Personal loan agreements between two parties who know each other can be transacted in one of three ways:
- Verbal. There is nothing in writing
- Paper document. Can be on the back of a napkin or more formal using a pro-forma loan agreement template
- Online loan tracker. Digitally stored loan terms including bank transfers which is accessible by both parties for full transparency
The Value of Documenting a Loan
Documented personal loan agreements aren’t just for lending institutions. For loans transacted between family or friends, documenting the personal loan can help solve these most common trouble spots:
- Spells out the terms of the loan including amount, interest rate and repayment schedule so that no one forgets
- Helps avoid gift tax consequences
- The loan agreement can be used as proof in a court of law in the event of default
The risks of not documenting a loan, even when made with friends or family, can be regrettable.
What Needs to be Included in a Written Loan Agreement?
These are the minimal elements you should include in your written agreement:
1 – The full names and addresses of both borrower and lender
2 – The amount of the loan
3 – The repayment terms including frequency and first payment date
Additional terms that are common to loan agreements include:
4 – Interest rate
6 – Collateral
7 – Other special terms such as late fees
The Lack of Loan Agreement Documentation is a HUGE Problem
Billions of dollars are transacted each year in personal loans between friends and family but the vast majority are made verbally and not in writing. The biggest danger in transacting verbally is that these off the books loans are frequently not paid back. Unpaid loans results in hurt feelings, anger and distrust.
In our survey, 57% of lenders and 75% of borrowers are uncomfortable with friends & family loans and 19% of lenders and 6% of borrowers won’t lend or borrow again due to having had a bad experience.
For most people, simply documenting the loan using a loan agreement in writing, mitigates the fear and anxiety around personal lending and borrowing.
The Pitfalls of Written Loan Agreements
Detailing the loan in writing for both parties is an important first step to ensure a good outcome for both borrower and lender. However, written loan agreements do not 100% ensure that the lender will be paid back in full or on time. It also still requires the lender, in some cases, to request payment from the borrower which can result in those awkward, unwanted conversations.
The Best Loan Agreement Solution
LendAmi serves the increasingly growing person-to-person lending market by offering a mobile platform that allows people who know each other to document, fund, repay and track a loan.
A step above a simple written loan agreement, LendAmi offers the following benefits for its users:
- Custom loan terms that the borrower and lender agree to
- Ability to include an interest rate to the principal providing the lender extra incentive
- Bank transfers so that the lender can fund the loan – perfect for people who are not located near each other
- Reminders when payments are due alleviating the need of the lender to ask for them
- Automatic bank transfers so that the borrower can easily stay on top of their payments
- Online tracking of the loan for full transparency for both parties
- Downloadable loan agreement that can be signed, if wished
LendAmi also understands that, sometimes, loans do go off track due to unforeseen circumstances. That is why we also offer the flexibility for the lender to forgive payments or delay them until the borrower is ready to resume.