How to Politely Remind Someone to Pay You: 13 Smart Ways to Tell

If you have a friend or family member who owes you money, it can be hard to get them to pay you back. In this blog post we will discuss the best ways to politely remind them that they owe you money and how much they owe!

How to Politely Remind Someone to Pay You: 13 Smart Ways to Tell

If you have a friend or family member who owes you money, it can be hard to get them to pay you back. In this blog post, we will discuss the best ways to politely remind them that they owe you money and how much they owe!

Kimberly Palmer, personal finance expert at NerdWallet suggests keeping your request “short and sweet.” You can mention it to them in the middle of a conversation.

For example: “Oh by the way, did you want to pay me back for this money I let you borrow? Google pay or cash works for me.”

Or you can mention it when they ask for more money, “Hey, I hope we’re still good on this loan of mine. I know times are tough right now and I don't want to make things difficult."

Why asking money is difficult?

Many people are intimidated to ask for money because they don't want to seem like a burden. This is the fastest way to get them to pay you back!

Also, it's always advisable that if this person is your friend or family member, then the best idea would be to let them know politely; that if they can't pay you back, it's ok. If they can't, maybe give them some time to get the money together.

When borrowing money from friends and family ask promptly so you can both still be comfortable with your friendship/relationship.

How to remind someone to pay you is a hard question as often you lend money to friends and family. They are always going to have a different dynamic when it comes to money so it's important to approach the situation carefully.

"If this person is a more casual friend, you can be straightforward about what you expect. For example, if it’s $20, say something like, ‘We had an agreement on $20 so I hope you have that much for me.' If it’s more than that, it’s still possible that you can speak up, but tread more carefully," Palmer stated.

The right time to ask for money is when things are okay. If someone had just lost their job, or something had happened in life where they suddenly did not have the money they did before maybe wait a few weeks or months to ask for it back.

Understandably, you want to get your money back, but it’s not the time to make someone feel bad about something you were both involved in.

The dumbest way is being passive-aggressive about it and texting them something just mean. Because you think if you say what's wrong then they'll get defensive.

Subtly hinting at how much better their life will be without needing any support from you; or when they start to ask for more money, telling them harshly that you don't have anything left.

The best way is to be direct and polite about it: no need to bring up the past (unless there's an important reason) but simply remind them of what they owe. It's never easy asking someone for their owed money

Remember your tone can set moods so make sure yours is warm and understanding instead of annoyed or frustrated! It might not work every time, but at least you know you tried!

1. The Gentle Reminder

Sometimes, people will genuinely forget that they owe you something not everyone is out to get your money. A simple reminder to the borrower can work for you in these situations.

You want to be certain that this isn't a money issue on their end, so try and see if they have any other problems or bills. Maybe with the baby coming, they're just too busy for work?

You must know how to gently remind someone to pay you. A gentle reminder can go far in these situations because it's not demanding payment from them; you are simply reminding them of what they owe.

The polite way to remind someone to pay you is by being patient and understanding your tone will set the mood for how they react.

Make sure it's warm, not frustrated or annoyed! It might not work every time but at least you know that you tried!

Be courteous and always use polite language when reminding someone about the debt they owe you. (even though it's hard to get them to pay). Just ask if they remember their debt and when they can pay it back.

A good example sounds like this, "Hey, do you remember that I lent you money last month? Was wondering when you could make the payment."

2. Be clear with the terms from the beginning

If they agree to your terms from the start, they are less likely to break their promise or forget about the agreement.

This can include when you should be paid back, how much interest to charge if any, and if it's in a different currency than what you're used to.

If you don't discuss this at the beginning there is more room for them to slip up or try to change the terms.

You can add more conditions if need be like offering an incentive. Make sure it's not too much though or they might feel pressured to take the deal and then never follow through with paying you back afterward. For example: "If you can get your debt paid by next month, I'll give you $100."

You can allow them to work out a repayment plan. You can even offer flexible terms. How to remind someone to pay you examples: "If you can get your debt paid by next month, I'll give you $100."

3. Politely Ask for Help

If you don't hear from the person after several reminders, there might be another issue that is stopping him/her from paying you back which could be something very serious.

