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How to Remind Someone to Pay You: 15 Steps to Follow

How should we bring up payment with a payment who really forgot that they owe you? Remind them that they owe you money and how important this is to you. They should understand by now why it's so important, but if there are any doubts left in their mind remind them again!

How to Remind Someone to Pay You: 15 Steps to Follow

You've been waiting for weeks. You're over it. It's time to remind that someone that they owe you money and the sooner they pay, the better!

Whether they're forgetting to pay you back or whether they just don't want to shell out the cash, there are several ways that you can remind them of their debt.

There are many different ways to remind the person of their debt to you. Some are more passive than others, but all will ultimately work in getting your money back.

So here are fifteen steps that you can take to make sure the person remembers they owe you something.

How do we go about doing this without coming off as rude?

You can't just say, "Hey! I haven't seen $20 in over three weeks. Pay up!"

There are ways to nicely remind someone that they owe you money without sounding like a jerk for hounding them for cash.

If you like to maintain a good relationship with people and would like to be paid back promptly, you should politely remind them to pay you back.

If your debtor is late on paying you or refuses to pay you altogether, pick up the phone and call them immediately. The sooner that they know that they owe you money, the better. They're more likely to return your call or pay you back.

If the debtor doesn't answer the phone, don't get mad at them. Instead, call them again in a few minutes to ensure that someone will pick up the phone on their end.

If no one answers even after calling twice, leave a voicemail message with your reason for calling and your number.

If no one calls back after a few days, send them an email with the same information as the voicemail message: why you're calling and how they can reach you.

You may also want to mention that if this doesn't get resolved soon that it will be sent to a collection agency or turned over to a lawyer.

If you don't hear back from the debtor, send them another email asking how they are and inquiring about payment status. Make it friendly and nonchalant like you're just checking in with them to see how things are going.

You should also attach your original invoice which has all of your contact information on it and a copy of the check that they made out to you.

If the debtor doesn't respond to your email, send them another one. This time ask them what's going on with their lives and be supportive like you care about how things are going for them (even if you don't).

You may want to remind them that there is an outstanding debt that needs to be paid off. You have to learn how to remind someone to pay you text messages for effectively asking for money.

If you don't hear from them after a week, call them again and leave another message on their voicemail. Include the same information as the first two messages: what's going on, your number, and why you're calling.

How should we bring up payment with a person who forgot that they owe you?

Remind them that they owe you money and how important this is to you. They should understand by now why it's so important, but if there are any doubts left in their mind remind them again!

You don't need to come off as rude, but you should be assertive and firm when asking for what's owed to you.

Don't be rude, but always ask for what's owed to you. You don't want the other person to feel that they can walk all over you because then they will take advantage of you in this situation and many others.

You have to remind someone that they owe you money as it is extremely important that they pay up as soon as possible or else they'll have to deal with negative consequences like legal action and a bad credit rating.

If you talk to them in the wrong way, they may become upset and refuse to pay you back at all.

This will not end well for you since they will end up getting away with not paying you and you'll have to deal with their negativity as well as the debt that they owe you.

What if the debtor is siblings with one of my family members?

If this happens, let them know that it's no big deal to you and that you just don't want to be paid back. It would also be nice if they could help out their sibling in some way by using their words or money.

This might be awkward for them, so if they refuse to help out their sibling in some way you may want to offer them $50 instead.

What should I avoid when dealing with someone who owes me money?

Do not speak badly about the debtor or put them down in any way because this will just cause unnecessary drama and it could hurt your relationship with the other person.

You want to be firm but never mean towards the debtor. Be assertive and keep it professional. There's no need to drag emotions into this situation because that will just complicate things further.

