Loans are always a tricky subject to talk about. On one hand, you need the money (don’t we all?) And on the other, you need to be at a place where you’re not constantly stressing on how to pay it off.
Knowing the financial barrenness that January brings, it’s not new seeing a Kenyan with like 5 mobile lending apps on their phone.
But, and please here me out here, if you know you cannot afford a loan, don’t take it.
Before you borrow ask yourself:
1. Do you have the ability to repay without stretching yourself thin? Loans are useful and can help you a lot but taken under difficult circumstances, they might overwhelm you and put you under a lot of avoidable stress. Ask yourself, “Is your income situation stable enough for you to continue living your life comfortably without looking over your shoulder?”
2. What are the circumstances surrounding the borrowing? Is it for health reasons? Or for school? Or for that car you’re using as an Uber? The beauty about money is that it sometimes comes back, and yes, I’ve used the word sometimes; because sometimes life hits you hard out of nowhere and you have no choice but to ask for that loan and sometimes we fail ourselves when we fall into the trap where someone can approach you with a credible idea leading you to take up a loan which ends up being hogwash and you lose your money.
3. Have you exhausted all other options? Before you download that app or go to Mshwari, ask yourself if you’ve exhausted all options on where you can get this cash. If you know some money will come up in a few days or if you know you don’t really need that money (we’re coming to that in a few) then don’t borrow.
Your credit score matters everywhere you go so always keep these 3 key issues in mind:
1. Never borrow to finance a liability!
2. Never borrow to finance impatience!
3. Never borrow to finance an addiction!