Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Once upon a dime

Have you ever lent money to someone who came to you begging and grovelling on bended knee because he or she was in an extremely precarious financial position? Do you remember parting with a sizeable amount of money that you really could not afford to lend out, but sacrificed because your conscience would not allow you to leave someone to sink into a financial cesspool while you watched?

I can testify to having put myself into a financial squeeze so as to assist others. What normally convinces us to extend these lines of credit are the promises of a speedy return of the money within days or weeks. It does not appear too bad to let go of a sum of money if you hope to have it back within a short period of time.

Let me be the one to tell you if you do not know already, that these out of the blue money requests, accompanied by emotional and teary promises to return the money in no time at all, are usually acts worthy of Oscars. The trend is that when the due date of repayment arrives, your debtor will promptly inform you that there has been a technical error in the payroll system at work. As a result of that, your money will be delayed by a few more days. The technical error story will eventually give way to excuses of a less believable nature. A month after the due date, you will have no choice but to accept that you will not be getting your money back at any time soon, if at all. At that stage, your once pathetic, teary-eyed debtor will have evolved into an artful dodger who has the amazing ability to vanish into thin air whenever you are in close proximity to him.

Cruel as it sounds, if someone you do not trust or whose credit worthiness you are not familiar with, asks for a loan, the answer on your lips should be a big, fat, “No!” Ignore the cries of desperation because if you do not, you will most likely be the one crying in desperation when you need the money back and it is nowhere to be seen. You also run the risk of becoming an angry Shylock, out to cut a pound of flesh from the defaulter's body. That is not good at all for your well-being. The only exception to this rule is if you have a loadful of extra cash that you do not need and are prepared to lend it out with the possibility that at any time, it might have to be written off as a donation. If that is your case, then feel very free to assist whoever comes knocking at your door! 


  1. The best position is to never lend money. It is better to 'give' money and expect that you will never see it again. That way there are no disappointments.

  2. @Empress at times you are not in a position to just give, but true you avoid headaches that way!


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