Mobile loans lure ghetto residents into debt trap
By Maxwell Odhiambo
Times have been painfully tough. The rate of joblessness continues to rise inevitably. Under such circumstances, nothing monetary is left to chance. Every little coin counts. The infamous postfestive effects, a new trend has developed and is picking up quite fast.
People especially those living in the informal settlements have now turned to a new invention in the market. They are thronging to mobile loan apps. This new resolution is almost becoming a day-today trend with thousands of locals seeking financial refuge from the apps.
More and more people have perennially, and on different occasions, siphoned sizeable amount of soft loans on desperate efforts to either fuel their businesses or clear mounting bills or expenses. Mobile loan apps such as Tala, Branch, Spider and Okash have become household names.
Mixed reactions have surfaced. Nonetheless, as to whether such apps are of value or a ‘curse in disguise’ is something to ponder. The issuance of such loans, according to one of the borrowers, is swift and devoid of inconveniences. “I recently installed a mobile loan app and requested Sh2000.
I was instantly given without any excruciating procedures,” said one Babra Derick. “I used the proceeds to start my egg hawking business since I got tired of looking for employment. Now I can pay some of my bills since my business keeps growing as my customer base widens with each new day,” Derick added.
Some are quick to warn that such loans are addictive and only serve to quench small expenses. One gets trapped in a web of ‘borrow and pay.’ However, people need to gain some knowledge on financial use so as not to be trapped in recurrent debts.