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Forget you owe me

It's yet another day, and you may be one of the few working hard, or the many relaxing and enjoying the fruits of labour (theirs or someone else's).

Then you get a call, or someone interrupts you. Things for the person are very thick, and they need an emergency loan. "See what you can do". Alternatively, they may be wanting to expand their business, which they copied from the one doing well across the street. After all, if its doing well across the street, or next door , it will do well here.

Some, like your neighbour, may be rude enough to knock at your door on Saturday morning, and after you take enough man hours to get to the door and respond, you find that they are sorry for waking you up. You then find out that they need some money to pay their house-help which they do not have, and you been very eager to get back to sleep, make the mistake of lending them double the money, change to be returned immediately and the rest by the end of the day.

As for your friend who needs some cash to celebrate Christmas before the delayed salary arrives, or is stuck at some border post after they overspend their meagre earnings and need to get back to Nairobi, you are kind and stupid enough to lend them.

As for the friend who needs to copy the business across the street, they go to the bank and borrow enough cash to buy a car and make a spirited attempt at copying the successful business. The bank happens not to trust their business sense, and asks them to provide tow guarantors, who the bank strictly vets. You end up being friendly enough to become a guarantor.

The biggest problem with helping people out when they are in the thick is that they forget that they owe you. It escapes me how somebody who was so broke could forget that you bailed them out of the problem. After making you alter your spending to save their skinny asses, they will get back to leading a normal life and leave you to absorb the cost.

Things can get worse. If you were stupid enough to become a guarantor, you may wake up one day to find the copycat business closed, all cleaned up, and you may also be rudely surprised to find that as of last evening, they no longer live in your town, and no one knows where they moved to.

As the bank raids your earnings to repay their loan, it may be an opportune time to think about that business and how you were the only customer.

At times, you wonder whether its actually beneficial to lend to friends who are quick at forgetting that they owe you. It may be better to refer them to professional lenders, aka Banks who know how to better deal with amnesia.

Maybe we can borrow a leaf from SavvyKenya on how to deal with difficult creditors via social media

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