The cost of love – foolish decisions people make in the name of ‘love’ like signing surety for a loan for someone you met last week – not the smartest move. People make uninformed financial decisions in the name of love all the time and it is because they do not understand the potential risks to themselves.
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Bayport Blog

Reckless lending is not love


Published: February 15, 2021
Categories: Credit Health
Tags: Financial Health, Financial Literacy, Financial Tips, Informal lending: beware of loans, Loans
man-and-woman-discussing-finances

The excitement of falling in love can sometimes cause us to do foolish things. Often, such craziness relates to money. The month of love is a good time to remind yourself that all is not fair in love and war – especially when it comes to financial decisions.

Few things in life can beat the thrill of falling in love and being in love. It’s like seeing the world through new eyes and everything looks wonderful. It is difficult to believe that your loved one is anything but perfect, and no matter what others might think, nothing he or she says or does strikes a false note with you.

In such a state of intoxication, it is possible to miss warning signs and to end up knee-deep in trouble. This blog is not for relationship advice, but it can help you to avoid financial trouble because of bad decisions you made in the name of love.

Here are some rules and tips to follow:

People who want or need money from you are not all crooks or con artists; sometimes they are just in a tight spot and they might even have the same feelings for you as you have for them. However, the other person’s motives are not the issue – your response is what matters.

Your best defense against other people’s financial foul play is to have solid and healthy money habits of your own. For example, if you work with a budget and know exactly how much money you have coming in and going out, it is fairly simple to deal with a request for a loan. If you can afford to lend your new lover some money, you can consider doing it. But if you don’t have spare cash, you have to say no. Don’t even think about getting a quick online loan for the person. The golden rule is to never, ever go into debt on someone else’s behalf.

If you decide that you can afford to lend your lover money, think of yourself as a credit provider – not a lover. Because you already understand credit wellness, you know that lending someone money is a serious thing. You know from personal experience that credit providers consider the risk involved and the likelihood of the borrower repaying the money and that there is always paperwork.

Sit your loved one down for a serious conversation in which you have to agree on:

  • The amount
  • The interest rate
  • How the loan will be paid back (eg, monthly or in a lump sum)
  • By when the loan will be paid back
  • What recourse you will have if the loan is not repaid

It will probably be an uncomfortable conversation, but don’t chicken out. If you don’t talk about all this beforehand, there is a very good chance that your relationship will not survive the loan.

There is also the possibility that the conversation reveals other options. For example, it might be better for your loved one to find financial and debt advice from an expert, rather than adding another loan to his or her financial worries. Or, in the interest of building a healthy credit record, he or she should rather get a loan from a registered credit provider.

  • Once you have talked it over and reached an agreement, put it all in writing and sign the document to avoid disagreements later on.
  • Signing the contract and handing the money over, is not the end of the story – it is only the beginning. If your loved one pays later or misses a payment, you have to remind him or her of the contract. Don’t let it slide until the situation is out of control. You must be willing to behave like a businessperson more than a person in love.
  • If your new love asks you to sign surety for a loan he or she wants to take out, the same principle applies: never get yourself into a situation before you understand all the risks and all the responsibilities you take on. Read the contract carefully, get advice from a lawyer if necessary, and don’t let love blind you. Never, ever place yourself in a position where you can fall victim to someone else’s reckless lending and borrowing.

All of this sounds very unromantic – and it is! Money and love should never be confused. Keep them separate for the best shot at a relationship that endures and a life of financial wellness.

For more financial advice, tips, and tools, visit Bayport’s information centre: https://www.bayportsa.com/information-centre/financial-wellness

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