If the borrower has ignored or turned your reminders into a joke, you might not experience any results from charging interest, turning it around, or asking for flexible terms.

In this case, politely ask a family member how to go about getting your money back. They will be able to tell you the best way and what they did in a similar situation.

If you have already sent reminders in the past, politely asking for help is a great way to get your money back if they have ignored or turned your reminders into a joke.

4. Turn it Around

One great tactic is to have the tables turned on them! If they are making a big deal about owing you money, maybe it's time for them to pay you back instead of continuing in that cycle.

You want to be certain that this isn't a money issue on their end, so try and see if they have any other problems or bills. Maybe with the baby coming, they're just too busy for work?

Turning it around can be a little more demanding because they probably don't take your request seriously, but think about how dependent they are on your money.

A gentle reminder can go far in these situations because it's not demanding payment from them; you are simply reminding them of what they owe.

The best way to politely remind someone you are owed money is by being patient and understanding your tone will set the mood for how they react.

Turning it around is a great tactic when a borrower is making a big deal about owing you money because they probably don't take your request seriously.

With this tactic, think about how dependent they are on your money and maybe they will be more inclined to pay it back.

5. Break the News

Sometimes people just need to be honest with how they are feeling about their debt situation. They might not want to tell you that they can't afford it, but you can be the person who breaks the news to them.

In these cases, you don't want to make them feel bad about not being able to pay their debt or wanting a different repayment plan. You just need to stay honest and be appropriate with your request.

It is one of the ways to execute this question of how to remind someone to pay you back. Breaking the news is a great way of asking for help if the borrower has ignored or turned your reminders into a joke in the past.

6. Don't be Overly Dramatic

It will go without saying, but you don't want to make false promises about money to get your debt paid back. They need time and you can offer that without making empty promises.

It's important to be patient and truthful with people, so it might just take them a little longer. You have to politely ask for the money owed.  

Don't be overly dramatic when you remind someone you are owed money because this can have consequences on your relationship with them in the future.

7. Don't Let Too Much Time Go By Before They Pay You Back

The longer you prolong asking someone to pay you back, the more uncomfortable it'll be. “Try to get the money back as soon as possible,” Palmer advises, “because the longer you wait to repay someone patient with your unpaid loan or past-due debt, the less likely they'll want to help.”

Be courteous and always use polite language like "Hey man/lady I lent you money last month that was due on this date. Any chance you can repay me now?"

The time and tone of your message will say a lot about you, so make sure it's warm and not frustrated or annoyed.

It might not work every time but at least you know that you tried! Be patient with these people and try to establish some rapport before asking for your money back. In the end, you want to have a good relationship with your client.

Andrea Woroch, the consumer savings expert, tells Bustle. “Otherwise, the IOU can put a strain on the relationship, and friends or family may forget, making you feel more awkward to ask.”

You should never feel bad asking someone to pay you back. It's money that is owed to you that you loaned out of goodwill to be paid back.

8. Ask for an update on what they used the money for

“If someone borrows money from you, they often tell you what it's for. If not, ask them the next time you see each other," This lets you ask for the money in a very passive way and can prompt them to remember their debt.

Some people might get defensive; or when they start to give excuses like they're short on cash. If you know it's not a money issue, then suggest how they could pay the debt back faster.

For example: "Hey, so how has school been going? I know you borrowed some money to help cover tuition." If they owe you a lot of money, be explicit about how much and what is owed.

You want to be certain that this isn't a money issue on their end, so try and see if they have any other problems or bills. Maybe with the baby coming, they're just too busy for work?

The best way to politely remind someone you are owed money is by being patient and understanding your tone will set the mood for how they react.

For example: "I know we agreed that this would happen whenever it's convenient for you but do you remember borrowing $500 from me?"

9. Let them Pay for the next round

If it's a small debt, you can ask your friend to pay for your meal at the next gathering, and that this can be deducted from their debt to you.

It might be a bit uncomfortable at first, but it will show them that you're willing to help and they can feel good about paying off their debt. When you have a friendly relationship with the person, it's easier to be upfront about money.

