For many Nigerians the concept of credit is not new. At one point or the other, many persons have taken credit for different purposes albeit in different forms. From taking on huge loan sums at a commercial bank to buying snacks from the kiosk down the street on credit, every Nigerian is largely familiar with using credit.
Over the last few years however, using credit in Nigeria has evolved with the entrance of tech-enabled lenders who have come into the lending space. These lenders make the process as easy as downloading an app on your mobile device and getting money into your bank account! No collaterals or lengthy process required. Therefore, to the average Nigerian, when you mention credit, the first thing that comes to mind is getting a loan via a lending app.
So in this article, we highlight comments and opinions from anonymous Nigerians who have used credit from lending apps, and give you our two cents based on their experiences and how to make the most of using credit in Nigeria.
Our first highlight is from a Nigerian Student who got into debt trap after taking his first loan to settle some school costs.
Our Two Cents?
Two words - Planning and discipline.
He has already taken the first step by realizing that there is a mistake that needs to be fixed. However, it is easy to fall into a debt trap without planning and financial discipline.
So if you find yourself in this kind of situation, a practical thing to do would be to make a list of all the amounts you owe and pick loans that have a higher cost and clear them off first. To do this successfully, it is crucial to create a tight budget and step down from current habits and lifestyle that can help you save some money. Reducing the number of unwanted expenses you make leaves you with a surplus amount that can be used to clear debt.
Ultimately, being responsible with credit means living within your means, regardless of the level of those means. So, take a close look at your financial situation, evaluate your earning and spending habits, and make the necessary adjustments to put yourself on responsible financial footing. That awareness and self-discipline can help you develop a healthy relationship with credit.
Our next highlight is of a Nigerian who believes that the goal of lenders is to make life difficult for Nigerians.
Our two cents?
Like this commenter, many are of similar opinion about credit and lending. Because of this some even avoid using credit entirely. However, we know that even though credit can be a sensitive topic for some Nigerians, it is an important tool you need to take control of your financial future. And you can use credit to make your life easier when you learn to use it responsibly.
The first step to using credit to your advantage is to get your credit report. And the best part? You can get a free credit report here.
The next comment is from a Nigerian who believes that loan apps might not have the most ethical debt recovery process, but borrowers are to blame…
“I know I'll get criticized for this but on the major issue of loan apps in Nigeria, the problem isn't the loan companies but Nigerians that borrow loans without genuine intention to repay.
I see comments like "their interest rate is too high", "their time frame is too short" "why will they call my contacts". BUT YOU KNEW ALL THESE TERMS BEFORE YOU COLLECTED THE loan.
Are these companies father Christmas or what? They may have adopted wrong means to recover their debt but let's face the fact, the lenders (borrowers) are the prime problem here”
Our two Cents?
We are all for using credit responsibly, and arming yourself with the right knowledge goes a long way in doing that. So just before you take your next loan, there are three things you should find out about your lender. And we have an article that helps you do just that, find all the insights here.