Need help with how to ask a friend for help

I definitely do want to look into this someday. Right now its all about solving this pressing problem and I juggle care-taking for my Mom (advanced Alzheimer’s) and my son is finishing high school and my low paying job in education has a lot of responsibility which I take seriously, as I take all these responsibilities, so, one thing at a time.

I was once in a very good place financially from long dedication to wise living and should have had my beautiful house all paid off actually last month but my husband’s choice to leave ten years ago and fabricate lies to the court in order to gain custody meant sudden financial devastation of everything I ever worked and saved for.

Robert also faced devastation when his daughter became pregnant at 15 and then became a narc addict and then “Grandpa” became “Mom”… and related to her drug use were problems of the kind he had no clue how to anticipate or deal with and there was no one in his life to advise him and he did the wrong things like help her. And there was a devastating robbery by his daughter’s friend of all he had left (money, all his tools, everything of value down to even the wires in his home stripped for metal).

So we are both starting over financially and have little means. And though we feel young in our delight in each other, our youth is behind us. We only desire a small paid-for home someday and means to buy our own food, not on assistance, and being able to walk to Mass would be a plus. It seems do-able but throwing away for short-sale the ONLY asset between us, excepting the other asset which is Robert’s work ability and time and zeal to do the work – it seems unwise and something we should avoid if there is any way we possibly can. So, we shall see. We pray nightly to St. Joseph to help us…

P.S. She just emailed me back and can talk tomorrow! I will give a progress report, if only abbreviated.

“It seems do-able but throwing away for short-sale the ONLY asset between us.”

From what you say (that there will be money to pay off the mortgage, pay off other debt, and clear a few thousand dollars after costs) even selling the house as-is, it doesn’t sound like it needs to be a short sale.

I have to say that alarm bells also went on in my head when I read this post. I think it is a great idea to ask the friend for advice and a very poor idea to ask her for money. If she is good at finances and careful with her money, she won’t touch this with a ten-foot pole.

For one thing, he can’t do all of the work by himself. It is impossible to do all aspects of home renovation without a helper of some kind. He will end up having to contract out some things that he planned to do by himself. Costs of renovating an old house are unpredictable. You don’t know what nightmares you are going to find until you tear things apart. When he goes to replace the windows, he may find that the wood is rotted out.

You have already been bankrupted by a husband, please don’t let another man do this to you. It was not your responsibility to use your hard-earned money to fix his house.

Let us know how this request for money turns out. I can almost guarantee that this friend will say no if she has any sense at all. However, she may be a good one to ask for financial advice.

“You don’t know what nightmares you are going to find until you tear things apart.”


Learning to be prudent about your finances is not something to put off. “Financial advice” doesn’t have to mean making investments. We are poor ourselves, living on SS & part-time income, so we have no money to invest. But we have to spend our money wisely. We are supposed to be good stewards of our money. Prudent financial advice will help both you and your friend to be good stewards of your money. Giving money to your boyfriend while you still have children at home is not good stewardship.

Actually, you can ignore it. Sometimes a thought that won’t go away is a temptation, not a suggestion from God. Somehow I don’t think you are understanding any of the good advice given you. If you do understand it, you are deliberately setting it aside to do what you think is good.

There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Proverbs 16:25

Kind of how it went but with much charity and good will.

Actually, he CAN. He has it all figured out. The things that give him stress are the things that are easy for me. The things like building a sound and perfect addition with a powder room from a falling down porch are very low stress for him. He knows the one small part of the job he needs a plumber for, only because he does not have the powerful torches…

Yes, she was good and best of all she prays. I really felt the hand of God on this and I am so grateful to my friend. I gave her the tiniest warning of the content by emailing her it was to talk about my problem with Robert and ask for advice “and help” and when you have means you can easily discern that one. She emailed right back and said come over at 10. She asked Jesus that morning and He said it would be that and we got that on the table immediately, also that she does not lend money and that I wanted her to know that a “no” even with no reason I would totally understand. We had a great visit both before and after this subject and I told her about the whole plan and with her amazing brain she gave me lots of input on things I never thought of. And she helped me find money I had! I cannot believe I did not think of it myself but the Lord was over this whole thing. I believe in this project and we are going for it. She told me how to protect my investment in case for example a bomb drops on his house before we can finish all this. So Robert and I are taking such steps. Maybe I will revive this thread next year when it all works out. Thanks all, for your input.

“And she helped me find money I had! I cannot believe I did not think of it myself but the Lord was over this whole thing. I believe in this project and we are going for it. She told me how to protect my investment in case for example a bomb drops on his house before we can finish all this.”

Please don’t continue to intermingle your finances without being married.

I really like the idea of asking financial advice.

My husband and I have been exceptionally lucky at being gifted with finances. We weren’t always like this (individually, before we were married) but something clicked in both of us right before we got married and we started getting good at it.

That being said…we’ve had family members and friends ask us for financial assistance for a variety of reasons.
The problem?
We had agreed on a payment schedule and no one followed theirs. Suddenly, they became scares on the phone and became difficult to get in touch with.

It took twice as long to get the money back and we’ll never loan out money again. It’s too much of a headache.

However, my husband is not afraid to give out financial advice.

His sister got into a big financial mess that wasn’t her fault. My MIL told her to call us. They way the conversation was going…it sounded like she was expecting to be given a loan to help her get out of the mess…instead my husband gave her some good financial advice and helped her find other ways to borrow the money.

