Every so often, my husband and I have taken out a bank loan for one reason or another.
It seems to be a part of modern life, as everyone I know has got a loan. We just get
one loan paid off, have a brief period of feeling smug and then find that we need to
apply for a loan again. This could be to consolidate debts, pay for home improvements
or buy a car. We also took one out to put our daughter through university.
It’s not the actual loan that bothers me, I have accepted it as a way of life, it’s the
process you have to go through to get one. Perhaps our parent’s generation had the
right idea. They wouldn’t think to apply for a loan. If they couldn’t afford something,
they simply saved up until they had enough money. My generation doesn’t have the
patience to wait. So, we have to jump through the hoops every time we want one.
I always feel like a meeting with the bank manager is like going to the Head Teacher’s
office. I feel guilty but I don’t know what I’m feeling guilty about. The manager is
always perfectly friendly and helpful but I still feel like I’m in the dentist’s
waiting room. Maybe, it’s because of some Protestant work ethic instilled in me by my
parents. When I apply for a loan, I’m asking for money that I haven’t earned. Of
course, I know this is how banks make their profits and the whole banking system would
collapse if it were not for people like me.
I hate filling in forms and the same forms come around, again and again, asking the same
questions. Every time we apply for a loan, we have to prove identification, even though
we’ve been going to the same branch of our bank for years. They have to do a credit
check on us. Ironically, we have friends who have been refused a loan because they have
no credit rating. They have good jobs and could easily afford the repayments, but
asking for a loan for the first time means that you have no credit history to be
assessed. We have plenty of history! The worst thing, when we apply for a loan, is
those ten minutes or so when we are left alone in the office whilst the manager pops
out to do all the checks. We’ve never been refused but there’s always a first time.
It’s cold sweat time as he comes back into the room. It’s ok! He’s smiling and we don’t
have to do this again, until the next time.
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