think we are. Our life is just as important as theirs. It is difficult and frustrating when he thinks you are obligated to help him. It comes to a point when a women sees his phone number on her phone but she won’t answer because she’s afraid he will manipulate her out of her money. When we work in order to give money to a man, it’s like we are working for free. We don’t get anything out of it. Seriously, Ladies our babies and kids need things. They rely on us. They need us and love us. Whereas, this man can say he loves and needs you. But after he receives your hard earned money more often than not he will turn on you leaving you hurt and broke. You know who your friends are when you are hurt and broke.

  2. Please reconsider the relationship. Thrre are plenty of young men who are financially responsible. Trust me, it is not worth the pressure& stress. Also, think long-term – he is not going to change, & you will always get stuck with debt that you don’t want/need.

    I say, “Run!” Quickly.

  3. If you can’t be honest with your boyfriend and say you can’t lend him money, then lie. Tell him you have no money. Tell him you’re not allowed to give financial loans because your parents control your money. Tell your boyfriend you love him but you just can’t lend him money.

    Or, you could tell him the truth! Say that you’d lend him the money if you could, but you need it for other things. If your boyfriend keeps asking to borrow money, keep telling him the same thing. It really is as simple as saying that you just can’t give your boyfriend a financial loan because your money is earmarked for other things.

  4. My bf love me as he said everday..I think he is in depression.He wants money from me as he has to spend money on his career.I m just only a college student.i cant lie to my dad just because my bf wants money. He frequently asked about money. I dont know how to handle this situation?

  5. I loaned a large sum of money to a boyfriend. I felt uncomfortable, but I succumbed to his pressure, hoping for a proposal. (Crazy in hindsight!) After 3 years & no proposal, I broke up with him. I had to threaten legal action to get my money back.

    Instead of thanking me for not charging interest, he said he could not believe I could be so “viscious.” It was all the money I had left from a 30-year marriage. I could not afford to lose it. Thank God, I got it back. I am not a mean, vindictive person, but I had to get my money back! He took advantage of my kindness & trust.

    My advice to anyone: This article is 100% correct – he is borrowing $ because he mismanages money. DON’T DO IT!

  6. okay so my ‘boyfriend’ of like 2 weeks messaged me asking to borrow £20 bc he needs it for the bus. he already works a full time apprenticeship and a saturday job at a steak house, and i earn bare minumum for a 16 year old with one job and i’m still in high school. he wanted me to transfer my money, i only have like £12 in my bank and he still was asking for it and i lied and said that my mum wouldn’t be happy if my bank balance went down to 0 and i also needed it for the bus (which i don’t bc i dropped off and picked up from school). but idk whether this is right, bc we’re not even officially dating and he already wants to borrow money from me and we haven’t been together for that long (how would i know whether he’s just going to use me for money or whatever) i hope i made the right choice lol, like i’m not your sugar mummy.

  7. You did the the right thing, “Young Sally.” He is just trying to make you feel guilty so that you will give him money. He had a wife and children, he needs to deal with his problems without your help.

  8. Leah — Your story sounds a lot like mine — and I got the same response from my therapist. I reconnected with an old BF (who says he is in a bad marriage – largely for money issues) — and after about six months it moved from friends to something more. We reconnected in part because we were both feeling alone in financial straits and our breakup 30 years ago was more of a sputtering out rather than a real breakup (even though we were together for over three years).

    Long story short — I’ve been working for two years to get out of my financial mess – finally selling my apartment and getting an okay nest egg on which to start over. He is still struggling to make ends meet – particularly on his house payments. No fewer than 2 days after I closed on my apartment sale – he asked to borrow $5k….I said no…then $1k…then $500….then $350….and finally $150…..he negotiated for a full-week. He is/was testing me….and it felt awful. He’s apologized…the supportive friend in me feels that he is burned out after 12 years of financial straits that he can’t seem to solve….my therapist says it sounds like an addiction on his part…..

    I don’t want to lose the intimacy of this relationship – but I may have to – for my own sanity….and solvency….and frankly – it sucks. I’m now looking at him hoping that the guy I adored, who was kind and steadfast and reliable is still there….even after the money ask….but I may be at the point where it is simply too late….Yuck,

  9. I found this column because I googled “what should you do when you BF asks you to loan him money” – and then clicked over here. I have the glorious opportunity to enjoy both.

    I’ve been seeing someone who I dated for nearly 4 years in the early 80s. There is a 12 year age difference…which I think is why we originally broke up. He is/was a wonderful man and I’ve mentioned several times to my therapist (prior to reconnecting with him) that in many ways he was possibly right guy, wrong time.

