Creditors Have Better Memories Than Debtors

by Ron Haynes

Creditors have better memories than debtors.
—– Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac (1758)

Have you ever lent someone some money and then wondered how to get them to pay you back? Maybe you KNEW you shouldn’t lend it, but you felt pressured to help them out. Maybe you dropped a few hints, maybe you even brought it up outright. Maybe you DID ask repeatedly, but you were always hit with, “Times are just so tight right now, can you wait a little while longer?” As if you really had a choice…

Poor credit is the result of a borrower being unfair to a lender.

Few people understand this simple concept and as a result, don’t understand why no one else wants to lend them money.

I’m not so much interested in the return ON my money as I am in the return OF my money.
—–Will Rogers

Dave Ramsey is fond of quoting the Bible verse: “The borrower is slave to the lender.” I agree, but in another way, the lender is a slave as well. The lender is a slave to the worry that the debt won’t be repaid. He’s a slave to sleepless nights wondering if he made the right decision. He’s a slave to wondering if he was too aggressive with the interest rate or if he left money on the table.

I used to work at a bank that fired loan officers who had default rates above a certain percentage and those who had default rates that were too low. Seems the bank expected a certain amount of loan defaults to insure they were being as aggressive as they should be. Lenders worry about those sorts of things.

Several years ago, I lent someone a pretty large sum of money. To this day, I’ve never been repaid. And I can’t help it, but every time I see that person, I remember. I truly don’t think he does. Ben Franklin was right…creditors DO have better memories than debtors.

What about you? Have YOU ever lent money and worried about getting it back?

[tags]money, lender, slave[/tags]

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1000 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.

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I think this has something to do with basic integrity as well.
A bank officer told me once that she would much rather see a debtor come up with all kinds of stories to try to convince her that the loan would be repaid, than those that try to avoid her.
Loans can and will go bad for many reasons. What must not go bad is the borrower’s attempts to make good.


LOL! Either way, the loan may go bad. At least she could be entertained with the stories!
But you’re right. It all boils down to basic integrity. Unfortunately, there seems to be a growing segment of the population that thinks “the bank has plenty of money and it won’t hurt them if I don’t repay this loan.”

Momma @ Tales From The Road Less Traveled

I’ve most definitely been coerced, hijacked, guilted into lending money to people I knew wouldn’t pay it back. But that was back in the days before I realized that nobody had a right to expect my money to go to support their refusal to be financially responsible. I spent a lot of time carrying around anger and disenchantment with all of those situations.

Once I realized that the only person I’m accountable to for financial support is myself (meaning my household), it became far easier for me to determine where to lend or give my money and where not to send money down the drain. It’s not an easy lesson to learn.


nope. i don’t lend money anymore and if i worry about getting something back then i probably shouldn’t have lent it.

lending money can destroy relationships.


You got that right. I borrowed money from a roommate when I was in college and it bothered me for a long long time. It was only $150 but I was unable to pay him back for 2 years. When I did, I sent him the money plus compounded interest and a sincere thank you note. But you know, things never were the same.

Four Pillars

Wow, how much did you lend?

If I lent someone money and expected it back, I couldn’t possibly not say anything.


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