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 32-year-old marketing personnel who took out a loan for her ex-boyfriend and had to face the consequences when he couldn’t repay. She 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?
Last month, I received a call from my ex, requesting for a loan of ₦200,000. He promised to repay it in two days. He’s never asked me for that kind of amount before, but he knows I have a loan app I use when I run into emergencies.
I applied for the loan and agreed to repay the money with an interest of ₦28,000 in two weeks, which is the minimum timeframe they give. I reached out to him when the deadline was close, and that’s when I started hearing stories.
I had to apply for an extension from the loan app, which cost an extra ₦13,000. Despite this, it still looked unlikely that he was going to repay the loan. He continued to make excuses.
At this point, I had to start thinking on my own because the loan was requested with my account, in my name, and I knew how quickly that could escalate/
So what did you do?
I applied for a loan of ₦200,000 from my office co-operative society, but I couldn’t get that much because my current salary is ₦64,000. If you add the transport allowance, that’s ₦74,000.
I even had to lie that I needed to buy a laptop to enrol for a school online to have the loan increased to ₦150,000. It was close to the end of the month already, so my plan was to add it with my salary. They eventually agreed, and I got the loan. However, it still wasn’t up to the amount I needed to pay.
I called my ex to send any amount he could come up with. The only thing he could do was send me ₦5,000. I couldn’t get another extension again, so I signed up on another loan app and requested a loan there. And that was how I got all the money to pay them back. It was like a miracle. I didn’t even know I would be able to pull it off.
I’m so sorry about that. Has he tried to contact you since?
He did. He called to apologise the other day, explaining that the project he hoped to get paid for didn’t work out as he planned, and he even lost some money in the process. So he promised he’ll pay back ₦20,000 monthly.
He had the audacity to claim he would start making payments in July because he needed to pay his house rent. I was so angry at him, and I made it clear that I almost got myself into trouble for him.
He was so nonchalant about it, obviously because his name isn’t the one attached to a loan. At some point, he even started ignoring my calls.
What did you do then?
I had to report him to a friend who’s a police officer; he threatened to track him down. I couldn’t go to his house because he had already moved out of the house he was in when we dated. I only knew the name of his workplace, but I’d never been there either.
Last week, however, he just sent me the first ₦20,000 without any explanation. I was the one who sent him a text to acknowledge it.
How do you feel about everything?
I feel regret. I knew better, so I shouldn’t have loaned him the money. About a year ago, when we were still together, he requested a loan of ₦50,000, but I refused as I didn’t have the funds at the time. The day he called, I was incredibly busy and disorganised, and he kept calling me. I’m not even sure what happened.
A few days prior to him asking for the loan, he came to my house with unusual gestures, like bringing me provisions and buying me shoes. I think those gestures clouded my judgement. I will never forget this experience. I can’t even forget how he blamed me for the failure of whatever project he used the money for.
Seriously. He also mocked me by asking how much I even loaned him.
I’m so sorry. What’s your plan to repay the cooperative and get financially stable again?
My cooperative will deduct from my salary every month until November. If he pays his portion, that would be even better. But what if he doesn’t?
Also, it still might not be enough to cover up. I’ve messed up. With the fuel subsidy removal impacting the prices of everything, I’m not sure about how I’ll manage to survive. I’ll probably need to look for a new job or take on a side gig. I’ll figure out a way to resolve the situation, but it’s going to be a tough journey.
How about the loan from the other loan app?
Yes, I’ve cleared that one.
I hope everything settles soon.
I hope so too. I know I made a big mistake with this one, and I take responsibility for it.
What did you learn from that experience?
It’s amusing how I got caught up in this, considering I already know all these things. But it simply reminded me that any amount I cannot let go, I shouldn’t loan it out. And taking a loan just to loan it to someone else makes no sense at all.