Your employer is probably demanding your arm, legs, and probably one of your kidneys. All fine and good; aren’t we all family? Not so fast: if they can’t do what families do by giving you a decent access to loans when you need it instead of loan sharks swimming around the murky waters of Nigeria, then maybe time you got another job.
You want to know why? Here we go!
In Africa, and especially Nigeria, we practically save for everything important for our lives. Rent, getting a car, paying school fees. Woe betides you if a nasty medical issue arises. That could be the end of you, or even worse a loved one. After all, we know most of us have poor savings.
Even much more, because there is no access to loans, most Nigerians aren’t able to live their dreams. They can’t go to good schools or send their kids there. They can’t live in their own homes. They can’t get a decent car. They can’t even get a good laptop to start working remotely. Oh right, even if they get a new laptop, what about getting a generator or solar inverter to keep the light on when PHCN strikes?
Getting a loan is one of the fastest ways to get things done. But getting a loan in Nigeria is treacherous. The bank you have been banking with for years is suddenly airing you or making demands even an angel can barely meet. The lending companies, on the other hand, are asking for interest rates so high you don’t know if you would give them your soul instead. You have also heard stories of how lenders disgrace people who were late to make payments.
Looking at the challenges of getting a credit when needed, it’s even 200% harder if you are working because this would be distracting, and demoralizing. And if you are slacking at work because you’re trying to get a loan, you may as well lose your job. Triple jeopardy!
But you know what, don’t we turn to family when things go awry? Didn’t your boss just say last Friday that you’re family, to justify making you work the weekend?
So why isn’t your company lending you money? 😵
Don’t look confused. Companies offering their staff loans have been a staple of professional life for centuries. It’s almost not a privilege; it’s a right.
You wouldn’t even believe it, most of the middle-class to upper-class people in Nigeria today got a leg up in life with decent or cheap loans from the companies. Ask your CEO, Chairman, founder, etc. how life started for them. None of them was that thrifty or better than you – they all got loans at ridiculous rates to build the beautiful lives everyone admires.
I for one got a cheap mortgage when I worked at United Bank for Africa without any background check. Thanks UBA! My first cars were gotten with zero interest company loans, I got home appliances through partnerships with my employers.
While lending can be scary because many people don’t pay back, companies don’t have the fear that lenders have – they know you 100% in character and in truth; if you don’t pay your loan, you would be sacked. Oh! They even deduct the money from your paycheck and give you the balance.
And it’s not because companies are nice (some are indeed very nice, like Lendsqr). Giving loans to staff keeps them motivated, focused, and happy. Taking away the distractions of hunting for loans at the time of need is super important for productivity and employee happiness.
And what can companies do for you?
In truth, asking for a mortgage in this economy is killing even for the fattest companies. But at the minimum, they can help with personal loans to sort out things you can’t tell HR. They can help with asset finance to get devices, new generators (hoping you have the fuel to power it), inverter and solar panels. They can even help with loans for holidays – send you to far places so that when you come back, you are full of inspiration and deliver amazing quarters.
So what should you do? Just ask your HR for a company today. If she airs you, ask your founder, MD, Chairman, whatever.
If your best friends and family can’t come to your aid when you need them, are they still friends or family? If your employer can’t save your hide when you need them the most, ditch them!