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Aunty Bella: Miss. Boyfriend with Many Unpaid Loans



dreamstime_l_50612042Aunty Bella is our  agony aunt column on BellaNaija. We launched this column in the early days of BN and periodically feature issues sent in by BN readers. 
This entry was left in the comments section on a post published today about borrowing money from  someone you’re dating. {Click here if you missed it. }
We hope the BN family can offer insightful advice.

Hello People…Serious question here,

So I have been dating this guy for a while. He borrowed about N400,000 from me a year ago for something trivial that I was not on board with, but I still gave him the money regardless. Back then, he had just finished school (27 years old) and was looking for a job.

Once he got the job later in the year, he did not pay me back, and started investing his money in a business him and his brother were running. In his mind, I think the idea was that he would make enough from the business to pay me back and do much more for me. The business started going south and once again he came to me for money, about N300,000 to help him out….which I did….I also found out later on that he had also borrowed about N300,000 from other friends, which he is yet to pay back because the business isn’t going anywhere.

I thought him not attempting to return the first round of money to me was a sign of poor integrity. Even if I may not have collected it, I want my man to be respectable enough to return money when he borrows it. I felt taken for granted.

So, are these major red flags? Should I take him seriously as a future spouse? He is perfect in every other way, but just seems to be also perfect at squandering the little he makes and then other people’s money as well. He is kind, generous, friendly, courteous, God fearing and so much more, but his poor financial decision making skills threaten his ability to provide for a family. And I really don’t think I will function well as a wife if I have to do all the heavy lifting.

My main dilemma is do I risk going to the altar with him? Will he change? Aren’t we all imperfect? Shouldn’t we give people second chances? Or am I deceiving myself? Is it wishful thinking?

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  1. Tee

    February 29, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    At this stage, I just wonder what some women’ (you for example) problems are? So women still ask this foolish “will he change”? Question?
    You Madame, do not deserve an answer or advise. If you like, squander and throw away your future cuz you refuse to follow commonsensical and logical reasoning

    • Anonymous

      February 29, 2016 at 9:25 pm

      I will say you can go ahead and marry him, but both of you have to agree you will be in charge in the finances.

      The same thing happened to me. When my hubby and I were dating, I loaned/dashed him N400k (being proceed of first adashe that I did from the time I started working) for his business that he wants to start. The guy squandered the money.

      At that point we both knew, he is not good with cash. I made fun of him over it and we both laughed it off.

      From then on, I took charge of the finances. I am a very prudent lady. I made sure he does adashe (contribution) with almost 75% of his salary, leaving him with enough to spend for the month and meet some genuine extended family needs. When we collect the adashe money, with his input, I list out what we need to do, we argue it out, and I disburse.

      Not long ago, he did a project and got some bulk money, I didnt look at the money’s side for 2 weeks and when I checked back with him, the money has disappeared. Daddy wants to change car (that already rich brother will be the one driving), mummy want to buy a shop (that she is too old to manage and will end up in sister’s control), Ruka want to start a business (ruka’s hubby is rich enough to get her a shop), friends want to borrow money etc.

      Bottom line is, determine if he is the type that knows he has a problem handling finances and is willing to relinquish financial control. If he is, I will advise you to have a heart to heart. His response will determine if you should stay or flee for your life.

    • Anonymous

      March 1, 2016 at 11:49 am

      This case is totally different o, ur husband spends his own money anyhow her guy lacks financial intergrity. Wen u borrow from pple and don’t even act as though u remember, there’s a problem, my advise kindly keep off otherwise u’ll become the bread winner without help or appreciation.

    • Bus

      February 29, 2016 at 10:34 pm

      My dear run. Later on when you are married, he will sell your jewelery when he is in need of money. People will ask you to pay his debts, etc.

      Lol. Not exactly but speaking from experience.

    • jay

      March 1, 2016 at 9:03 am

      I find your conclusion bizzare. Ill tell from xprience. I have money management issue. I borrow from my gf but when she opted to help me.i let her.she cosign my savings cheque and keeps the cheque book.The fact that heborrow doesnt make him a loser. Infact building a business is always like that

    • Mara

      March 1, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      @Jay, please I hope you’re working on your “money management issues” and not just relying on her to be your financial planner and cheque-book holder. It may be working for you both now but may not work forever. No one knows tomorrow. Every adult should learn how to manage their money, especially if you have (or intend to have) kids and you want to be a good example. It’s harder for some people but it’s definitely a skill that can be acquired.

