How to Ask Someone to Pay Your Money Back

Asking for the money you lent isn't always easy. Learn innovative ways to do it, and avoid debt and possibly ruining relationships. Click to explore more.
Colby Brin
January 3, 2023
min read

Waiting for your money back from someone you have loaned it to can be frustrating. You’re left wondering how to ask someone for money they owe you, which can be challenging. Lending money to someone is a kind gesture, but the hard part is knowing how to ask for money back.

If you are owed money by a friend or family member, asking for your money back can be difficult. You may not want to upset that person or cause awkwardness, but it’s a necessary conversation. Although it might make you uncomfortable, it’s not as bad as being left out of pocket. By being understanding and firm, you can help to preserve the friendship while also getting the money that you're owed.

In this article, we'll discuss how to get money back from someone, tips on how to ask someone for cash back in a friendly but firm way, and more.

Why you should ask for your money back

Put simply, you should ask for your money back because it’s your money. When it comes to money, we are generally cautious when giving it away without something in exchange, but with friends and family, it’s different. Although the circumstances depend on each situation, the fact is you should ask for your money back. You are owed that money. You may have agreed to give that person the money because they forgot their wallet, for convenience, or because they were genuinely struggling. Either way, the money was given to them, assuming it would be returned.

Here’s why you should ask for your money back:

-   It can put a strain on your relationship with that person. No matter how close you are, loaning money to someone can cause severe problems if it is not handled correctly.
-   Friends should be able to rely on each other, and lending money to each other is nice. But sometimes, people take advantage, and you need to be assertive to avoid problems.
-   It shows that you are serious about avoiding debt and are conscious of your finances.
-   It shows you are a strong person that will not allow people to treat them poorly or take advantage of them.
-   When you are clear about your desire to get the money back, the person who borrowed it knows that you expect them to pay it back.
-   You don’t want the stress and worry of debt hanging over you. Money worries can spiral out of control quickly, and so can relationship issues. It's better to get the money you're owed than to let the debt linger. 

How to get money back from someone

If someone owes you money, the tricky part can be understanding how to get it back. If you find yourself in this situation, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, this situation is not uncommon. Over 12 million people in the UK are reported to have fallen out with friends and family over money.

Suppose you are unsure of how to approach your friends to ask them to repay their debts. Here are some examples of how to get your money back from someone:

Avoid confrontation

Avoiding confrontation is a good rule of thumb in any situation, but especially with money. Trying to get the cashback that your owed can be frustrating, but it isn’t worth getting involved in a confrontation. If you get confrontational, you could say goodbye to a relationship with a loved one and your money.

-   Avoid passive-aggressive comments that could create tension.
-   Bring it up when the time is right and keep your tone of voice neutral.
-   Speak calmly and ask politely when you’re reminding someone to pay you
-   If the situation does become confrontational, try to de-escalate it or walk away. The person may disappear, and you will never get your money back

The friendly reminder

Sometimes, people forget they owe you money, especially if it is only a few pounds. That doesn’t mean it should be overlooked. Most of the time, they will apologise for forgetting and pay straight away. If not, you will have to send them a friendly reminder. The keyword here is friendly. If they’re good friends, they will pay you back as soon as possible.

-   You don't want your relationship with that person to be damaged, so just ask if they remember their debt and when they can pay it back.
-   Send a text message to someone who owes you money. Example: “Hey, I'm just wondering when you might be able to pay back the money I lent you last month.”
-   Wait until you’re alone with them in person to avoid embarrassment or confrontation.
-   Give them a friendly reminder when you are out with them socially. They may offer to pay for you to cover the amount.
-   With a HyperJar account, members can quickly transfer money between accounts, making paying someone back simple.

Highlight your own financial needs

The worst part about not receiving your money back is that you are out of pocket. Although you loaned that money willingly, you also need it back to maintain your financial health. When it comes to how to remind someone to repay you, highlighting your own financial position to them may nudge them to pay you back. 

-   Explain that you would really appreciate it if the person could repay the money as soon as possible as you have bills.
-   Let them know that the loan was time sensitive and that you did it to help them out as a temporary measure. It was a loan, not a gift.
-   Mention that you don't like getting into debt and like being free from debt where possible.
-   Share other financial burdens you may have. This isn’t to make them feel guilty but to make them aware that you have financial commitments and goals, too and getting your money back is essential.

Ask for your money back in writing

Ideally, you would have an agreement in writing before you loan the money, which details the amount you are lending and when it will be paid back. In the real world, this doesn’t happen. You should ask for your money in writing to keep a record of your conversations.

-   This can be done through text or email. Depending on your circumstances, you can keep it casual or make it more formal.
-   You should write down everything, including how much money is owed, the date the money was loaned, and when it was/is agreed to be repaid. This avoids any confusion and ensures all parties understand the agreement from the start.
-   You can send money requests through your online bank. Quick transfers between HyperJar members make requesting the money you are owed easy. Members can send or ask for money here.

Be flexible

Be flexible in how you ask for your money back. This can keep the agreement on track, and although you may have to wait longer, you will get your money back over time.

-   Ensure that a fair amount of time has passed to allow them to pay the money back before you ask.
-   If you agreed on a timeframe, wait until this time has passed so you meet the terms of what was initially agreed upon. For example, if you agreed, they could pay back the money in 1 month.
-   If the person can’t pay you back in one lump sum, offer to let them pay you back in instalments.
-   If they are in financial difficulty, try to work out a repayment schedule that works for both parties. It is better to get your money back in small chunks than not at all.


Hopefully, you now have some ideas about how to get your money back from someone. By following these tips, you can give yourself the best chance of receiving the money that is owed to you. If you decide to lend someone money in the future, ensure that you set clear guidelines about when you expect the money back and be honest from the beginning.

A HyperJar account makes sending and requesting money easy, so you can keep on top of who owes you money and your day-to-day spending and savings.

Colby Brin

Head of Copy

Colby Brin is Head of Copy at HyperJar. With over 17 years of professional writing experience, Colby’s been a journalist, ghostwriter, language consultant, and writing trainer. Having previously served as Head of Copy at Wise, he’s worked in fintech for over six years. A native of New York City, Colby graduated from the University of Michigan, and has lived in London for two years.

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