Borrowing from one loan shark to pay another is the new addiction of most Nigerians. Due to the harsh economic situation in the country, most Nigerians now take online loans not necessarily for business, but just to survive.
Loan sharks are unregistered and unregulated financial service providers that usually give short term loans to anyone in need of quick money. They charge extortionist interest and resort to character defamation to recover their loans plus interest.
These loansharks have caused unimaginable grief and distress to borrowers who were unable to repay their loans, they usually resort to sending embarrassing messages to family and friends. If you’re in the neverending circle of borrowing from one loan app to pay another just to avoid the embarrassment, here are practical steps you can take to stop yourself from taking further loans.
Blacklist yourself from loan apps
If you’re in a neverending circle of borrowing, the first thing you’ll want to do is to blacklist yourself and take away your ability to access any loan shark. To do this, simply take a loan from any of them, then immediately payback the principal sum you were borrowed without the interest.
This will essentially make you unqualified to get any loan again in the future because no matter how unsophisticated these loan apps might look, they still run background checks on their potential borrowers. They do this through your Biometric Verification Number BVN and once your BVN showed that you have outstanding loans to settle, it will be difficult for you to get further loans. We recommend you take such a loan from Fairmoney, Branch, Carbon or any other loan app that doesn’t send threatening messages to their customers.
Join a support group
Joining a support group and reading about the experiences of other people will motivate you to stop patronizing loansharks. Make no mistake, people have lost jobs and contracts, families have been shattered all due to the activities of these loansharks. If you’re able to read the stories of other people and how they were able to dig themselves out of debts, maybe you can do it too.
Join this Facebook group where people share their terrible experience with most of the loan apps that operate in Nigeria.
Plan your finances well
The neverending circle of borrowing from one loanshark to pay another usually start with poor financial planning. If you can take control of your finances, then you might have no need to be borrowing in the first place.
Cutout unnecessary spending, have a monthly budget immediately you receive your salary and try to stick to it, save and invest as much as you can, and most importantly, improve your financial literacy by reading blogs like this and watching videos that teach financial literacy.
How do I stop loan apps from calling my contacts?
Technically, you can’t. You give them permission to your phone book immediately after you installed their app on your phone. The only work around is to have fake contacts on your phone at the point of download and installation. You can delete all your family and friends numbers from your phone and replace it with random numbers.
Some have suggested that you go to settings in your android phone, click on app & notifications. Scroll down to app permission and deny them access to your contacts, sms, photo gallery and storages on your phone, they won’t be able to reach out to your contacts anymore or post your pictures.
But this is unlikely to work as they would have copied your contacts once you give them permission after installation. The picture they send their defamatory messages with is usually they selfie they ask you to take during registration.
Can a loan app blacklist my BVN?
Yes, loan apps can blacklist your BVN when you default on your loan or didn’t payback your loan on time. They usually share the information with First Nigeria Credit Bureau or Mwanga – a debt recovery contractor thereby significantly reducing your chance to get a loan in the future unless if cleared. A blacklisted BVN can also affect your chances of getting a job or renting a property if your employer conducts a background check on you.
Can you be arrested or sent to jail for not repaying a loan in Nigeria?
No, loan defaulters will not be arrested or sent to jail in Nigeria. It is the usual tactics of loan apps to threaten their defaulting customers with arrest or jail time. But these apps themselves are mostly illegal that operate without license or respect for the rule of law. For example, CBN policy mandates that the minimum tenure for a short term loan should be at least 60 days, but most loan app in Nigeria offer loans for between a week, two weeks and maximum 30 days. The worse they can do is to blacklist your BVN with the consequences highlighted above but you will not go to prison for not repaying a loan app in Nigeria.
In conclusion, loan sharks are bad and can leave you in neverending circle of debt. You can take practical steps from stopping the circle by blacklisting yourself and taking away your ability to access further loans, joining a support group and improving your financial literacy to help manage your finances.