How to Politely Ask for Money in English

No one feels comfortable asking for money, no matter whether you want to borrow or request someone to return it to you. On top of that, if you are an ESL speaker, you may find it more awkward if you don’t know the appropriate English expressions.

So here, I present some expressions and tips so you can do it better.

You can say, “Would you please lend me some money?” to borrow, and “Is it possible to repay the owed amount now?” to ask for the money you lent. While asking for a loan, you should mention the specific amount, when and why you need it, and of course, when you will return it.

How to Ask for Money in English as a Borrower

When you need to borrow money, you may first think about your friends, family members, or people very close to you. However, no matter how close you are to them, you should be polite and do it respectfully while asking for money.

Here are some expressions you can use to ask someone for money politely.

  • Hello uncle! May I ask for a favor from you? Would you please lend me $50 to pay my utility bill?
  • Hey Jack! Can you lend me $10 for now? I forgot to bring my wallet.
  • Though I ask to help, could you please lend me $1000 for this month?
  • Can you help me out with an amount of BDT 10000?”
  • Would you mind if I ask for some money? I need to pay my house rent today.
  • Though it is embarrassing for me, I am bound to seek financial help from you.
  • John! I probably left my wallet at home. Can you pay the bill for me now?
  • Mom! I’m $200 short for my house rent. Please send it to my account.
  • Is it possible for you to pay the bill for me? I’ll send you the amount tomorrow.
  • I am really out of my budget. Can you lend me $100 now?
  • The last date for my installment for the car is on the 20th of this month. Would you please help me with the payment? I’ll repay next month.
  • Hi Rohan! I’m in an emergency. Can you please lend me $800 for 15 days?
  • Would you mind sending me an amount of 5000 rupees? I must pay my bill tomorrow.
  • Hey buddy! I need 500 bucks now. Hopefully, I’ll get paid tomorrow and repay it.
  • I am sorry, but I must say I am broke. So please lend me some money for a few days.

10 Tips for Asking for Money as a Borrower

As asking for money feels awkward, the people you request money from may also feel uncomfortable talking about money. However, there are different strategies to smartly and politely ask for money without feeling and making others feel uncomfortable.

#1 Ask the Right Person at the Right Time & the Right Amount

As we usually ask for money from the people we already know, we should consider the depth of the relationship between them and us. For example, not everyone is ready to lend you money, even if they are capable of it. On the other hand, some people would love to help you but don’t have the financial ability.

Also, you must think whether it’s a good time to ask for money from someone. For example, suppose someone has money but is going through a tough time regarding personal or professional issues. Will they find it suitable if you ask for help from them?

So, you must think about the right person, the right amount, and the right time to ask for money from someone.

#2 Share the Reasons Why You Need the Money

If you share why you need the money, it shows your genuine need for it. For example, your brother may not lend you money to buy fancy shoes, but he might not disappoint you if you ask for money to buy some books.

So, sharing the reasons may help convince someone to help you with the amount you need.  

#3 Be Specific about When You Need It & When You Pay Back

Not everyone is always ready to help you with money. For example, suppose you need some money on the 8th of next month, but you are asking for it 15 days earlier without telling them the exact date. If they think you need the money now, they may be unable to give it now.

However, if they get 15 days, they may be able to help you with that. Probably the person will get the salary on the 1st of the following month and can help you.

So it’s necessary to tell them exactly when you need the money.

Also, mention the exact date when you will pay back. For example, someone may lend you an amount for a month, but if it’s more than that, they may be unable to help. So, it’s better to talk about the time you pay back.

#4 Talk about the Way of Transfering the Money

If someone agrees to give you the amount you need, talk about the comfortable way for them to provide you with the money. Then, you can ask them what they prefer.

The lender may like to give you the amount in cash or cheque, or MSB. No matter what they prefer, try to provide them with priority.

#5 Be Polite, Indirectly Open, and Honest

Politeness is the key to a good conversation. Whether you request someone or order anything, you must be polite in your choice of words, tone, and body language. The same rule is also applied when you ask for money from someone.

You should never forget that no one is bound to give you anything whenever you ask. For example, while asking for money from someone, you should consider that you are asking for great help or favor from them. Thus you must ask for this favor politely.

Honesty is also part of politeness. You should honestly share your needs and be open about it. However, don’t be so direct that it offends the other person.