    • Damisko

      March 1, 2016 at 2:24 pm

      Just know this, it will be a major problem and strain in your marriage. If you are ready to argue, nag, sweat, go to bed mad and take the pain of seeing your hard money squander then go ahead. Don’t just blame God or marriage for your choice.
      This trait is part of his character and will not change until he makes that decision himself.

  2. Naomi

    February 29, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Yes marry him and change him like duracell batteries because you are now his creator.
    Change a whole human being (not a newborn baby o) that has formed his character, beliefs, values and behaviour….
    Marry and change him abeg make we hear word hissssss.

  3. fan

    February 29, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Give the young man space to stand financially,if he is lazy or poor now you will still complain.people can get loan fron friends to start a business is not a crime.I feel he is trying to build his business before clearing his debt.He is thinking about his business,while you think marriage.better give him space unless you are desperate to get married.

    • o

      February 29, 2016 at 8:19 pm

      what dirty space to stand financially?? Borrow a whole 700k without any explanation or commitment to repayment??? Babe you better open your eyes wide before he turns you to personal ATM. I’m married and I loan my hubby money atimes but he always returns part of it, if not all when he has. Nothing bad in loaning your guy money, but you have to realise there are some funny ppl out there. At the end if you are not careful, you will lose both your money and the relationship…

    • Queen Bee

      March 1, 2016 at 11:05 am

      hmmm “a whole 700k” so if it was just 100k it would be ok right? like my mum says dont lend anyone money that you cannot let go. if he is really trying to build his business why not assist if you are better with spending? Like its that easy to start a business, you obviously have more than he does so why cant you? dont let all these BN comments make you decide wrongly, we all have imperfection in us and this is something that can be worked on. I bet if the business turns out well you will jump forward and say My money was part of what made this company. Gurl talk to him and see where you can help out, get him financial advisors, buy him books, let him attend seminars. No one is an island of knowlegde and people get duped everyday, their spouses dont leave them for that.

    • Md

      March 1, 2016 at 5:00 am

      Dont mind them,If it was the other way round, you won’t hear anything,mtcewww

  4. Ese

    February 29, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    I literally laughed out loud…what is all this lack of common sense in 2016?? Have you asked him for the money? You say he is perfect in every other way,fine. But Madam,in this present economy,money makes a marriage literally. A word is enough for the wise.

  5. Beht why

    February 29, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Hunnie, let me put this gently. He just will not change. In fact, when I finally asked Ex for my money, he said “are you not working?” Girl, I never turned back. He borrowed and borrowed from me and from even random people in order to keep up with his big boy lifestyle. Now, he’s hiding from debtors but I digress. Nne, He WILL NOT change.

    • ese

      February 29, 2016 at 8:57 pm

      Lol! I literally shouted ‘God Forbid!’..asking me.”are you not working?” untop my own money. Naa,that is an insult. I am a very quiet person but I won’t take that..nope

  6. Duni

    February 29, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    As crazy as this might sound, you can marry him, BUT you will have to be in charge of the finances, and have separate accounts. It seems you are strong in the area of his weakness(which we all have), and if you both can agree that you will handle the book-keeping, and you will be firm not to give him money – no matter the pleading until he has shown financial integrity, you can marry him.

    However, if you know deep down it would not work that way, count the cost and bail.

    We all have our baggages. You just need to know which baggage you can help carry, and which you cannot stand.

    • nene

      February 29, 2016 at 9:19 pm

      best reply. i don’t think he’s squandering money. doing business in nigeria today is quite difficult and many company lose a lot of money. if you love him, stick with him but be sure to manage his finances so he won’t squander it if you get married. he is a risk taker, you can’t change him but you can help him manage money better.

    • loo

      February 29, 2016 at 10:49 pm

      which man in this time will allow his wife handle the finances or book keeping… they will say yes and do another once they get married. nut you made a point though!!!

    • Segi

      February 29, 2016 at 11:40 pm

      Best comment. Shows maturity.

