10 Polite Ways to Ask Someone for Money They Owe You

Dealing with friends or family owing you money can be tricky, but it’s crucial to navigate the situation gracefully. In this guide, we’ll explore various scenarios and provide detailed responses to ensure you can ask for what’s rightfully yours without straining relationships.

How to Ask for Money for the First Time:

1. “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].”

Approach the person calmly, showing genuine concern for their well-being before discussing the financial matter. By specifying the purpose, you convey urgency without creating an awkward ultimatum.

2. “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?”

Acknowledge the flexible repayment terms previously mentioned but subtly express the urgency. This message allows for an open discussion while highlighting the unforeseen circumstances prompting your request.

3. “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.”

Blend well wishes with a gentle reminder of the outstanding debt. This approach recognizes the challenges the borrower may be facing while maintaining a firm expectation for repayment.

4. “We settled on [insert date], but now it’s almost the end of [insert name of the 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?”

Address the agreed-upon date, emphasizing the need for adherence to the plan. This message encourages a collaborative effort to adjust the payment schedule if necessary.

5. “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?”

Employ a friendly and understanding tone when dealing with a close friend, acknowledging the possibility of forgetfulness without causing discomfort.

Dealing with Deferred Payment:

6. “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?”

Propose a compromise that considers both parties’ situations. This message fosters a sense of understanding while emphasizing the shared responsibilities.

7. “I know you would not ask if you did not need it, so I’m fine with putting payment off until [insert date].”

Express empathy and offer flexibility in cases where the urgency for repayment is not immediate. Set a clear due date to ensure the loan is not forgotten or treated as a gift.

with Non-Responsive Borrowers:

8. “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.”

Gently remind the borrower of the elapsed time, expressing concern for both the money and their well-being. This approach encourages open communication and shows consideration for the friend’s situation.

9. “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.”

Address the lack of response while maintaining a calm and understanding tone. This message emphasizes the willingness to discuss and find a resolution, minimizing potential conflicts.

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.”

Appeal to the strength of the friendship, expressing concern about the avoidance. This message conveys a desire for open communication, emphasizing the importance of resolving the issue without damaging the relationship.


While knowing how to ask for owed money is crucial, it’s equally important to exercise caution when lending. Always prioritize self-protection and avoid lending significant amounts unless you can afford potential delays. Balancing empathy with clear expectations will help you navigate these situations without jeopardizing relationships.

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