If you borrow a little cash from someone, how long is "too long" before paying it back?
By a little cash, I mean anywhere from $20 to $100.
Personally, I would always pay a loan that size back the next payday. I hate to owe anyone money from a personal loan like that. I do know that I have forgotten about loans like that that I have made. There are more concerning things in life than to worry about a few bucks someone borrowed. It's like gambling, if I can't afford to lose the money I won't gamble/loan money.
I think it's best to let them know when you borrow it when you can pay it back. If it's a relatively small amount, such as when you don't have you're wallet or just don't have the cash and the establishment you are at doesn't take credit, let the person know if you can pay them back by the end of the week or whenever you can get your wallet or visit a cash machine (that day if possible or if not give them a date). If it's a meal and you meet the person regularly it can be okay to ask if they would mind picking up the tab this time if you pick it up next time. The longer you go when it's a little money the more likely you are to forget and if the person is nice or doesn't know you as well as a close friend they might not say anything the next time they see you. After a while they are likely to conclude that you have no intention of paying them back and will let it go but likely have a negative opinion of you afterwards. If it's a friend, failing to pay them back could potentially affect your relationship. If someone has to remind you take it good naturedly and pay them on the spot or get it to them somehow the same day lest you forget again. It's not worth ruining a friendship over $100.
When the money is borrowed, the lender and the borrower should agree on a payback date. If the due date passes, then it is already "too long."
If you start getting that feeling that maybe its been too long, than it probably is.
Ideally for a sum that small one should be able to pay it back within a couple of weeks. Anything beyond 4 weeks is too long.
Usually the person borrowing proposes the pay back date.
If the borrower won't/can't give a reasonable payback date it increases the odds of a bad outcome and hurting the friendship.
Failure to pay a friend back erodes trust and it's a betrayal.
I try to never lend or borrow money, on the rare occasions when I do I make sure there is a payback method and date. I would say the time to pay back would be on or before the agreed date and anything after that would be too late.
I have seen money loans ruin friendships and create riffs in families, for this alone it is best not to lend or borrow. When it has to be done a clear payback date should be established and kept.
A year starts to become too long - and the larger the amount, the sooner you need to start at least making payments or set an understanding "I'll pay you X per month once I have a job/profit/etc".
"Too long" is after the agreed upon date to get payed back without any communication as to why. "I'll pay you back" does not really mean anything without some sort of communicated agreement. If a reminder has been given more that two times, then there is probably no initiative on the borrower to live up to their obligation.
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