USA Today provides some insights into lending to family and friends.
Susan Tompor writes (excerpt):
How do you know if you can afford to help out a friend or family member without putting yourself in danger of a financial hardship? Barthlow recommends you go through this checklist first:
1. Is your own retirement account fully funded?
2. Do you have enough money in an emergency savings fund to cover your own bills for anywhere from three months to one year?
3. Are all of your credit card bills paid in full each month?
4. If you give or lend someone that money, can you completely let go of it without any strings?