For the past 10 years I have worked in the financial sector and especially in credit. Since I graduated from the university in 2003 the only work I have done is to assess people’s creditworthiness, disburse loans to them and collect both good and bad debts. The unique thing about being a credit/ loan officer is that you get to know so much about people. After all, credit officers make a living by hacking your financial lives.
In the past 10 years, I have seen people grow through proper management of their debts and I have seen lives ruined. I have seen marriages break, families disintegrate, friendships betrayed and life at the verge of collapse. I have seen men borrowing to impress women who dislike them as well as people borrowing to impress characters who they don’t even like in the first place.
They say image is everything and especially the urban areas. To most of the urban working class image is a matter of life and death. Having been a banker, I can practically tell you the salary levels of majority of professions. I have an idea of which is the best paying organization and which employer pays peanut in the name of a salary. I can tell with a lot of confidence that most people cannot afford their lifestyles.
To maintain a certain image and make people believe that they belong to a certain social class, majority of people turn into borrowing. They borrow to buy big cars they cannot afford to fuel, to go for holidays in exotic locations, to purchase expensive phones and gadgets they don’t even need as well as to reside in neighborhoods they cannot afford.
Drive big cars if you must, buy expensive gadgets if you need them but for goodness sake do not finance them through debts. Why would you pay a loan at an interest rate of 18% to purchase something that depreciates in value and does not generate income for you? Consider this, if you borrow 4 Million payable in one year to buy a car so that you can project a certain image, you will be paying unnecessary Kshs. 720,000 in form of interest just to impress people who are not even your real friends. Imagine how much income that 720,000 can generate for you?