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Brits will ask family or friends for up to £1,500 when they need to borrow money

Borrowers have received an average of £3,400 from loved ones over the past five years – but three-quarters avoid having to borrow money

Brits will ask family or friends for up to £1,500 when they need to borrow money

Britons will look to family and friends to borrow money for unexpected car repairs, university fees – and even buying a new home.

A study asked 2,000 adults about their financial habits and found they were comfortable asking a loved one for an average of £1,500 at any given time.

And borrowers have received a total of £3,400 from loved ones over the past five years – to fund major life milestones such as weddings, and also to cover day-to-day purchases such as buying a coffee or of a lunch.

But despite it becoming part of everyday life, 30% found it an inconvenient experience, and almost half (45%) ended up regretting it.

The research, commissioned by Shawbrook Bank Personal Loans, also found that a third of women (33%) generally feel uncomfortable asking to borrow money, compared to a quarter (24%) of men.

And more than three quarters (77%) even choose to avoid the subject completely, except in an emergency.

Buying a new car is the top reason to borrow money from a financial lender


Mike Kemp/In Pictures/Getty Images)

Sally Conway, head of consumer communications at Shawbrook Bank, said: ‘We are a nation of borrowers, and for many that could mean borrowing from loved ones to help finance our big moments in life, as well only the little things we need.

“But borrowing money is not a decision to be taken lightly and, even if it is from friends or family, you must have clear terms agreed upon from the start, otherwise the things could get complicated.

“Talking about it and having things in writing – including the amount borrowed, repayments and deadlines – can help avoid any unnecessary awkwardness later down the line.

“It is a necessity when borrowing from a bank, and the same principles should be applied to any form of borrowing.”

The research also revealed that more than half of adults have already turned to a financial lender rather than asking family and friends for help.

This is due to lack of awkwardness (45%), not jeopardizing a relationship (45%), and being an “official way” (37%).

The average adult has borrowed around £8,000 in unsecured credit over the past five years.

And the typical adult would be comfortable claiming £11,000 from their bank in the future.

Covering the cost of a car was the top reason for considering applying for a loan, while more than a third (34%) would finance home renovations with the help of a lender.

Many Britons need help with the rising cost of living


In Pictures Ltd./Corbis/Getty Images)

But the survey, conducted via OnePoll, found that many are not doing their homework when it comes to borrowing – as just 29% would spend time researching before making a decision.

Just under half (44%) would take the time to understand the APR, while only 41% would budget before committing to the loan.

Sally Conway added: “Our research revealed that, alarmingly, even when borrowing from financial institutions, not everyone knows exactly what they are subscribing to.

“Financial lenders will always perform certain affordability checks when you borrow money and set conditions before lending money. It is really important to review them in detail and make sure you understand them.

“At Shawbrook, we want to help our clients better understand the ins and outs of borrowing.

“Knowledge is power, and it’s important that consumers know what they’re getting into from the start. That’s why we offer a range of guides and tools to help people better navigate the world of borrowing.

“We believe in being transparent and fair with everyone by offering guaranteed personalized rates on our personal loans, without impacting your credit score when you request a quote.

“It’s really important, no matter what you’re borrowing for or from whom, to be informed and do your research before you make a deal, so you can make an informed decision on what’s right for you.”


  1. To cover unexpected expenses, such as home or car repairs
  2. To pay household bills
  3. To pay for small items such as coffee, lunch, bus tickets, etc.
  4. To repay an existing debt
  5. To buy a house
  6. To buy a new car
  7. To finance home renovations
  8. To cover private medical expenses
  9. To cover the rising cost of living
  10. To fund education, including college attendance
  11. To start a business
  12. Moving expenses
  13. Pay for an unforgettable vacation
  14. To marry
  15. child care


  1. To get a new car
  2. To finance home renovations
  3. To buy a house
  4. To cover unexpected expenses, such as home or car repairs
  5. To pay existing debt
  6. To start a business
  7. To cover private medical expenses
  8. Pay for an unforgettable vacation
  9. To finance education (including attending university)
  10. To cover moving costs
  11. To cover the rising cost of living
  12. To improve credit rating
  13. To pay household bills
  14. To marry
  15. To take a sabbatical from work

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