You have to know how to remind someone who promised you money to avoid the loss of your hard-earned income.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Don't be afraid to remind them that they owe you money. Be assertive but also polite, not aggressive! You can't go wrong with being assertive!
  2. Give the person options when asking for payment: ask if they can transfer the amount of their debt or pay it in cash. Some people might feel more comfortable with one over another and this way they get to choose.
  3. Be patient: they may need a little reminder to pay you and it might take time for them to get the money together! Give them some time before you decide that they won't be paying up after all.
  4. Follow through with your threats if necessary (withholding goods or services). You're not doing this to be mean, you're doing this because they owe you money and it's your right to ask them for payment.
  5. If all else fails, see if others are interested in buying what the person owes you: sell their debt off so that they can pay up! You'll feel better about yourself; someone will get a great deal and you'll get your money!
  6. Now that you've made your request, keep following up. Send them a text or call every few days reminding them about the debt and how much it is they owe you.
  7. If they're not responding to texts or calls, go ahead and send an email too! They might need one last push to be able to cough up the cash.
  8. Keep in mind that it may take a while for them to pay you back, so don't let this come between you and being friends with your friend or family member!
  9. After all this hard work getting back your payment, make sure that you're not giving them an opportunity for the debt to come up again.
  10. Don't lend money or give out cash without requiring something in return! This will ensure that they have no reason to not pay you back.
  11. If all else fails, use your "good intentions" for a little leverage.
  12. Telling someone that you're trying to help out with their financials and need the money will most likely make them think twice about giving up on paying what they owe - but be careful: you might be biting on the hand that feeds.
  13. Give them options: let the person decide if they want to pay in cash or transfer money from their account
  14. If they don't seem likely to pay you back, do not lend them money or give out cash without requiring something in return. This will ensure that the debt is less likely to come up again!
  15. Don't let too much time go by before they pay you back. Let them know that it's not cool to wait months or years - make an effort to remind them about this!

Politeness is a key, no matter how you bring the topic up

We often lend out money to friends and family some do it with no second thoughts and some do it with serious considerations. Either way, we must know where we are putting our money.

And to lend money to someone who just doesn't return it, someone who you trusted will return it for you is oh-so-frustrating.

Especially when you are in dire need and the other person is still flaking out. But hey, you don't want to seem impolite either, right?

What should you do when asking someone to payback?

You don't always need an excuse or reason, but if they owe you and are in good standing with your friend this is the perfect time to add one!

Suggest that they will get something back for the money they owe you and if not at least ask for something in return.

If they still refuse to pay what they owe, remind them about this debt by calling or texting every few days until it's paid!

The more you follow up on their failure to repay what is owed to you, the less likely that will happen again with your other loans.

Remind them while they have the opportunity to pay up promptly, and when you're feeling extra nice give them more time to repay!

If all else fails, remind them that it's their responsibility and not yours. They are responsible for paying back what is owed, this debt will not be entertained again.

What should you add when asking for the money?

A personal message could go a long way: maybe remind them about how they are missing out on your happy times because of the debt. That might do it for you!

And if that doesn't work, try writing an email subject line with "pay me back" or something similar in the title (make sure to include their name). You may be able to guilt them into paying up.

What does "good intentions" mean?

It is not always necessary that you want the person's money because they owe it, sometimes you are helping them out and need their funds for those reasons.

It could also just be a loan as opposed to an investment or gift (even though you are still expecting to be paid back).

Your good intentions for helping them out will most likely make them think twice about giving up on paying what they owe - but be careful: you might be biting on the hand that feeds.

You don't always need an excuse or reason, but if they owe you and are in good standing with your friend this is the perfect time to add one! Suggest that they will get something back for the money they owe you and if not - at least ask for something in return.

If you are lending someone money because it is helpful to you, mention that in your message!

What should you do after asking for the money?

Don't get too discouraged if they don't respond. Follow up with them regularly and remind them about how much they owe but always stay polite!

Remember that it may take a while before you see your cash, so try not to let it come between you and your friend or family member!

If they do begin to pay, make sure to stop the payments and don't let them back in on this debt.

If all else fails, throw out the idea that they don't want to pay you back (even if that's true) and remember whatever you've learned about yourself in this situation!

How to follow up with reminders?

Try not to let too much time go by before you ask for the payment. This will ensure that you are less likely to get ignored! Let them know what they are missing out on if they don't payback.

It may be a good idea to schedule some reminders in your phone or somewhere else just in case.

Emailing is an effective way to get your message across! It's more likely that they will see it if it pops up on their smartphone or computer.