    We reconnected through my mother (although she doesn’t know it). She recognized him in a local store and gave him my info. When he contacted me, he was very vague about problems at home. He’s been married to someone for nearly 30 years and has two kids – one who just graduated college and the other starting HS.

    When I knew him he was reliable, sensitive and maybe not frugal – but not a big spender. He never aspired to a fancy life…he had a solid job in advertising and was great with clients – but he was not career focused. I spent nearly 30 years focused on my career – and really didn’t miss having anyone in my life – and then he showed up. The timing wasn’t ideal – I was overwhelmed with two new clients (I’m self-employed and was trying to build out a book of business) and fighting with my coop where building work had prevented me from listing my apartment for sale for nearly three years. My life sucked – and so did my finances….for the first time since the mid-90s.

    We talked for a few months – finally agreed to meet in person – and it was great. We were older – I’m now in my 50s – I was in college when we dated – and he is in his mid-60s. His life sounds like it has been one bad decision or break after another. Most years he did okay – but the financial crisis hurt his income, then his son was born prematurely and his wife developed early breast cancer…but is in remission for seven years. Through it all, he was there for his family while being the only breadwinner. I can’t think of a guy who works harder to make other people happy.

    After about six months of talking – our relationship shifted…and became intimate. He’s been living in the basement at home for over two years now (shortly after we re-met). Things at home sound awful for him – but of course, I only know what he tells me….I’ve done my best to be there for him after a bad fight – or when he’s had some other crisis…and he has been there for me through my incredibly stressful apartment sale.

    Now that I have a good nest egg – I am restarting my life – new clients, looking for a rental apartment until my credit cleans itself up – and trying to put what I learned in the last decade or so about myself to the test. Until about 10 days ago, I thought our relationship was starting to cement itself. It was never clear what our relationship would look like – but I was largely okay with the uncertainty…not happy…but okay.

    Then he asked for money…$5k to catch up on the mortgage…I said (after getting good phrases from my therapist) that I wasn’t comfortable doing it. He convinced work to give him an advance….but it wasn’t enough….so he lowered his ask a couple of times until today when he asked for $350 to get through to the end of the week when he gets paid. I said no.

    I feel awful (of course) – his financial and home life are a mess – and have been for a decade….and each time I’ve broached the subject – can his wife and/or adult daughter work and contribute to the family income so it isn’t all on him…what about renting the house and renting a smaller place (or even better sell the house)….he seems to agree that they are all good steps – but then he creates some excuse for why it can’t be done.

    So now we’ve had our first fight…in 35 years. He says that he is disappointed that he asked for help and I didn’t give it to him….because it was only $350…not a full bailout. He complained that it wasn’t okay for me to say that the loan (however small) made me feel uncomfortable – but that it was okay for him to be uncomfortable. And that obviously he’s ruined his relationship with me (as he has with his family) and that not loaning him the money means I don’t trust him.

    It’s horrible to know that you’ve hurt someone – but this situation feels a lot like my dealings with a friend who – after being sober for many years – fell off the wagon in a big way. That friend stopped talking to me after he found out that I chose another real estate agent to list my apartment. I knew he would work hard – but I also knew that it would put a terrible strain on our relationship (and this was before I knew he had relapsed) That relationship is over.

    Alas, this one may be as well. It will hurt if I have to cut ties with this person who again became very important to me..But I sincerely hope that hearing “no” from someone he respects…will eventually get him out of his “I just need a break” mindset to “I need a plan to deal with people and issues that I’ve been putting off for too long.”

    Thanks for listening…or rather reading.

  10. My boyfriend asked me to urgently transfer money back that had just come to me that he had previously borrowed. He rang consistently over a few hours, despite me explaining I was busy but would contact him after. I rang and he didn’t pick up. I texted, no reply. 6 hours later his phone called mine, I heard a woman’s voice and him saying, I am trying to call nartha. Then the phone hung up. I called back, he didn’t pick up. I hid my caller ID a short time later and he picked up, then he cut the conversation short and I didn’t get to talk about the money. 8 hours later, he calls back and first thing he says” did your transfer the money?” I said no. By this stage I was getting annoyed at a woman’s voice in the background, the demand and the fact he had not come to see me as promised. I am sure you are all reading this and saying ” dump him!”. Trying to get the truth ended in a huge fight. He got angry saying I was insecure about who he was with- I said no, I was just not an ATM machine for him to have fun on my money without me! Guys love to pull the – you are just jealous and paranoid” card, however there is no shame in being insecure and paranoid with REAL reason. I am proud to say, on this occassion, I was glad I was insecure and paranoid and said no because I was spot on! Girls, if a guy accuses you of being insecure and paranoid when all you have done is gently asked questions, play it right back. Shout yes I am, I am, I am, I am and you are NOT getting what you want from this crazy cow, catch ya later! .

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