It worked and she was grateful.

Never borrow money from a friend. I’d go so far as to say…never borrow money from family either.
Ask for advice instead.


From what I remember you are both seeking annulments (maybe one of you has one already?) so you aren’t even free to make future plans together.
Please be careful about putting all of your funds into this project! The house is in his name, no? Make sure there is some sort of legal agreement about getting the money (you have already lent him) back and if you do decide to give him any more (honestly, I don’t think this it would be wise) protect that money as well! I know you think he is great etc, but he could have a change of heart, and rightly so if one of you don’t get the annulment you think you will get. Selling the house, the inheritance… no matter how you put it neither are for sure, neither will pay you back for sure. Please be careful!

A friend of mine asked me for a loan. I told her I do not loan money, but I could give her X amount as a gift. She said she needed more than that. We haven’t spoken since that time. I am not angry at her, but I suspect she got angry at me for turning her down. I must remember to pray for her.

I gave up loaning money to people when I realized it was going to ruin the relationship no matter what. Usually turning down someone for a loan has the same effect, but at least I’m not out the money too!


I would never, EVER loan money for someone I didn’t even know. That’s simply foolish. And it casts a very bad light on the person asking for the loan.

My grandfather lent my Dad (his only) and several of his nephews mortgage money for their family homes at a minimal 2% rate for their houses. Only one nephew, who had alcohol problem and was never responsible all his life, did not keep up his payments. Everyone else paid on time every single month.

I borrowed from my brother many years ago when I was student teaching and not able to work. Then I worked three jobs that summer and paid him from the top. The next time I borrowed money was when I was a single mother after divorce, paying rent and utilities etc. on my substitute teacher pay. One month I just could not pay my car insurance, or all of the utilities. This is after years of never once not being able to pay a bill. I paid for college, my husbands college, our home, our cars, never missing a bill. But my Dad was in the hospital and my mother was too daft to understand my dilemma and she had never given me money and wasn’t going to start now. So I borrowed 200.00 from a friend who spends nothing but has savings for when her husband divorces her (long story). It was humiliating to ask but I was desperate. Then I turned off the heat in the dead of the winter except a space heater in the living room and one in my sons bedroom and slept on the couch next to the space heater and wore a down coat in the house to save money (our town had low electric bills, but the house was old and it kept turning off the electricity) till I could pay her back in 3 months time.

So I know some people don’t pay money back but the fact is some people do.

Good. She just needed help and thought the only help was a loan, like I did. Turns out it was the same for me - what I needed also was good advice, not a loan. If I had not talked to my friend who is wise and who cares, I would have thought I had no options.

I should also say that not everyone who asks for a loan feels entitled to get it and gets resentful when they are turned down!

Anyone asking for help does not look admirable. Its humbling/humiliating. Yes, its easy to think a person who asks for a loan looks bad. But if you have ever been in a desperate situation, it helps you learn to withhold hasty judgement.

I used to be judging of divorced people. I put my whole self into staying married and since I was married so many years I thought divorced people just didn’t try as hard as I did, or have the high values I did or they weren’t concerned about doing what would displease God. I didn’t ever say this to anyone - but I thought it. God knows.

Then I had to divorce against my will and now I will wear that name “divorced” the rest of my life. But humiliation is the usual price for lessons in humility.

“The heart has reasons that reason does not understand.”

Jacques Benigne Bossuel


A standard personal finance rule is that if you want to help somebody and you have the money, give them the money. If you can’t afford to give the money outright, you can’t afford to loan the money, either.

The problem is, if somebody is in a pinch and can’t cover their current expenses, a loan will not help them unless there is a certainty of much more money coming in later. If Steve needs $2,000 a month to get by, but has only $1500 in income, lending him $500 will just mean that he’s going to be yet another $500 short. Instead of having the whole $1500 to live on, he’ll have $1500 minus the payments for the $500 you lent him. The more money he is lent, the less he has to live on and the bigger and more desperate the financial hole gets.

Oh Charlotte, I know you mean well, but you are helping your friend Robert bury himself.

Or Blaise Pascal: The heart has its reasons that Reason knows not of.

Charlotte - If you have nothing on paper, you’re running a big risk. When my daughter wanted to buy a house with her boyfriend, I told her that to protect the interests of both they needed a contract. If she died, her boyfriend would be out of luck; conversely, if he died, she’d be out of luck. Happily, they decided to get married. :thumbsup:

Without a contract that details the amounts you’ve invested in his house, if he dumps you or dies, you’re out of luck and all your money.

“Without a contract that details the amounts you’ve invested in his house, if he dumps you or dies, you’re out of luck and all your money.”

And likewise, even if there is a contract and with the best will on Robert’s part, if the house cannot be sold for more than the mortgage, Charlotte’s money is gone.

I really would recommend running this stuff by a wise priest or two. I’m not a canon lawyer, but I fear that these financial entanglements are very problematic from the point of view of eventually entering into a valid marriage. To marry, one needs to be free to choose to marry or not marry, and this situation reduces that freedom. How free can we be when marrying our money lender, who has the power to force us into bankruptcy if she so chooses?

And the other way around, if he refused to pay her back if she were to choose someone else.
Of course there are ways to get your money back, but it would make things complicated.

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