Asking friends or family for financial help requires being honest about one's financial situation, including the possibility of and timetable for paying money back. It also involves treating the request as a business transaction, keeping lines of communication open and showing gratitude for any loan or gift received.

According to Survivorship A to Z, people asking for money should be able explain how much they need, why they need it, and how and when they plan to pay it back. If there is a chance that the loan cannot be repaid, that possibility must be discussed openly.

Asking a friend or family member for a loan or gift of money usually introduces awkwardness into the relationship. Keeping the entire transaction on a businesslike basis helps diffuse discomfort. Drawing up paperwork regarding a loan is one step that can help to preserve a relationship, and offering to pay interest at a low rate can help keep the transaction professional. People should avoid asking friends or family to borrow money on a credit card, since interest mounts up quickly, and the card holder's credit rating could be harmed if repayment is late.

Expressing gratitude is crucial when taking a loan or gift from a friend or family member. A handwritten note of thanks is a small step to take when a friend has helped with money.