This 41-year-old civil servant used his wife’s details to take a loan. He talks about why he needed the loan and how the situation affected his marriage.
This is his story, as told to Agnes Emmanuel.
In 2020, I started using loan apps. It led me to a series of bad decisions, one of which cost me my marriage.
I’m a civil servant, and I usually take out a loan from my workplace every year, around November. Every year, the government is supposed to remit our salary to the cooperative. However, there were some delays last year — deductions weren’t remitted. I couldn’t get a loan and neither could the long list of people who applied before me.
I needed the loan for my house rent. I had some money, but a friend had a family emergency that required cash. His wife had cesarean surgery, so I lent him all the money for my house rent. Unfortunately, he couldn’t pay back, so I started using the loan apps.
I was on Facebook when I first saw them. They start out loaning small amounts of money and increase it as you borrow. My first loan was ₦1,000. Whenever I borrowed, I used to pay back two or three days before the due date.
When my landlord started disturbing me for rent, I was only able to get part of the money I lent my friend. I still needed ₦25,000 — my rent is ₦80,000. I got the loan, but I’m not proud of how I did it: I used multiple loan apps. For one of the smaller loans, I used my wife’s account and her BVN without her knowledge. My wife is aware that I borrow, that is how we can buy provision for the family, but she didn’t know I used her details.
This wasn’t the first loan I had taken with her account. I started with ₦3,500 and paid off ₦4,000. Then I took a ₦6,000 loan, but couldn’t pay it off.
That was the loan that made them contact all her siblings. They then reported to their parents that a company claims their sister is a debtor. This created a big problem in our marriage. Things got so bad that I came home on the 23rd of December, 2021, and my wife had packed out of the house with our children.
Funny thing is, the loan still wasn’t enough. I ended up taking another ₦30,000 loan to complete the rent.
I want to pay off the loan, but I can’t do it without her device. I contacted the customer care of the loan app about paying for the loan independently, and they advised me to re-download the app on my phone and log in with her details. The problem is, they send the OTP to her, and she is uninterested in talking to me.
I’ve tried appealing to her through her father. We’ve managed to set up a date to meet at her father’s house and sort out this loan business.
This meeting will determine whether our marriage will survive.
My biggest takeaway from all this: Taking out loans never ends well. I’m still suffering from my mistake. Last holiday, people got to spend time with their family, and I was all alone.