#6 Accept Rejection Happily

You must not think that they have to give you just because someone has money. Some people may not agree to give you the amount you need without any reason. Even, someone rich may also reject you for a small amount.

If it happens, you should react positively. For that, you should know how to accept rejections happily.  

#7 Offer Them Help or Return in More

You should not just keep asking for help from someone but also try to help them when needed. Exchanging help can create scopes of good relationships. If you help someone, you can only expect service from them.

If you get something from someone, you should offer them more in return.

#8 Compliment & Acknowledge Their Previous Help

If you want someone to help you with money, you must convince them. And to do so, you should acknowledge their importance in your life. In addition, you should compliment them as a person. You should also praise their effort in your previous life.

If you want to learn different expressions of complimenting someone, you can read my article titled How to Compliment Someone in English.

#9 Try to Ask for Money In Person, If Possible

One more thing I would like to mention here is that, if possible, try to ask for the money from someone in person rather than over the phone call or text.

As human beings, in many cases, we cannot reject people on the face. Besides, when you ask someone for money over the phone, the person may not realize how important it is to you.

On the other hand, if you meet them in person and explain why you need the money, there is less possibility of you getting rejected.

#10 Be Sure If You Really Need to Borrow

The final thing I should say is to avoid borrowing money from someone if you really can manage by not borrowing it. Be sure you really need the amount you are considering borrowing from someone.  

How to Ask for Money in English as a Lender

Asking for some money as a lender is more difficult than doing it as a borrower. When we ask for any amount owed to us by someone, it feels really awkward. However, we still need to do it in our everyday life.

Suppose someone borrowed money from you for a month, and it’s been a year, and the person is not returning the amount. You may need to talk to that person about it. However, you must be polite and try to know why the delay is happening.

Here are some English expressions to ask for money as a lender.

  • Do you have the situation to repay the amount you borrowed last month? It would be a great help to me.
  • Would you please return the amount as soon as possible?
  • Is it possible to make the payment that I lent last month?
  • Can we meet this afternoon to discuss the loan I gave last weekend?
  • I want to talk about the payment for this month. I think the deadline has passed. May I know what you are planning?
  • I need to pay my apartment rent this Monday. Can I expect a return of the amount I gave you last month?
  • I am running out of money this month. Would you please repay the amount I gave you a few months back?
  • Can you help me in this situation of me by returning the money you borrowed from me?
  • I would not ask you for the money I gave you last year if I didn’t start this house renovation.
  • I am sorry to bother you by asking for the loan amount.
  • I know you are growing through some challenging situations, but is there any way you can repay the amount you borrowed last year?
  • Is there any way to make a partial amount of the loan you took last month?
  • Would you mind if I ask you to repay the loan amount as soon as possible?

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5 Tips for Asking for Money as a Lender

Talking about money is always awkward to many people, especially when you ask for that as a lender. So, you must be extra careful. However, here are some tips that may help you ask for the amount someone owes you.

#1 Be Ready for Not Getting Paid Back

Whenever you lend money to someone, try to accept that you will never get that amount back. So, it’s always good to lend someone a small amount so that if the person doesn’t return it, you can manage it.

#2 Explain Your Need

You may explain to the borrower why you need to money back. If you can explain the reasons to them, there is a possibility that you will get the amount back as soon as possible.

#3 Be Calm and Polite

While asking for money from a borrower, you are expected to be calm and polite. You should say anything or show any attitude that may seem humiliating to the borrower.

#4 Suggest When & How to Return the Amount

You can ask for or suggest a convenient time and way for you and the borrower to settle the loan amount. You should reach a conclusion after the discussion and negotiation. Never be too stubborn while you fix the time of repayment. Give space for the other person.

#5 Set Deadlines & Give gentle Reminders

It’s always better to set a deadline when you lend someone money. And you may also give gentle reminders without offending the borrower.

In Conclusion

It may appear challenging if you ask for money from someone, no matter whether you do it as a borrower or a lender. As an ESL speaker, it may seem more challenging to do it in English compared to a native speaker.

I already have discussed some English expressions to ask for money from someone. I hope it will help you.

Thanks for reading.

Happy learning!

Niaj A A Khan is an ESL Instructor with over 7 years of experience in teaching & developing resources at different universities and institutes. Mr. Khan is also a passionate writer working on his first book, "Learn English at Ease."