  7. Sigh

    February 29, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    Did you really just ask ‘are these major red flags?’. Na wa o. You want to marry a husband -the head of your home- who cannot manage money? Not even the money he borrows from people? Oya o, go ahead…

  8. Nnenna

    February 29, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    You’re not even serious. This man has turned you to bank of Industry he collects loans from; yours is even worse… he doesn’t pay back,no interest and still collects more and you still give. 700k from only you and you’re asking if you should marry him. I can’t with some people of my gender anymore. Are you okay??? he squanders other people’s money at his age and you’re asking if you should marry him. you can’t do well shouldering all the responsibilities but you’ve given him unpaid 700k. who will pay the bride price and pay for the wedding????
    yes aunty, you are deceiving yourself. No, he will not change ma. No, he will not. change. Yes, it is wishful thinking. No, he doesn’t deserve another chance.. he will milk you dry. He’s not only imperfect.. he’s a user. Damn will you just wake up. being single is not a sin!!!!

  9. Mis Pynk

    February 29, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    So you see all this and you are asking us if he will change? If you believe he will change you won’t be asking us – 4 terrible traits in a spouse that will send you to an early grave – a chronic debtor (signs the person cannot live within their means), an abuser, a liar and a cheat! contrary to belief people do not overcome these bad habits because they are married and no one should have to put up with these qualities unless you also posses same.

    You can go ahead and marry him and when people ridicule you in public because of debts they are owed by your husband- only blame yourself.

  10. Aya Onigbese

    February 29, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Sorry, but he will never change. It will only get worse if you marry him. What will make it worse is the fact that after you get married to him, his creditors will come after you. You will experience shame like you have never experienced it before. Your cries will not deter him, instead, he will feel more comfortable that he has someone who feels bad about debts and go on to incur them on your behalf.

    I know cos I have experienced this first hand and trust me, its not funny at all.

    • Honeycrown

      February 29, 2016 at 7:26 pm

      @Aya Onigbese your name made me ????

  11. iyke

    February 29, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Money is inextricably connected to our hopes and our dreams, our sense of security and self-worth, almost all of our core emotions and familial expectations. So, if you marry him without resolving this money issue, no matter how long you’ve been together or how much money you have, your first fight is likely to be about money and it’s going to be more intense, and more negative. And before you know it, both of you begin to increasingly lead covert financial lives….. from undisclosed debt to unstated resentment. And you know what, this secrecy creates a new form of infidelity, one that’s more dangerous than sexual betrayal.

  12. KK

    February 29, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    Gbese oni Gbese.
    Baghdad just run my dear. Borrowing isn’t an issue but when u allow it become unpaid Gbese then it’s obvious the person is comfortable owning people and that is a huge problem.
    My dear let him be abeg.

  13. Omotee

    February 29, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    Nobody is perfect and marriage basically is choosing whose BS you can stand. Everyone must be flawed one way or the other. He won’t change. So can you stay in spite of his bad financial judgments? Seems to me like you’re scared of that already so maybe you should bolt. However, you need to be sure it’s just poor judgment and not that he’s seeing you as his atm. He may not be a bad person. Like someone said earlier you will just be firmer and be in charge of the finances.

  14. Fashionista

    February 29, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Honestly, theres something very wrong with you, schewzzzzz!

  15. kehinde

    February 29, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    Who is this person please?

    You never hear say economy recession, you are borrowing man money for love.

    Oya, take knock!

  16. Tolu

    February 29, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Miss ATM, please lend me 500k too, I’ll return it ASAP
    Oponu aburo omugo

    • Whocares

      February 29, 2016 at 9:41 pm

      @Tolu- lmaoooooooo loooool! Choi!

  17. King Bey

    February 29, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Ladies dating chewing gum boys can so vex… Biko find yourself a rich guy doingrs well for himself,all this beggy beggy boys are nothing but trouble.. love is not enough boobae,do yourself a favour, step up your game in relationship department

  18. King Bey

    February 29, 2016 at 8:20 pm


  19. A Concerned Nigerian Man

    February 29, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    First off, if you are considering marriage, the first tool you should equip yourself with is communication, which means rather than ask these questions here you should be talking to your man and asking him the hard questions. Remember that communication is not a query so do not be stern but be serious. Observe him as you communicate, watch for signs of anger, irritation, dismissal/condescension…these are the red flags. The key to marriage is communication, the key to love is communication. You must learn it. Especially communicating about the tough subjects/situations.

