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10 Polite Ways to Ask Someone for Money They Owe You

10 Polite Ways to Ask Someone for Money They Owe You

It is common for friends or family members to borrow money from you when an emergency comes up, but the problem lies in when they owe you and haven’t made any attempts to pay you back.

So, you need an idea of how to ask someone for money they owe you without making it weird, while still making it clear that you need your money back.

Sure, it can be awkward to ask, but they owe you, not the other way around so you shouldn’t really feel bad.

In this post, we’ll show you how to ask someone for money for the first time, or when they deferred on payment.

We’ll also take a look at how to ask someone for money in a tactful way when they are not replying to your messages.


5 ideas for text messages to ask your friend to pay you back the money they owe you for the first time

Ideally, you should not have to be asking for your money back, but if you notice that your friend has not said something, a simple reminder can help you get that cash back in your hands much faster.
Perhaps they had simply forgotten, or they are waiting for you to say you need it.
Either way, you should take it easy on them since it is the first time you’ve had to ask for it.
Here’s how to ask someone for money they owe you for the very first time:

01“I hope you’re doing well. Just a quick reminder that I’ll need that cash I loaned you the other day for [insert what you need it for]. Let me know if I’ll be able to get it by [insert date].”
This is a good message to send when you haven’t spoken to the person for a while. You are approaching the person in a calm manner and taking time to ask how they are doing before getting to the whole money argument.
You have also included why you need it back, and chances are, if the situation is an emergency, for example, paying school fees, or fixing your car, the person will make a greater effort to get it to you on time.
Plus, it won’t feel like an ultimatum which can be awkward between friends.


no money poor money on pocket crisis
Photo by 1820796 under pixabay license


02“I know I said you can pay me back anytime, but something has come up and I really need some cash. Is it possible for you to repay me soon?”
Sometimes, if you are in a better position than the person who needed the money, you’ll be lax with the repayment date.
However, since life is unpredictable, anything can come up which can cause things to change.
Use this way of how to ask someone for money they owe you when you do not want to disclose what it is needed for, but you need an ETA on when you’ll get the cash back.


03“I hope this message finds you in a better spot than you were in last month when you borrowed that sum of money from me.
Let me know if you’ll be able to repay by the end of the month, or else I’ll try to work something else out.”
You are sending well wishes to the person, i.e. hoping their financial woes are over. While you remind the person he/she has a debt to be repaid, you aren’t applying too much pressure because you know times are rough for him/her.


hands holding dollar bills notes receipt printer

Photo by Karolina Grabowska under pexels license


04“We settled on [insert date], but now it’s almost the end of [insert name of month] and I haven’t heard anything from you about repaying the loan. Are you in a position for us to come up with a payment plan soon?”
This is a good text to use when you and the person you lent the money to had come up with a sort of payment plan but the person did not come through when they said they would.
This is just to remind the person of the agreement so you two can make adjustments where needed.


05“Hey Mike, I hope things are well with you. I figured it probably slipped your mind with you being busy and all but are you any closer to repaying that money I lent you?”
It is good to use this with a close friend when you know that they are not the type to defer payment or hide from you.
It is just a simple reminder that isn’t too awkward and makes it obvious that you are not upset or anything about it.


person holding coins counting money

Image from under Pexels License


2 text messages to ask your friend to pay you back if they ask for deferred payment

It is pretty disheartening when your friend makes a promise to pay you back but hasn’t come through with it, and asks to repay at a later date.
Note that there are many reasons why this could happen, so a kind and gentle approach is always the way to go.
Perhaps there was a family emergency that the person had to use the repayment money for, or perhaps they got caught up at work and with other bills, and it slipped their mind.
Whatever the case may be, here’s how to ask someone for money they owe you if payment has been deferred.

06“Hey, I know you have a lot going on right now, but so do I. Would it be possible for you to deposit half of the money now and half later?”
In a situation like this where you need some money, you can come up with some sort of compromise that works for both of you.
It is good to say this to remind the person that you are aware of their issues, however, you have some of your own that you need to deal with.


person holding black desk calculator dollar bill notebook

Photo by olia danilevich under pexels license


07“I know you would not ask if you did not need it, so I’m fine with putting payment off until [insert date].”
Use this way of how to ask someone for money they owe you when you do not need the money urgently.
Note that it is still important to set a due date for repayments, such as their next paycheck, or the end of the month to remind the person it was a loan and not a gift.



3 ways of how to ask someone for money they owe you if they don’t reply

If you are dealing with someone who does not reply to your first, or second, or even third text about repaying the money they owe you, then you have to put your foot down without being disrespectful.
This is your hard-earned money we’re talking about, and you don’t want to end up in their position because you are kind-hearted.
Here’s how to ask someone for money they owe you if they are avoiding you, or ignoring your text messages:

08“Hey just checking in. It’s been a couple of weeks since you said you would pay me back but I haven’t heard from you.
I’ve given you more than enough time to come up with the sum and I’d hate for this to cause any issues. Let me know what’s happening and if you’re doing okay.”
It is good to use this when you have been trying to contact the person that owes you but to no avail.
It reminds the person that they had failed to keep their word, and that you have been more than patient about the repayment.
The ending is also pretty good because although you are concerned about your money, you’re also concerned about your friend.


person in checkered outfit holding banknote
Photo by Lukas under pexels license


09“I’m not sure what’s happening but I’ve been calling and texting you with no response.
If you’re having trouble returning the money, I’m sure we can work something out. Let’s talk about it.”
This is a good way to let the person know that you aren’t mad and that you just want to know the status of the repayment. That’s pretty fair, right?
The person is more likely to respond if they know you don’t have any negative feelings towards them and you are open to discussing what is going on without an argument.



10“We’ve known each other for too long to let something like money get between us. I feel like you’ve been avoiding me but if you explain what’s happening I’m sure we can figure it out”
Use this when you know for a fact the person is ignoring you. For instance, it’s obvious you’re being ignored when the person is out and about in public seemingly doing well, or posting on social media.
It is good to use this when you care about the friendship and you don’t want to harbor any bad feelings over the situation. It lets him/her know you are open to talk.


cropped photo of a man counting dollar banknotes
Photo by Karolina Grabowska under pexels license



Even though knowing how to ask someone for money they owe you is important, something you should always bear in mind is “Don’t lend money you’re not prepared to lose”.
Not everyone is smart with their money and there’s no telling if they’ll be smart with yours.
Sure, you may have had good intentions, but always remember to protect yourself first, and don’t go lending large sums unless you can guarantee you will get it back promptly.