Honor Among Debtors

debt This article was inspired by an unpleasant experience I had with a client recently. My job involves taking a few risks to ensure I meet (or at least attempt to meet) my target as a marketer (risks in this context refers to granting some credit to clients). This had to be one of the first issues I will be addressing as a blogger because it absolutely irks me when people don’t live up to their financial obligations. I have observed over time that many people have no regard for keeping their word, especially when it comes to money. You are quick to borrow and would almost swear on your mother’s life just to get some credit, yet when it comes to redeeming that pledge to pay, something suddenly happens to your phone, or you suddenly start having endless meetings with imaginary people where you can’t pick your calls. So, this particular client who has mastered the art of sweet talking his way into getting his job done, conveniently “forgets” to leave the cheque he has purportedly written for his secretary when he is going out, or starts to regale you with sorry tales of how he is being owed by his client too, would literally beg to get his work done only to start playing the hide and seek game when it is time to fulfill his own end of the bargain. I keep wondering why certain people do this! Ever heard the saying “Your word is your bond?” Whether you are taking a personal loan from your best friend or a corporate form of credit facility it behoves you to payback as promised. Before asking for a loan or credit at all, you should have considered and been sure of the source of refund, and if for any reason there will be a delay in payment, you should let your creditor know immediately, without them having to pull some Tom and Jerry stunts on you. This stands you out as a person of integrity,especially when you payback before the due date, and will most certainly guarantee that you are extended a helping hand the next time you need it.

Personally, my orientation from childhood has been to avoid borrowing as much as possible and I have strived to live by this. I have a father who never gave me or any of my siblings money in bulk, because he felt it would help us learn to manage what we had (and it worked!). We were constantly told we were not exactly swimming in wealth and should learn to live within what we were given and even save a part of it. However, on the very few occasions I have absolutely had to borrow, I make sure to keep my word and possibly payback before the agreed date. Some debtors are even silent on the matter, hoping their creditor would forget after some time. Who does that?! Many people are in debt because of the habit of living above their means,(even though many others have legitimate reasons for owing).

This is particularly true for this generation, we are under constant pressure from the society to appear to be successful. When you earn N50,000 and you want to live up to the standard of the one who earns N100,000 assuming you both are in the exact same circumstance, are you not asking for trouble? At the end of the day, the person who wants to live to keep up an appearance ends up in debt simply because of greed and indiscipline. Even, the holy book says “the borrower is servant to the lender”. He that has ears let him hear.

46 Replies to “Honor Among Debtors”

  1. nice write up Princess.
    it’s d society we find ourselves in, living above our means…who is fooling who? just cut ur coat according to ur size&material, shikena…

    1. Hello Tee. I couldn’t agree more, but as easy as that sounds, many of us find it difficult to do that.

    2. Hmmmn…. Honestly,i cannot comprehend why people relax and enjoy in living above their means.
      Debtor is a nice way to put it,”ONIGBESE” is more like it (I dread that word). It drives d msg home. It’s just a shame some prefer to trade their honor and integrity(smh). I’m glad we had a good orientation from childhood lolade,though it was tough then but it has kept us on a straight part (esp. when it comes to money and properties) as adults.

    3. @ tee… ur size might be bigger than ur material,i’d rather u said ” cut ur coat according to ur material”,even if it turns out to be a “jumper coat”.

  2. This is a very touching topic u have raised Lolade.A wonderful write up I must say $ I quite agree with u in every sense of it.Still will be looking forward to seeing more of this.Well done.

  3. My dear, friends are worse than corporate debtors. They believe there’s nothing you can do about it. I don’t loan people money. I just give them what I can afford when they ask.

    1. I agree with you Bolanle. I have since decided to adopt the approach of giving what I can afford instead of loaning out money.

    2. Nice one Lolo. As u rightly said, some have ‘legitimate reasons to owe’ but some times its all about ‘keeping up with the Jones’..By the way, babe, can I get 25k from you? I promise to pay you back as soon as you sincerely forget!

  4. Cool write up. Sincere comments too. I just adopt lending out what I can part with and hope it does come back. I try not to proclaim giving cos I want the borrower to try to pay back and not make a habbit of coming to collect in d name of borrow. And when I’m on d other end of d rope which I really avoid in every way possible(cos I will likely lose sleep till I pay back) I just put d “Oga” at the top of my list when budgeting.
    Thanx for sharing. Don’t mind borrowing some like Lekan too so at least I get something for free.

