To give a loan again, or not? Advice, please.

For about 8 months now, I have this lady cleaning my house, once a week.
I don’t know her all that well, because I’m usually in bed when she works. But I hired her and I believe she’s a nice woman.
If necessary - when she’s unable to come to work, or when she needs cleaning stuff, etc. - we mail.
[I’m in bed a lot with the phone plugged out]

Five months ago she mailed me, asking for a loan.
She explained that she was terribly embarrased for asking, but needed money desparately and had no-one else to turn to.
She and her partner had huge debts and were in danger of getting evicted from their home.

I’m not rich, but I got her the $3000.
She earned it back - fair and square - by working for no wages and by letting her partner do some house-painting work in my partner’s office.
No problem so far.

Last month I got another mail, asking again for money.
I told her I couldn’t because we [my partner and I] are just starting a new bussiness. [which is true, ofcourse]

Yesterday, another mail. In the header: ‘Cry of Distress’. She needed $2000 more, otherwise they would be on the streets before Christmas.

I guess I could get some money from my savings account. It would mean a lot of hassle [you can’t get to your money without losing some of the interest] but I could.

I’d feel terrible when they actually are thrown out of their house, what with being the time of the Christmas spirit and all.

What to do?

You absolutely do not give her the money. $2,000? I wouldn’t give that much money to my mother if she asked for it. And you don’t even know her that well? And she sent you a F*&kin letter asking for it, instead of asking you herself?

I don’t want to be critical of you - but WTF did you give her $3,000 for? Is there a happy ending at the end of the mopping or something? You are a mark. Plain and simple.

Maybe I’m overreacting, but I don’t think so. This whole thing sounds extremely fishy to me. I would fire her and get a new housekeeper. Seriously.


  • Peter Wiggen

My only beef is: Why are YOU the only person she can turn to?

In my mind, I’m thinking she must have burned a lot of bridges to put herself in a position that she has to ask a stranger, her boss! of all people, for that kind of money. (purely conjecture mind you)

Now, if it were just an advance on next weeks pay; I wouldn’t have a problem with that. But $2000? Nah,.

Oh, and try not to feel too guilty about it. I know it’s easier said than done but you’re under no obligation (moral or otherwise) to loan her that kind of money.

If you’re really feeling guilty about it: Contribute to you favorite charity. (If you don’t already) This way you KNOW you’re doing a good thing and you KNOW you’re not getting suckered.

Peter said it right: you are a mark. You are on the shit end of a grift.

A bank ain’t gonna loan her the dough. Why should you?

She’s using the “Christmas” angle to play you. They’re not going to get thrown out. In 6 months, either

  1. She’ll be gone with no repayment.

  2. She’ll have “sort of” worked it off, and be hitting you up for money again.

What’s NOT going to happen is that this is going to finally sort things out for a person who obviously can’t manage her money but just needs to get over a hump.

If she worked it off last time IMO it’s unlikely she’s a grifter, but it’s also weird that she needs money in these big $ 3,000 chunks for some pressing issue and then can afford to work without pay for an extended period of time.

In my experience with loaning money to less fortunate individuals you had best consider the “loan” (if you intend to make it) as money gone forever. if it gets paid back great, but don’t count on it. You got lucky the first time, don’t bank on a repeat with someone who has chronic money problems…

Maybe you could request a face-to-face meeting and get more information from her. It sounds like you want to loan it to her but you feel you might be taken advantage of. More information would help you make your decision.

You could also tell her you’ll make the check out to her landlord.

Be sure to set up exact terms of repayment…in writing…if you decide to give her the money.

I’m a money loaner. I know what it feels like to borrow (or steal) to make ends meet. I’ve spent my “flush” life trying to do unto others in kind.

Are you kidding me? You actually give $3000 to some lady you don’t even know no questions asked? I can’t even comprehend.

. . .or she’s a good grifter.

Well, she’s cleaned his place for 8 months, once a week. 3 months at the time of the loan.

Still, she almost certainly had him pegged as a softie, and manipulated him perfectly.

Also, it takes a lot of cleaning lady work and paint jobs (in the OP’s partner’s office :rolleyes) to work off $3000.

gum, stop being a sucker, right now.

