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View Poll Results: Would you lend your helper money to pay for an operation for her mother?

47. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, I would but have not been asked

    9 19.15%
  • No, I wouldnt and I have not been asked

    22 46.81%
  • Yes, I would and have done in the past

    16 34.04%
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Would loan money to your helper?

  1. #17
    fingerscrossed is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Tin Hau

    We had the same request...father in hospital, etc. and we asked that she show us a copy of the hospital documents first. It's easy...a diagnosis, an in-patient form or anything like that will do. After a few days, she said the prob was solved and she didn't need the money anymore (ta-daaa!). If she solved the prob through a loan shark, she'd be fired on the spot, which she knows as we stipulated that in the rules we set from day one.

    So far, she has asked for half a month, one month etc. on one or two occasions and we did agree to that but said no more in future.

  2. #18
    Shenzhennifer is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Tsuen Wan

    My former cleaner asked for a bit of money one day as she said her son had been scalded by hot water before she came and they didn`t want to take him to the public hospital bc the wait was too long and so needed to money for a private doctor. I actually didn`t have the money to lend her at that time so I refused her (and felt guilty about it later). I never heard from her again after that.
    I wouldn`t lend money to my helper (if I had one), sob story or not. I`m not a bank. The only thing I might do would be to advance her wages a bit, but that would mean she wouldn`t get salary at all for that time period, so she would have to work out her personal finances herself.

  3. #19
    LeahH is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Hong Kong, Mid Levels

    I've lent money to our helpers several times, to send home in emergencies and before their trips home. Their families all have their hands out for money as soon as they arrive.

    We haven't done more than $10k for one loan, they know we couldn't afford to do more than that and wouldn't ask.

    I trust them and if they say it's an 'emergency' then that's sufficient detail - I don't want or need more information. They are sisters and support a large number of people back in the Philippines - if they say they need it then I am very sure they do.

    I'm not a bank, but they don't have access to actual banking/legitimate financial services so better that it's me than some of the unscrupulous loan sharks operating here.

  4. #20
    canadienne is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Hong Kong

    Why don't they have access to actual banking and legitimate services? (I'm not being snarky, I genuinely don't know the situation)


  5. #21
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    their income isn't sufficient to be able to get a loan from the bank, so they often end up resorting to other means to access money if it is needed.

  6. #22
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009

    The thought that came to my mind is this:

    "Do not be a man who strikes hands in pledge
    or puts up security for debts;
    if you lack the means to pay,
    your very bed will be snatched from under you."
    Proverbs 22:26

    Personally, in general, I don't make loans to anyone. I have never lent money to anyone and I don't plan to do so now. A helper is in a unique position in the family, I think. A helper is an employee but at the same time they are similar to family.

    If my helper had a true emergency, if I had the means, I would make a one-off gift to her to help if I felt it as appropriate (and not every situation is appropriate for this). But, apart from a gift, I would never loan money.

    I believe that loaning money to people who are "family" is just asking for trouble. Either I give the money or I don't give anything at all. Because loans between family members generally generate bad feelings and resentment--especially if they're big loans and moreso if they're not paid back in a timely manner.

    I might give an advancement on her wages but the limit on that would likely be up to one month's salary.

    Otherwise, the temptation is for that to become a bottomless pit and even if there was a true emergency that initially required the funds, the helper might misinterpret this to mean, "Wow, they're made of cash and I can just keep asking and receiving."

    I don't want to put her in that position where she's tempted to use or manipulate us (with us allowing her to do so!) because we all know how human nature is.

    Those are my boundaries.

  7. #23
    sorchului is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Hong Kong

    Agree with thanka2

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