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What to do when someone comes to borrow from you...

When I started working here, the very first thing most of the 'old' staff took turns to bring my notice to, was the existence of a particular member of staff who according to them, was a perpetual debtor. According to them, this particular man was indebted to nearly every worker in the establishment, not forgetting the huge loans he had secured from the Staff welfare Association, which had not been able to offset till date. Furthermore, this man was also alleged to have secured a six-month salary advance from the establishment! When I asked what problems this particular man may possibly be solving with such money, one of the women hissed and posited that the whole cash was spent on irrelevances and ostentatious lifestyle. It didn't take long before the said man approached me for a thousand naira loan, which according to him would be repaid the next day. I had wanted to turn him back when I reflected on what I have heard about him,but on second thought I decided to lend him the money, who knows he may prove the stories about him wrong. Till today, he hasn't paid the money back. I was not the type who engage in fisticuffs to retrieve my money. I just let sleeping dogs lie. After all, I was warned before hand.

Giving a monkey a cup of water to drink is not the problem, but retrieving the cup from it afterwards. People, sometimes even those who are better off than you, fall at your feet pleading for financial assistance, and in most cases loans to foot both justifiable and irrelevant problems. They prostrate and swear with their lives to pay back at a particular date. What happens at the due date? The fellow begins to avoid your phone calls, avoid crossing paths with you, to mention  but a few. Days go into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years, there is no sign of your money being returned, in part on in whole. When you go the extra mile of asking for your money, the person turns vulgar, adamant and insulting, readyto engage you in physical bouts! The money becomes 'common.' To add insult to injury, such a debtor would be visibly living large and spending something worth more than the money he's owing you! A lot of people who owe, actually have the money to pay back, but feel reluctant to do so.

Addmittedly, some debtors may actually encounter a misfortune that may make it impossible to pay back a debt before its due date. In this case, try to plead with the creditor before the due date, and politely explain to him why you would not meet up with the earlier date. Do not wait till he asks for his money, before you start to 'blab.'

A lot of people borrow money to buy what they don't need, while some borrow to pay back a debt, therefore making themselves perpetual debtors. Cutting your clothes according to your cloth will minimize the urge to borrow. Live within your means.

In as much as we encourage charity, instead of lending money to a friend that will later lead to a quarrel, do not lend, rather assist the person with the much you have. For instance, if someone asks for a loan of 10,000 naira, you may give the person 2,000 naira as support. If you must lend, give out an amount you can forfeit if the borrower fails to pay back. This will eliminate any form of enmity that may arise from his inability to pay back.

One who needs a loan knows where to go it. There are commercial banks, micro finance banks as well as co-operative societies. They are the only people who truly know how best to retrieve their money!


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