Pinoys are tried and tested networkers. Just watch how many manage to find all those people to borrow money from. And ran away from afterwards.
Call it ninja mode. Call it a disappearing act. Harry Houdini would be put to shame. But an increasing many in Planet Philippines have mastered the Art of Handling Utang like a true professional scam artist. Dodging collectors, evading notices and quarreling creditors, just to live for another day. Another day to party. Of course, we don’t discount the fact that there are those who have found wisdom in such global gurus as Robert Kiyosaki or our very own Bo Sanchez, and practice fiscal responsibility. They are the better side of the glass.
Ladies and gentlemen, here’s a look at the Top 10 dumbest methods Pinoy ‘utangeros’ have tried to get out of their predicament only to find themselves sinking even more in debt – not to mention bad karma.
#10: Getting Another Loan
Two wrongs don’t make things right. However, this debt-for-debt route is a fave road for many financially-strapped Pinoys. A little Math will tell you, however, the irrationality of it all. A pity.
Just think. One loan is already accumulating interests over time. Another loan to pay for it is also multiplying your fiscal responsibilities by the day exponentially. So the endpoint, your debt is growing even bigger not smaller. If you do more of these, your debt is going to balloon in no time. And surround yourself with more angry collectors.
#9: Getting a Credit Card
Credit cards are good but in the wrong hands, they are a disaster waiting to happen. Sure thing, it looks like you’re getting things not otherwise possible for you. But remember, every time you swipe, you debt increases.
It’s no wonder that many fall prey to the temptation and end up biting off more than they can chew.
#8: Borrow from a Friend
True, friends can be your go-to place whenever you need a hand. But careful, careful. One of the surest way to destroy friendship is reneging on a promised date of payment. Time and again.
Once things get heated, it is usually friendship that’s thrown out of the window and not the utang. If you have to borrow from a friend, make sure you do not employ empty promises. That’s not what’s friends ares for (yeah MS-Word it’s wrong grammar).
#7: Borrow from Relatives
People who love you are your most important backbone in times of need. Financial debt are tricky, though. The problem with most Pinoys is they don’t separate the relationship from the transaction. Remember that when you enter into a business transaction with a bank, often the financial institution use collaterals. For practical reasons.
However, many borrow from a relative thinking that the relative would be easy to deal with in case of non-payment. But relatives are a double-edged sword. Unlike friends, you cannot get rid of them no matter how you hate them or love them. And before you know it, you could be the lead star in your own teleserye.
#6: Lean on Gambling
This is even worse: leaning on the stars to help you. Whether it’s swertres or tong-et or sweepstakes or casino, luck is never a reliable ally in your struggle to be debt-free. Statistics has it that there is a greater chance for you to be hit by lightning than to win the lotto.
So if you have not been hit by a bolt from the heavens, don’t waste your time on any game of chance. And lest we forget, sabong or cockfighting is still gambling, just more addictive.
#5: Ask for Advances
Asking for advances is good for emergency purposes. Meaning: once in a blue moon. But if you’re making a habit out of it, that is a totally different story. You are digging a hole for yourself everytime. And before you know it, your job is on the line.
#4: Providing Lame Excuses
Nasty, nasty. Not only does it show your utter irresponsibility, it hostages the financial capacity of your lender. In the process, it is bad business as it destroys your reputation effectively.
Who would want to lend money on someone who can’t keep his word? Unless of course, you are telling the truth. That you got sick and is tied to the bed for weeks. In which case, you should notify in advance or pay a portion of the needed amount.
#3: Quarreling the Lender
Now, this is becoming thick but is actually happening. Finding themselves in the receiving end of the pressure, many of our enterprising Pinoys employ this trick. They engage the lender to emotional battery. Once the relationship is broken, it makes it harder for the lender to follow through.
Remember though that words have wings and what comes around stays around. After some time, you would have alienated everyone in your circle. If you do this to people who trust you, what kind of reputation are you building? Not the trustworthy kind, obviously.
#2: Inventing Stories
This is upping the ante. You don’t just make an excuse, you make a totally outlandish story. One classic example: You’re house was broken in and the villains took all the money you borrowed. What now?
Again, it spells convenience. Not for the lender or creditor but for you. But it takes another lie to cover up a lie. And pretty soon, you will be inventing a whole new world where everything and everyone is out to see you fall. The result: You are discrediting yourself. Time will come nobody will believe you, much less lend you money when you need one.
And stories no matter how absurd weigh very little when you are talking to a bank. It’s either you pay or you don’t. It doesn’t matter if your house was razed to the ground. That is your responsibility. And if you go back on that, you pay the price.
#1: Running Away
And the mother of all Pinoy stupidity when it comes to utang is running away from it. The rationale: if you can’t be found, no more utang to egg on you. Transferring address or just dodging the collector everytime. This people must be a huge fan of Mission Impossible or James Bond and want to enjoy the adrenaline rush that comes when some one is out to locate you. Or call it the Pinoy’s way of following an ostrich who buries its head in the sand when enemies attack.
There are many petty forms of these habit. Cases could involve items like a beautiful mirror or a nice sofa payable for a year. After a month or two the debtors are nowhere to be seen.
No wonder why credit card firms have hired private law firms to do their collection as these institutions have received the brunt of the gone-with-the-wind antics of many of our enterprising kababayans.
One word though: bad karma. Make that two words. Yes, no need to expound much. Bad karma. Enjoying something you did not pay for is plain stealing. Bad energy is bound to give you bad results. Pretty soon you’ll realize peace of mind is a priceless commodity and you’re willing to pay a million just to have it. No Valium can quieten a bad conscience.
There you have it, folks. Wrapped tight and neatly. To start the discussion, drop your thoughts in the comments section below. And yes, if you have to push some buttons, push the Quick Share ones below for the benefit of your fan-dom in asocial media. Just kidding.