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Lending money to friends, kin leads to negative experience – Lose cash, lose relationship

KUWAIT CITY, March 9: In this week’s Arab Times online poll, readers shared their experience with lending money to others in Kuwait with the majority of respondents relaying negative experiences. 18 percent of voters shared that lending money meant that one had to constantly follow up for the repayment of the loan. “I had helped a co-worker and friend out with a loan when he needed to make a down payment for an apartment back home. But we had not really discussed how he would pay me back. I wasn’t charging him interest, so he could pay me back in small bits over time but he wasn’t very consistent from the get go and it made the whole ordeal very awkward. It has put me off the practice,” a reader shared.

8 percent shared that when lending to relatives, it is difficult to ask for the money back and 21 percent felt that you could lose your money and relationship. “I was pressured by my spouse into lending a large sum of money to her sibling who was starting a new business. As the money had been supplied by a family member and not an institutional creditor, repayment was not a priority. It was one of the bigger financial blunders of my life.”

12 percent had the experience of the borrower becoming ungrateful or never returning the money back. A South Asian expat recounted how he had helped a family member find a job in Kuwait and funded his stay during the initial months. But the family member never made any attempts to repay the loan nor expressed any gratitude for the assistance and support he had received.

“Our relationship was so strained after that that I was not even invited to his wedding. A few months ago, we were on same flight going home, and he actually hid his face behind his infant son in order to avoid making any eye contact.” 6 percent shared that they only lend limited amounts. “I like to think that most people in Kuwait are very generous; they will help family members, friends, or members of their community out in times of need. But you need to be wise. I think it is sound advice to never loan an amount that you would not be willing to forgive or that you couldn’t part with as a gift.”

Only 17 percent affirmed their choice of lending as they believed in helping those in need without expectations. “I was able to support my niece and nephew with tuition money for their undergraduate degree. It is a decision I am very proud of because they were diligent students and have good jobs now. They made an offer to repay me which I didn’t accept, I requested them to help others in the family out, if they could.”

18 percent of all respondents shared that they neither borrow from nor lend to others. “Personal loans and financing have become so easy nowadays. There is no need to borrow from people anymore. It is important for people to live within their means and put aside a little with every pay cheque for a rainy day, instead of entreating others for a bailout.”

By Cinatra Fernandes Arab Times Staff

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