    1. I like your angle to this, but It can really get frustrating being taken for granted time and time again. Thanks for commenting.

    2. I like your angle to this, but It can really get frustrating being taken for granted time and time again. Thanks for commenting.

  5. This really opened us all to the fact that planning is very key when it comes to finance, however Lolade, the sociopolitical economy of our state and Africa generally is partly responsible. Thank you for this piece

    1. Thanks Dapo. it is true that sometimes we can’t avoid borrowing but our attitude after we get the money or credit is really important.

  6. Hmmmm,a beautiful piece indeed! I personally learnt(in a hard way) how to give what I can easily forgo. But in any case,the few encounters I had with u were identified with INTEGRITY. So pls,keep it up!

  7. Nice write up Lolo. Yea, It’s good to stay out of debt, I do that by always monitoring my spending .A very nice piece dear, looking forward for seeing more of this.

  8. This write up speak alot to what i currently face with family members who come all in the name of blood thicker than water to borrow money without even stating when to repay back. When you loan them they sing praise of you, after some tine ask them to give you back, you start hearing history of how they did one thing for you family at one time or the without asking for a pay back. So i dont loan close friends or family money or anything that i know getting back is not possible. I give what i can afford making them believe it a loan if they dont repay i dont get angry

    1. Thanks Yemi. I can imagine what you must be going through. Sometimes it’s so hard dealing with family and friends when it comes to finance.

  9. Nice piece Lolade. Well scripted! Societal pressure n d quantum yearn to belong to the nouveau riche has been a major factor behind unending debts n contract breaches. In d overall, integrity is simply not a part of us in this side of the world!

  10. Well..some of us will not directly borrow money….we just buy things on credit without a clear source of repayment(SOP)Lol….ridiculous I must say! Even when there is an established SOP,we find it hard sometimes to stick to the plan! But isn’t that what integrity is all about?..this is a good one Lolade..keep it up!

    1. I like your perspective to this Idowu. So true that people also get into debt by buying on credit. Thanks a lot for commenting.

  11. I can relate with this article as my job also involves taking risk and I have learnt the hard way.. If only people can just keep to their side of the bargin…
    (Few people do anyway)… Well put together.. NEXT?

    1. Thank you Dammie. I’m sure many people have had one experience or the other with an “unrepentant” debtor.

  12. I feel its d job of parents 2 teach their kids abt money issues amongst many oda things. D society isn’t helping either by celebrating d wrong pple. I learnt 2 drop ds vice through strong resolve n loads of discipline. D onus falls on our generation 2 teach our kids abt money issues n stuff them with so much confidence that they don’t think of d need 2 borrow 2 feel accepted. Nice piece dearie.

  13. Good one lolade. If you earn 50k there is nothing wrong in living like the person earning 100k. In fact its better. the only thing is that for you to want to live like a 100k person, you have to go and look for a job that can earn you that. if there isn’t any job that can get you 100k, wait for the right moment. trying to live beyond what we can earn means we just fool ourselves. If you know you don’t have the strength to pay back, don’t borrow, no be by force.

  14. B4 I borrow I already av a mental pix of how and where d repayment is coming from.Lolo another angle to honor-amongst-debtors is in d area of (making a vow or promise and fail).u’ll see people standing up esp in church to give so and so amount just to show off and at d end of d day dey do not fulfill dat vow.someone once promised me a deep freezer as a wedding present and I hoped against hope for it even stylishly reminding d person but I had to forget about it and later got it by myself after 1 year,so it’s not just about borrowing but also not promising or making a vow dat u cannot keep.welldone Lolo

    1. Thanks for bringing a different perspective to this topic. I totally agree with all you have said. Our word is our bond.

  15. Well written
    It’s always been a mystery to me why people make it a duty(the way I see it) not to pay back a debt. Ironically, I have noticed this in the affluent and poor. The sad thing is genuine borrowers become casualties as a result of mistrust.
    Well done, sis

    1. Thank you T-Jay. Yes, it cuts across both the rich and poor. If only we could just learn to keep to our words.

  16. Lolo, a kull write up. We can’t do without them on this our job cos we have targets to meet en need to help our clients stay in biz buh there are some bad eggs like Angels Communication that has refused to pay his dept since November’13 yet still very proud en arrogant. We just need to create a balance en know where to draw the line.

    1. You can say that again Balogun. I’m not sure it’s totally possible to avoid debtors. Thanks for commenting.

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