Yesterday we discussed some problems my older brother had back in May. While I didn’t give him the requested cash, I spent time with him to address the emergency and we were able to set up a plan for him to get back on track. Six months later, he is back again asking for more help but the situation is a bit different this time around. Here is what I know…
He is asking for $200-300 to pay his bills and needs the money within a week. The first time he came to ask me for a loan, all he did was ask for the money. He left everything else up to me as far as repayment, interest, whatever. This time he had a plan for repayment already, which is a huge step in the right direction. He gets paid every two weeks and told me that he could repay me within a month but asked if I could consider taking payments for a few paychecks so that he can make sure he is on track.
My brother is not as outright with information as I’d like and his request was vague, but he’s always been that way so I did a little prodding into exactly why he needed the money. Apparently, he failed to renew his insurance on his car as well as his plates and registration. He had been planning to sell the car and move back in with my parents by the end of the year so thought he manage not re-registering the car.
Well, he was pulled over for speeding (45 in a 55, if he had current registration, he never would have been pulled over) and cited for lack of insurance, registration and speeding.
In the process of getting his car registered after getting the ticket, which required him to show proof of registration within 10 days, his car failed the safety inspection and he had to have repairs done.
So the circumstances for his return are completely different than before. The first time he asked for help, he was living off credit and payday loans, spending way more than he knew he was and had dug himself into a hole. This go around the cause is more a single bad choice coupled with some bad luck and a dash of stupidity. 🙂
But the fact that he fell off the map after I helped him last still bothered me so I asked him if he was able to put any money into savings. He told me he was able to save about $400 for emergencies between May and now. He was able to pay for the repairs to his car which were about $600 on his own and he only needed my help to pay for the registration and ticket.
So all things considered, I do plan on helping him out, under certain conditions. Here is the plan.
I will lend him $300 and get it to him within the 10 days so he can renew his registration. That way he doesn’t incur additional fines and can get back on track. The conditions of the loan are that he will pay me back $75 per paycheck until the $300 is fully paid. I won’t charge any interest but if he misses a payment, the bank of little brother will be officially closed. Counseling sessions will also be out. If they don’t do any good and he doesn’t learn to manage his money, why waste my breath.
I know this is a risk. I may lose my money and hemorrhage the rocky relationship that barely exists between my brother and me. But I also know that my brother is my brother. The first time he asked for money, he was willing to take my advice and work to get out of his mess instead. It was harder and more stressful but he succeeded.
I also believe that the whole reason I am working towards financial freedom is so that I can help others and here is my opportunity.
Now you know the whole story. What do you think, would you toss him a bone, or throw him to the wolves?
Image by leeroy09481 br>