    Communication let’s you know the importance of your voice in your relationship. If you are in his future then he should not be too closed off about his business, whether it is falling or succeeding especially when you are one of his financiers, that way you can adequately support him emotionally, mentally, spiritually and otherwise. Your remarks of his business endeavours suggests you didn’t see their potential but you gave him money rather than your voice (it is possible to be disapproving and supportive). Again that shows a weakness in communicating.

    Please communicate all your fears your shared here with him, even if he doesn’t end up being the one for you, just maybe you make a little better for the one that’s for him.

    A Concerned Nigerian Man

  20. Niyoola

    February 29, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    He will not change. Anyone who take money and has no qualms about not refunding has questionable behaviour.
    He is an Onigbese. He will embarrass you.

    There was this popular couple in Lagos one time. Wife was very rich, husband was a confirmed onigbese. Even vulcanizers refused to pump his tyre, unless he paid before service.
    We don’t want you sending Aunty Bella message in 2 years time asking how to hide money from your husband.

  21. Main Squeeze

    February 29, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    Answer these questions
    Are you married to him?

    Did you ask him for the 400k? What did he say?

    Was Rome built in a day?.

    After pondering on those questions. I want you to know that just because a business isnt working out well right now doesnt mean it wont tomorrow. To build a business, it requires tenacity and belief in your business because you are building a dream others cant see. You need to work hard to make that dream come true. Atleast, the guy isnt spending the money on his looks.

  22. Duchess Maria

    February 29, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    My general conclusion from this story is that you must have a lot of money to throw around. N700,000 to be dashing someone in this economy? I hail you my sister.
    Financial issues are one of the main causes of divorce amongst couples. Shine your eyes and don’t end up in a situation that you will regret.

  23. nene

    February 29, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    it is not wishful thinking. if you love him, then do it for him. but if the money you lend him is hurting you financially, then sit down with him and talk about it. how he reacts to ur worries, would give you your answer. dont mind these BN commenters here telling you to date only rich men, or dump him, blablabla. if you love him and you’re sure he loves you, then have a talk with him and make up your mind based on how he reacts to ur conversation with him. some women have given their boyfriends millions and sometimes business turns out good and you both benefit, sometimes business doesn’t boom, i see nothing in this, unless you’re suffering because of the money you’re giving to him.

  24. nene

    February 29, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    it is not wishful thinking. if you love him, then do it for him. but if the money you lend him is hurting you financially, then sit down with him and talk about it. how he reacts to ur worries, would give you your answer. dont mind these BN commenters here telling you to date only rich men, or dump him, blablabla. if you love him and you’re sure he loves you, then have a talk with him and make up your mind based on how he reacts to ur conversation with him. some women have given their boyfriends millions and sometimes business turns out good and you both benefit, sometimes business doesn’t boom, i see nothing in this, unless you’re suffering because of the money you’re giving to him. just TALK to your boyfriend before you make any decisions.

  25. do-re-me

    February 29, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    loool as the saying goes “drunk-on-nuts” hahaha

  26. Leonora

    February 29, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    This is quite unrelated but let me get it off my chest. A former boss who has a lot of respect for me wants to hook me up with his cousin. I am going to be 30 next year though people rarely believe I’m close to 30 because i have a small physique. The said cousin is about 40/41 and is doing very well for himself career wise. In my wildest dreams i’ve never imagined dating, let alone marrying someone that old. Albeit, im seriously considering it. The last guy I tried to date toyed with my emotions. The tribe thing is also another major factor. We are both ibos and have very good jobs. Please any one here married to a much older man, please advice

    • Auntybella

      February 29, 2016 at 11:13 pm

      Madam Leonora, please send a mail to “Editor: bella @ or
      Tips, Daily News, General: editorial @” and Aunty bella will do the needful.Aunty Bella this is a potential aunty bella story.

    • Tincan

      March 1, 2016 at 4:49 am

      Actually, not every older man comes across as ‘older’ in my experience. You may need to meet the individual in question in a ‘no pressure’ environment. Then you can assess if he acts older or if he’s just a decent guy who happens to be 41. The only question to consider is why he isn’t yet married. Men tend to be in higher demand ?, due to seemingly shorter supply so it would be useful to know that. If you do decide to proceed, let your ex-boss know you are open to a friendship and see where the ride takes you. Obviously, guard your heart with all diligence.

