It is a frustrating fact that Filipinos have the wrong concept of debt or utang. It is a common norm for Filipinos not to pay their debt from their family and friends. When Filipinos are short in cash, the first thing that pops in their mind is to borrow money. In fact, Manila Times cited that high levels of personal debt (excluding mortgages) are overshadowing Filipinos’ increasing financial discipline. But if you are the lender, it can be awkward to ask your friends to return the money they borrowed.
Oftentimes, Filipinos avoid asking for their money back because they are afraid to destroy their relationship with their friends and relatives. Some people are also not aware that government institutions like Pag-IBIG and SSS offer various salary loans, helping more Filipinos financially.
In this article, we will discuss the most effective ways to ask for your hard-earned money without affecting a relationship.
1. Remind them politely
Make use of polite words when you are reminding someone about their debt. Simply ask if they recall their debt and ask humbly when they can pay it back. Instead of using SMS or chat, call or talk to them in person so you can express your politeness.
2. Ask for an update
People borrow money for a purpose and they usually communicate this ahead of time. Remember the purpose of that person. If the money borrowed, for example, was used to pay tuition, ask that person who owes you how the school is. This will help them remember their debt as you begin such a conversation.
3. Ask them to help you
If it’s a small amount of money, you can simply ask your friend to pay for your meal the next time you see each other. Other "help strategies" include:
- You need to pay your monthly bills
- There's an upcoming birthday and you need your money to buy a gift
- You need funds for an emergency
4. Give them flexible terms
Offer to have the debt paid back in installment. This works because you’re giving the borrower flexible payment terms and creating a timeline for when the debt will be completely paid off.
5. Let them pay for the next round
If you see the person who owes you money quite frequently, ask him or her to pay for the "next round." This can be as simple as a meal, a bucket of drinks, or transportation fare.
Unpaid debt can destroy relationships. Getting angry at someone who owes you money may lead you to lose a friend. In our culture of debt, being left unpaid is a real possibility when you lend your money to a friend or relative. Remember that it is only ideal to lend an amount that you're comfortable with. Debt is debt. Be smart with your finances.