I’m struggling to answer here. I never loan money that I can’t afford to lose. Then if I get it back I consider it a bonus. In this case I assume you can’t afford to lose it, so I want to say don’t do it. I also worry that she will be doing this forever and it doesn’t seem to me that you have the kind of relationship with her that you would be willing to encourage this behavior to continue.

Hmmmm. Seems like I’ve argued myself into saying don’t do it.

But on the flip side, I try to help where and when I can.

I think I’m still leaning towards don’t do it though.

I can’t tell if this was directed to me, but if it was, I said the poster should meet with her (a woman he already knows) to get more information. No, I would not had a complete stranger three grand. That is hardly the situation here.

I would say don’t do it. If she is not a grifter (which she very well could be), she is obviously not good with money. She has never learned how to live within her means or build up a savings accout to cover emergency expenses. You ARE NOT helping her if you loan her this money, you are enabling her to continue her irresponsible behavior. Tell her you can’t loan her the money, but offer her some extra work or take her down to your bank or other place where they could educate her on how to use money to her advantage.

I think you should give her the money. Also, can I have $4000?

Treat it as a business to business situation? Tell her you will contact her creditors (landlord) directly to work out a deal or payment. Why? Because then you can make it a business expense and/or business ‘loan’ (credit, advance, whatever). This accomplishes 2 things: protects you from her conning you, and allows you to maybe work out a payment schedule with her landlord to help her through a tough time. If the landlord sees that you are helping her, then maybe they will go soft on what is due, and might only need you to front half the amount.

Otherwise don’t do it because no amount of paperwork or contracts will be worth the hassle of going to small claims or suing for $2k.


There you go. You don’t have the money to give her, so that’s that. Quit feeling guilty about it. It’s not like you promised her the money and then reneged on that promise.

I would suggest if she keeps trying to guilt you into another “loan” that you find a new housekeeper.

What she said makes sense.

PeterWiggen, I gave her the money because I - kind of - believe her AND because I know what it’s like to be poor.

SHAKES, I don’t know why I’m the only one she can turn to. She moved recently from the South of Holland to Amsterdam. Maybe that’s why?
Also, she’s a lesbian and I think her family didn’t improve. [yeah, we have bigots here, too]
And I always give to charity. I’m a real angel, I am. :stuck_out_tongue:

astro, That’s just it. She did pay me back, so I can’t believe she’s a grifter.

msmith537, I did. Yes.

Trunk, it a BIG office [and I’m a ‘she’] :slight_smile:

hehehehe davenportavenger

Khadaji No, I’d rather *don’t * want to have a relationship like that, with her.

Kalhoun, pbbth, & Tomcat, She told me today it’s not the landlord directly who’s behind the threatening eviction.
She and her partner are in something called ‘Debt Sanitation’ and that office demands money.
I know the debt sanitation is a governmental office, so I really don’t understand HOW they can be thrown out of their house.

ivylass, Yeah, but you see: I could lend it to her, if I say bye bye to my interest on my savings account.

This is driving me bonkers. :frowning:
But thank you all.

That sounds like a credit-clean up operation, which she obviously isn’t doing too well with. Of course it’s up to you, but she sounds like a slow learner to me. I’d have to give it some serious thought over more than just a couple days. Good luck!

You were more then generious the 1st time and you mentioned that this is a really bad time for you to be loaning money, w/ you starting a business you need to make sure that you have some reserves. So on both ends I can’t see why you would loan her the money. If you want to help her you could pay her way for a money manager, which seems like something she needs more the cash.

At the OP actually.
gum -
To me, such an arrangement violates the employer/employee relationship. You are paying her to clean. Now it’s all weird because she owes you money that you aren’t sure if she will pay back, not to mention you now have someone with money problems loose in your house.

This woman obviously has money managing problems.

Contact the person responsible for her rent and see if you can work out a deal. Find out what is owed and how much it will be per month. Then figure out how close the actual cost is to her salary.

Maybe, just maybe, you can work things out that you pay (all or part of) the rent and she continues to do the work.

You said she is reliable, and she is good. Sounds like she is not a flight risk - at least so far.

She isn’t the first person on earth unable to balance a checkbook. Some people just can’t handle money - they feel if it is in their pocket, they can spend it now. If she never sees the money and it goes straight to rent, she won’t be tempted to spend it elsewhere.

And should the day come when she disappears and stops coming to clean your house, let her know your arrangement with her landlord disappears as well.