We Nigerians are famous for many things: Our Jollof rice, our energy and our love for ourselves. We are also famous for our love of parties and celebrations. A twitter use once joked that we could throw a party to celebrate the success of a previous party. We could also run into debt, borrow, beg and steal to throw parties. We all know of one person or the other who reached out to family and friends to finance their wedding, naming ceremony and so on. We are that invested in our party culture.
While celebrations are indeed a good thing, it is high time we let go of our habit of borrowing from family and friends when the need arises.
The first and most obvious reason is that it tends to complicate personal relationships. A wise man once said that if you mix money with family, you’ll lose both. Someone might feel slighted if their request for a loan is denied, the loan in question might be brought up in future conversations for no reason and many fights can be had over the issue of money. When personal feelings get involved, it is bound to get ugly.
The second reason is a lack of accountability. One of the reasons why people are reluctant to give loans to family and friends for this purpose is that there is a lack of accountability. Sure, you can get a loan from a loved one, but what measures are put in place to protect you? If the person in question demands a repayment at an earlier date than specified, what options will be available to you? Such a loan would have been based on a verbal agreement and there will be no documentation that will protect your interest. There is also the problem of the person hanging the loan over your head until it is paid, which will serve as a source of discomfort and potential embarrassment to you.
The reason that many people seek out loans in the first place is due to the desire to keep up with the Joneses. After all, everyone else had a wedding/naming ceremony/birthday party to a certain standard. Why should you be the odd one out? Even if this means borrowing amounts you cannot pay back.
Loans in themselves can be and are quite beneficial to your average person. However, the benefits of loan-taking are compromised if the amount in question is one that cannot be paid back.
If you do find yourself in a situation where you need to take out a loan, make sure it is for the right reasons. If the amount in question is one that you can pay back with relative ease, then, by all means, go for it.
Loan-taking should be embarked upon after careful consideration and being able to meet the requirements, one of which is an ability to repay.
Don’t take a loan to impress others, but take one because it is convenient for you and you can pay it back. If you do need to take a loan, avoid taking one from people you have a personal relationship with without any structure surrounding it.