      By the way, you might want to re-assess your stance about the tribe thing in general. A good person does not discriminate, yup, regardless of what family say.

    • Md

      March 1, 2016 at 5:01 am

      You are both old,,wtf are you talking about

    • Tosin

      March 1, 2016 at 7:51 am

      I’m not married but experienced with age gaps, 10 years is small sef lol, and I would recommend open-mindedness. if you like each other and you’re happy…

    • Mara

      March 1, 2016 at 12:28 pm

      Everyone has their preference, but for me ten years is not that vast of an age difference. I don’t think it’s an issue especially as women tend to age faster than men and also mature faster emotionally (not in all cases though). Anyway, I’d advise you to keep an open mind, be friendly, try to get to know him first, and see how things develop. It’s not easy, but you have to try not to let your past experience interfere with your future. Learn from it but don’t let it close you off. This guy may be a good match for you, or he may not, but you’ll never know unless you set aside your assumptions and get to know him first. Give it a chance while maintaining a level head. All the best.

  27. AwkwardFromBirth

    February 29, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    I can’t give you any good advice or counsel, but there is one thing for sure which i can do for you. My sister, i pray you receive a lot of common sense… say Amen!

  28. a

    February 29, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    I remember my ex, then in uni, I always gave him when he is broke, he promised to return but he didn’t even after our break up, my dear, this kind of men are not good o, please just leave

  29. Chinma Eke

    March 1, 2016 at 7:19 am

    Aunti! You did not ask how to recover your 700k, it’s if you should consider marriage that’s your problem. I hope you know you are potentially setting yourself up for another aunty bella story?

  30. Zeeebby

    March 1, 2016 at 8:42 am

    It will start like this… thing you know he doesn’t have money for rent, so you pay. he collects his salary and blows it and doesn’t have money for school fees so you pay. EVENTUALLY YOU BECOME THE BREADWINNER THEN YOU START TO RESENT THE MAN. HIS EGO STARTS TO ERODE AND ONE DAY MATTER GO ENTER ONE CHANCE AND SOMEONE WANTS OUT. PACK YOUR THINGS AND GO!

  31. Segs

    March 1, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Most mistake people make… he/she will change…Nope no chance. If you cannot deal with it now then u cannot later.

  32. tola

    March 1, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    If i were in your shoes Ms i will work away,i can assure you there is even no business in view,he is just milking you away,and trust me you do not want to be a bread winner,i do not envy single ladies cos there are too many irresponsible bachelors out there,every man in lagos now is looking for ready made babes,when i hear that women are chasing men for money ,i just laugh cos in the Naija of today ,i feel it’s the other way round.,maybe what you should do is next time he ask for money just tell him you do not have,by the time you say No like three times,love may quench,700k is not small money o,i met some silly guy who will call me and say my sister is stranded i need to send her 2k,i go send,another time i went to his house and he could not afford to pay for my taxi ,he told me to pay saying he will pay me back,that was yrs ago,another time he wanted to help me with some stuff ,i wanted to do it somewhere else ,he said he cld get it cheaper,so i gave him the money,the way he follow me go atm to collect the money,i knew he was a lie but i just wanted to prooof myself wrong,till today what he was supposed to do with the money plus the money ,am yet to see and finally he calls me from the blues that some govt agencies want to take away his property and he needs 400k urgently to sort it out,i just told him all d money he don take style collect from me,told him to add it up and use it,I kept making excuses for him hoping i was wrong,when i got tired i just relocate

  33. Ber

    March 1, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    You need to ask yourself whether this is a flaw you can live with. Can you handle all the heavy lifting and bail him out of the messy situations he is bound to get himself into? He seems perfect in every other aspect, so be careful and shine ya eye

  34. Fati

    March 2, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Please don’t go there.

    Speaking from personal experience (after 15 years of marriage), he WILL NOT CHANGE.

    Leave love stories for the romantics – you will need money to take care of your home and children when they come.

    A man who has no financial discipline or who does not share the same financial management ideology as you will make you miserable. People tend to ignore this fact ostensibly linking it with gold-digging or being too interested in “the good life”.

    Sister, FLEE!

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