This works because you get some or all the amount paid back and it serves as a reminder that they owe money! But of course, always be polite about it – it's not nice to be very aggressive even if they owe you.

10. Ask them to help you out

You were able to help them out when they needed it, now's their chance to return the favor.

If you have needed the money back for something, ask them to help you out by paying you back the debt they owe. Always address what is owed honestly with warm tones!

This might not work every time but at least you know that you tried. Let them pay for the next round of drinks or food at a gathering. Always be polite about it, even if they owe you money!

Don't let too much time go by before they are paid back; otherwise, it will become awkward and frustrating to ask them for their debt.

If you're feeling slightly more generous than usual and don't find the money necessary, then you could even ask them for a non-monetary favor instead of the money as well!

11. Give them flexible terms

Offer to have the debt paid back in installment. This works because you're giving the borrower flexible payment terms and you're creating a timeline for when the debt will be completely paid off.

For example: "Hey, if you need a little more time to pay me back for the money I lent you, that's fine. When can we do this?"

You could also offer different payment terms in exchange for something else from them so it still feels like they're getting off scot-free but giving value!

Offer an incentive - make sure it's not too much though or people will feel pressured to take the deal and then never follow through with paying you back afterward. For example: "If you can get your debt paid by next month, I'll give you $100."

Make sure there are other incentives (i.e., letting them borrow again) before doing this because otherwise, people might just take the $100 and never pay you back.

12. Offer them different payment gateways

You can also simply offer the borrower different payment options to help them pay their debt. If they are well aware that they owe you money, they will probably appreciate your willingness to accept payment.

Offer them the payment gateways that work for you whether it be cash, bank transfer or check, etc. Also, think about what they feel comfortable with and how fast they want to receive their money.

Offering different payment gateways is a great way to remind someone you are owed money when they are well aware of their debt.

13. If they refuse your terms, then be clear about what happens next

It's important to let people know that if they don't follow through on their commitment to repay you, there will be consequences for them in return this might include cutting off all future lending as well so it would not just affect the person who owes money but also anyone else around them.

This is a tough thing to do because relationships are delicate things, but sometimes necessary when someone doesn't remember how much of an impact unpaid debts can have!

The borrower may need some time before being able to comply with repayment plans or datelines--remembering debt isn't easy! Be flexible by offering different payment terms should they need it.

If the borrower still refuses to make repayments, be clear with them about what will happen next, and let's see how they take that!

Don't rush into this, though. Give them a chance to pay you back before cutting all ties.

It's not ideal when people owe money but the longer you prolong asking someone to pay you back, the more uncomfortable it'll be!

Try to get the money back as soon as possible and rest assured that in doing so, a relationship will remain intact - or even grow stronger!

Possible Reasons why someone is not paying you back

  • Reluctance

Some people might not be willing to pay you back because they don't take your request seriously or they might think giving in will make them look bad in front of you. They may also be living quite comfortably off the money they owe you without paying it back.

If they refuse your terms, then be clear with them on what will happen next. It's not ideal when people owe money but the longer you prolong asking someone to pay you back, the more uncomfortable it'll be!

Try to get the money back as soon as possible and rest assured that in doing so, a relationship will remain

Always address what is owed honestly with warm tones! Let them pay for the next round.

  • Not ready to Give in

Many persons are not like that but they are some exceptions. This is not an overnight process. Make sure you are being nice when asking for your money back so they feel comfortable paying you off in the end without feeling awkward.

Offer flexible terms, for example: "If you can get your debt paid by next month, I'll give you $100."

Let them know that if they do not follow through with their commitment to repay you, there will be consequences for them in return.

If they still refuse to make the repayment, be clear about what is going on and ask them again a couple of days later.

Conclusion

Let's see how they take that! Don't rush into this, though. Give them a chance to pay. Be honest about how it makes you feel when somebody owes you money, but without letting emotion get in the way of your request

Don't take this personally, but try to give them time and space to figure out what they want to do about their debt. Try not your luck too much in getting the money back, possibly after that person realizes how bad it is to have unpaid debts!

It is never easy to ask someone to pay you back. It's awkward because you're talking about money and it's a topic we often avoid. However, when the time comes to remind them politely that they owe you some cash, go for it!