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My Money Mistake: I Got Into Debt To Help A Colleague

My Money Mistake is a weekly PiggyVest series that explores the worst money mistakes real Nigerians have made, and the lessons they learnt from it.

For this week’s episode of My Money Mistake, we spoke to a 23-year-old machine operator who got into debt from loan apps to help a colleague through a financial situation. He tells us about how it happened, how she was able to manage the situation, and what she learnt from that experience.

Could you tell me about your money mistake?

I’m a very friendly and approachable person at work. Recently, a colleague I’m friendly with had an issue. One of the water pipes in the office burst and ruined her phone.

She asked me for a loan, but I didn’t have money at the time. After a lot of pressure from her, I signed up for a loan app to get money to loan her, and it’s the worst thing I’ve ever done in my life.  

How do you mean?

I hate loans, and I don’t take them, but she pressured me so much that I felt like I had no choice. After taking the loans, I had to face the exorbitant interest rate with a weekly repayment structure. I took a loan of ₦‎27k. 

I didn’t do the calculation initially because it was spread over a few weeks, but once I started repaying, I realised I had to pay an extra ₦13k. So I had to pay ₦‎10k for 4 weeks.

Everything still went well in the beginning. I paid the first few payments on time, but I couldn’t make the final payment in time because I had exhausted my salary and I didn’t have enough on me. 

Oh no. What happened?

I tried to negotiate, but they refused and kept calling me. They even sent messages to some of my contacts. It was embarrassing. I eventually paid it all once I was paid from work.

No contribution from your colleague?

At all. Even at work, she rarely comes to my desk. 

What do you think made you sign up on the loan app, just for her? 

I don’t know. I think it’s just the constant pressure from her. She’s a married woman, so it’s not as if I was hoping to get anything more from her. I think I’m also a people pleaser and people often use that to take advantage of me. 

You don’t run into each other?

We do. Sometimes, it’s awkward, and other times we exchange hellos here and there, but that’s it. I hoped she’d even help a little with the loan, but she didn’t and I don’t like confrontation. 

What did you learn from that experience?

I learnt that popular lesson about not loaning someone an amount you can’t afford to let go off. This experience also reminded me to never collect loans, and even if I must, it should be from family and friends, not loan apps.

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