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chyna's avatar

If you have adult children, and they ask to borrow a large sum of money, do you expect to get it back?

Asked by chyna (43447points) March 9th, 2018

Let’s say your adult child borrowed over 1,000 but then refused to pay it back because “parents don’t loan money, they give it to their kids”. Do you agree with this, or do you expect the child to pay it back?

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17 Answers

cookieman's avatar

Well, my daughter is not an adult yet (she’s 15), but I have a simple rule about money that I’ll probably apply to her too.

I do not loan anyone money. If I can afford it, I will give it you to as a gift. No repayment needed. If I cannot, I’ll simply say I cannot.

I’ve seen far too many examples of “loans” that just lead to all sorts of drama and hurt feelings.

zenvelo's avatar

That is the kind of thing to be worked out before any money changes hands. No one has the right to assume it is a gift ; conversely, the parent needs to say, “I need this to be repaid, I cannot afford to give this to you as a gift.”

longgone's avatar

It would depend on the terms discussed at the time of the loan.

From the other side – as a child of parents who have helped me out before – yes, I always expected to pay them back.

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t lend anything that I can’t afford to lose. When I see it leave with someone, whether it’s a pen or my car or $100 cash, I mentally let it go. (Loss of a car would be a serious hardship, but it wouldn’t kill me.)

That said, I do expect return, whether it’s from my son or someone else. The loan isn’t canceled unless I explicitly say so. I may choose to forgive a loan made to my son, but that’s at my option, not his. An agreement is an agreement, and a debt is a debt, even if unpaid.

I never lend a book any more, though. Learned that one the hard way.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I had a deal with my father. What ever I borrow I will pay it forward to my children when they ask for money.

LornaLove's avatar

I think in an ideal world adult children should be able to borrow money and then be responsible enough to pay it back. If the parent has the money of course.

I don’t believe the idiotic notion that parents give adult children money not loan it. That sounds like a sense of entitlement to me. As parents we owe our children basic care when they are helpless this is not so when they are adults.

I feel quite strongly about this, as you can probably tell.

I was brought up to pay my bills and my first teacher was my father. This in turn made me quite responsible financially.

My own son never pays me back and I don’t ask him. (Now that has probably confused you!). My son has issues, so I know it would be a complete waste of time to expect him to pay it back so I either don’t loan it or am prepared to give it. I am like @Jeruba I never lend anything that I am not prepared to lose. It is a sad fact but many people don’t return objects or money. Not just adult children.

Some parents help their adult kids to purchase homes and cars and some kids are responsible enough to pay it back, other depending on the expectation, just accept it as a gift. One has to say so upfront.

flutherother's avatar

My two kids are self sufficient and never ask for money. However when they were setting up home I offered to help financially. They both offered to pay me back but I declined as I could afford what I gave.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I never lend money. If someone asks me for money and it’s an amount I have no qualms about losing I may give it fully expecting to never see it again. If they pay me back, cool. If not then I have lost nothing.

janbb's avatar

When my son was buying his home, I offered him the choice of a certain amount as a gift or a larger amount as a loan. He took the gift. If he had taken the loan, it would have been paid back.

I have “loaned” money to a very few friends knowing that it wouldn’t be paid back.

2davidc8's avatar

I’ve seen this issue dealt with many times over in various advice columns, and the gist of all the advice is never to lend more than what you can comfortably part with. And once you’ve lent it, don’t expect it back. If you do get it back, great. If not, let it go.
So, if your child asks for a loan of, say, $10,000, but you cannot afford to lose that much, then lend him/her what you can, say, $3000, and don’t expect to get any of it back.

kritiper's avatar

I would. Since the term “loan” was applied…

KNOWITALL's avatar

What kind if ahole adult child assumes it’s a gift? Rude.

Aethelwine's avatar

If our sons need money and we can help them, we will. No loan necessary.

I have the same relationship with my father. He had the same relationship with his mother.

Everyone returns the favor when needed.

Your example is foreign to me because I would never disrespect my parents and I can’t imagine my children treating me this way. If my parents needed the money back I would give it to them.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Aethelwine Agreed. It’s an honor and privelege to be able to help a parent. Of course if the parents are well off and used to doling out cash, perhaps it’s their honor to help their kids. As an adult I’d think they should have a job and budget to be financially secure tbough, at least by 30.

seawulf575's avatar

It depends on the person. I have co-signed on loans for most of my adult children. I have simple rules…they need to pay the loan. If they are going to have a hard time making a payment I need to know about it before it happens, not when they are 3 payments behind. So far all but one has been good about it. The last got a co-sign for a car and made about 2 payments before I had to take over. I also paid for higher education which she wasted. I consider her a bad risk. So when she came to me to borrow money to go back to school, the answer was no. And I told her why. I believe that as a parent we do our children a disservice by giving them everything. They need to learn how to budget and earn their money and how much things cost. On the flip side, another of my kids was living on her own, working and supporting herself, but was running into car troubles. It was going to cost more to fix the car than it would to get another. I couldn’t afford a whole lot and she couldn’t afford a car payment, but I ended up finding her a good reliable used car. My offer…she didn’t ask for it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seawulf Helping those who help themselves. Wise.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

I would not lend a large sum of money.

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