Another reason why a person sometimes refrains from giving a loan is that he is afraid that he might need the money for himself. Now, although this is a legitimate concern, for if indeed the person needed the money for himself he would not have to give it others because of the rule that one’s own life comes first. Still, this concern is valid only when the person truly needs the money for himself to invest in his immediate business, or if the person is asking for a long-term loan during which time it is likely the lender would actually need the money. But if the money in any case is sitting idly, and his friend is only asking for a short-term loan, then the lender should not worry that perhaps some wonderful business opportunity will come up precisely now and he would need the cash, for this is an unlikely concern.
Even this aforementioned rule is only applicable to a person of medium means. But a very wealthy person who currently has cash that he does not need, even if he could use that money for more investments, he is nevertheless obligated to use that cash for giving the loan. This is because the mitzvah of giving loans is a positive commandment of the Torah which is based on one’s means, and since the people asking for the loans need the money to support themselves, the rule of “your life comes first” does not apply. For if so, one would always engage in more and more businesses and would always claim that he is exempt from the mitzvah of giving loans. This is definitely not true, but rather the he is obligated to give loans.