Use something like "pay me back ASAP!" as the subject line so you aren't asking for requests just reminding them about the money!

Talking face-to-face or over the phone means you are more likely to get a response right away. The best time to do this is when they might be able to pay back immediately (if they have just gotten paid, for example).

All you have to do is tell them that you need your money to be paid back as soon as possible. Be sure to mention why you need it by reminding them of a special event, occasion, or time where the payment was used.

Remember not to be too pushy and always stay polite! No one likes being asked for money over and over again.

If you're more comfortable talking over the phone than saying it in person, then this is fine! It might be easier for some people to hear over the phone.

You can also call them when they are in a good mood or if their wallet is packed with cash (or cards). Tell them why you need the money back right away and how much they owe.

What should you say if they don't pay?

Bothering someone about debt can be annoying, so it's understandable if they put off paying you back.

Just remember that this is their responsibility and not yours! Remind yourself of all the positive things you have going on and continue living life as usual!

If they do show up and slowly start to pay back the money, don't let them slide too much. Keep reminding them about what is owed until it's all paid off!

If they try to drop the payment amount or repay less than agreed upon, then politely say no thanks.

How long should you wait for the money to pay?

Carry on with your life until it pops up when another payment comes around or when they ask you if you can come up with the cash for them.

If you wait too long to ask, they may not even remember about this debt! Waiting is not the best idea because they may never give it back.

You can say something like "could you pay me back by Friday?" Or just tell them outright about why this is important and come right out with it!

If you are shy, then keep it short and sweet. Try not to go into too much detail because it may seem like you are trying to scare them into paying.

Give them a reasonable time frame:

If it's been a week since the event and they still haven't paid you back, pre-empt their forgetfulness and suggest a time frame that could work.

Not in a “Hey, you got to pay me back by this date or I'll put a mob hit out on you” kind of way, but in a more forgiving “I'm chill, but pay me” kind of way.

For example, message them and suggest that you don't mind if they pay you back after they get paid. Or, that you can wait another week or so if they need to get their finances in order. At least this way you're giving them a little wiggle room.

The more understanding you are, the better! The person may be a little embarrassed and might need some time to come up with the funds that they owe you, so just give them an opportunity for their debt not to keep coming up again.

What if they don't reply to your texts or calls?

Have them an email reminding them about the debt and how much it is they owe you. If they are still not responding, follow up every few days in a text or call!

They might need one last push to cough up that cash. It may take some time for the person to pay back what they owe, so don't let that come between you and your family or friends!

Keep following up and keep reminding them about this debt it's your right to ask them for payment!

After all the hard work to get them back on track with paying up, make sure they have no opportunity for this debt to pop up again.

Do not lend money without requiring something in return. That way they will keep their promise of repayment when it comes to you.

Be Persistent with the Procrastinators:

Persistence is important to get money back from the people who never do their work on time. It is not a good idea to lend money if you know that the person will just be putting it off, this can lead to a lot of issues.

This includes canceling engagements or allowing them an opportunity for other expenses with your hard-earned cash in their pocket. Make sure they have no excuses!

If they don't pay up, it might be time to cut them off. You have every right to demand the money owed because you did your part in completing the task at hand and providing a valuable service or product for them!

What happens if I do not receive my money after following these steps?

If you are having trouble getting your money back, contact a lawyer and let them know the situation.

If the debtor is unwilling to pay you back, you may be able to take them to small claims court and win your money this way.

Let a professional handle it from here, such as a lawyer or another third party that can help resolve your issue. You do not want to go about things the wrong way because that could end with you losing even more money.


Be persistent with the people who are not paying you back. You have every right to ask them for their cash because it is what they agreed on when you made this agreement!

If you let up on them, they might never pay their debt to you again so keep your guard up and be prepared for any excuses.

Don't give them too much wiggle room, and make sure to ask them for the money in a way that will not offend them. Follow up weekly or bi-weekly if necessary and make sure they aren't slipping through the cracks again!

This blog post was written to help people who find it difficult to ask someone to pay them back. As money is not the topic everyone feels comfortable discussing, it is important to remember how you can keep your cool and work through the difficulties that may arise.

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