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Why You Must Neither a Borrower nor a Lender Be

This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson, who regularly writes on the topic of accredited online universities. Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions at her email address:

I’m sure it’s every college student’s dream to live life king-size, but when you’re hampered by the basic fact that you have no money, you only hope you’re never reduced to the position of a pauper. Most students, unless they’re born with silver and golden spoons in their mouths, are barely able to eke out a comfortable existence in college because most of their money goes towards their tuition fees and the cost of books. So the primary aim of ever college student (besides that of studying, of course) is to enjoy four years of college without getting into that black hole called debt, and to do this, you must neither a borrower nor a lender be.

When you borrow money – or even other stuff like books, items of clothing and jewelry – you are at a disadvantage because:

  • You are in debt, even if it is to your friends.

  • When you don’t repay debts to friends, you risk losing the friendship forever.

  • If you lose borrowed items that are financially valuable or that have sentimental value to the owner, you feel a sense of guilt that is hard to erase. Besides, you also risk the embarrassment of a dressing down or angry words from the owner of said items.

  • You will be perceived as a perpetual borrower, someone who your friends and acquaintances will start to avoid sooner or later because of your borrowing habits (especially if you never return stuff).

When you lend your friends and fellow students money or your belongings, you stand to lose because:

  • From a financial standpoint, it is a bad decision to loan small amounts of money to friends because of the high probability that they will never be paid back. If you insist on payment for amounts as low as $10 or $15, you’re going to be considered a cheapskate who hounds people for money, even if it is your own.

  • It’s hard to keep track of your belongings when you lend them out to people, and if you don’t remember who borrowed a book (or some other object that is absolutely necessary) from you or if the person denies borrowing it, you are left in the unenviable position of having to spend more money and buy it again.

  • If your friends lose your belongings, you cannot take them to task and are also forced to spend what little money you have to buy essential items.

When you decide to never borrow or lend and hold firm to the policy, you’ll find that college becomes much more financially friendly.

Stephanie’s note: What do you guys think – are you okay with lending and borrowing? Please share your experiences in the comments!

2 responses to “Why You Must Neither a Borrower nor a Lender Be”

  1. Jerry

    The problem with borrowing is that (at least to me) it leads to some real nerve-racking moments because I don’t want to ruin my friends’ stuff. I am actually a much better lender (as long as it isn’t something that I really need) than borrower… heck, I have insurance on my car, and I worry less about my own stuff than screwing up someone else’s.

  2. Nnamdi

    I have to agree with the one about loaning small amounts of money. The smaller the amount, the less likely it’s gonna get paid back any time soon.

    Even if you nag your friend about it every once in a while, payback may never happen. The amount is just so insignificant that your friend just doesn’t realize that he owes you anything.

    Usually the only “lending” or “borrowing” I do is paying for my friends food or them paying for me. That way, the debt can be repaid the next time we go out to eat together, which usually isn’t too far in the future.

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