In fact, if you have never taken a huge bank loan before, you may not really understand the pressure you feel upon you, coupled with the stress you go through when the loan repayment is drawing near; especially when you know very well that you cannot afford to repay the loan, left alone, the interest on it.
When I completed Senior High School (SHS) in Ghana, in the year 2015, my 42-year-old mom had to take over the responsibility of paying the bills in the house and to provide food on the table; following an unfortunate incidence which resulted in my dad losing his job.
Before my dad became jobless, my mom was not also working and as a matter of fact, she had no savings in any bank to resort to. However, my dad had some small sums of money sitting in the bank.
Hence, my dad had to withdraw all the money in his account so that we would use far our sustenance until my mom managed to secure her first bank loan of GHC 2,000.00.
With this money, my mom invested GHC 1,000.00 into selling cosmetic products. Since she could not afford a shop, she had to take it on trek by carrying the products on her head.
By God's grace, business was booming as my mom was the type who knew how, where, and when to get people to by her cosmetic products.
Owing to that, my mom was able to both pay for the loan by GHC 50.00 weekly installments and to provide for the house; alongside the small help my dad was providing from the stipends he received from assisting in some community building project.
Overtime, my mom decided to secure a space, with GHC 230.00 of the GHC 1000.00 remaining loan, at the market place.
Yes, I could imagine that my mom began to feel motivated; since it was clear that she was going to make much more sales from this new space she had gotten.
With her first 3 weeks at the new place, sales were not really encouraging, however, business began to boom once more in 5 weeks.
Fast-forward, my mom succeeded in paying of her loan, and she reapplied for a higher amount of GHC 5,000.00.
Initially, we didn't agree to the idea of reapplying for the loan. However, my mom surprised us more by doing her magic again.
This time around, she decided to invest in the sales of clothing. Just like the cosmetic business, she cleared the payment of her new loan over a period of 9 months.
As we speak, she is servicing a loan of GHC 8,000.00. Also, over the years of taking loans and repaying, my mom had been able to secure her own shop, and her shop is currently one of the favourite; when it comes to quality and more sought after clothing shops in town.
One day, I happened to ask her how she managed to escape defaulting those huge sums of money she took from the banks. To my amazement, she answered my question with the following brilliant statements:
"My daughter, when you take a bank loan:
1. don't be in a hurry to pay off the weekly installments if the loan collectors fail to come for their money; rather, reinvest the money to earn more.
2. you should only spend from the loan only after counting your profits.
3. you should assess the market for the business you want to start, invest in bits, and work hard to pay it off and to make profits."