Returning to Nigeria (Part 2): Student Loan Palaver | Featured Artiste: C.M.J

Happy New Month y'all! So, how many of you got pranked on April Fool's Day? (raising hand). See, now at least you know I am honest (polishes halo, uses it as a hoola hoop and then replaces it to its former position).  You berra quit forming there like say you didn't fall for the prank.  Yes, you can be "had" at any age! LOL!

I hope April has been treating you well so far.  Apart from these allergies, I'm fine! (Not literally ... you can't even verify sef ... For all you know, I am typing this with all 10 of my TOES! Ha ha ... Okay, I'll get serious now)
[Image Source]
I had started this discussion on Returning to Nigeria last year, and I decided that it was time to pick up from where I left off.  Today sha, I wanted to focus on something I believe Nigerian students in the diaspora can relate to, i.e. Student loans.

Unless your parents are mega "boxed-up" or you have some kind of trust fund (Wait, I thought those two were the exact same thing ... Never mind), or better still, you're just lucky (Got scholarships, grants, etc) you are paying for (or had to pay for) your university education with student loans.  At least in the United States, here are 3 interesting facts about student loans:

  • Total student loan debt in the United States is now increasing at a rate of approximately $2,853.88 per second [Sources: Business Insider, FinAid]

And this is just for the US.  I have no idea what the figures are in terms of just how many Nigerian students take out student loans to pay for their education, but I am just making a conservative guess and saying 60%.  I suspect it is higher though.

If you completed your entire education in Nigeria, thank God you don't have to deal with student loan palaver, because most likely, you graduated debt-free. The idea here is that when students graduate they can then pay off the loans over many years, and that is of course linked to employment.  With the economy in its current state, let's just say that more and more graduates are defaulting or have defaulted on their loan payments with unemployment being a major factor.  Some graduates who are employed still cannot afford the payments because they don't earn enough to make the minimum payments.

Furthermore, with the whole immigration factor, International Students (and that includes Nigerians obviously) are eligible for private loans which have higher rates of interest and unfortunately, cannot be consolidated.  For those who have graduated from professional schools like Medical School, Law School, etc, it is common to find professionals with hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans because it accumulates from college till they get their professional certification and/or degree.  So where does this leave us?

Well, for those seriously considering making that "Big Move" back to Nigeria (a rising trend, if I might add), securing a job that will enable them comfortably repay those student loans is a serious factor that must be weighed.  Of course I am assuming that you don't plan to just cut and run! LOL! Seriously though, for someone who defaults, I have heard that it takes around 10 years to get that stuff off your credit, so it shouldn't be taken lightly.  But then again, if you're relocating, building your credit is probably the last thing on your mind.

What I really want to know though is for those who have relocated to Nigeria, how have they been coping with student loan payments? Do you know anyone in this position? It's something many people don't talk about, but we should talk about it because it affects a good number of Nigerians.  So, you know what to do now.  Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

Featured Artiste: C.M.J

I know you are just as curious as I was to find out who C.M.J was, and what in the world C.M.J means! Well, the wait is over because (Oh for heaven's sake! Relentless, get to it already! It's too early for your dry jokes and drama) ...*sulking* Alright, then! It stands for "Christ's MessenJa" and it's the stage name adopted by Isaac Hanokam Hassan, a gospel rap artiste based in Jos, Plateau State.

C.M.J / ReverbNation
I came across his profile on ReverbNation yesterday (Monday), and just randomly selected "I Surrender" to get a feel for his sound.  Do I really need to say more? LOL! I am featuring him here today because I was impressed with that one song I heard.  The fact that the song is less than 2 minutes long doesn't hurt either *wink*  So, here is "I Surrender":

[Don't you just LOVE the sleek new widget from ReverbNation? I do]


Likes: So, I already hinted at Like #1: This song is short and sweet ... literally! It's just 1:37, which makes it more like a teaser? Like # 2 is the unavoidable acapella at the intro, which also doubles as the hook.  What a way to start a song! I mean, they get right into it from the word "Go!" I would say they utilized the seconds on this track well.  I don't know who Octavia is, but apparently s(he) is responsible for the commendable beats.  I have to mention that I appreciate the fact that C.M.J briefly lists the credits at the tail end, which is a welcome change to the typical arrangement, i.e. announce it in an annoying, obtrusive way at the beginning.  I still wonder if this was intended to be a full track or maybe it's just a foretaste for better things.  Either way, let's just say Relentless is curious sha, and that's a good thing :-)

Dislikes:  The fact that C.M.J announced himself as a rapper made me really anticipate his part to see what his delivery would be like.  I wasn't disappointed, but for a track this short, I expected tighter verses and better songwriting than I observed.  The good news is that this is a mixtape and the artiste can make the necessary changes to the song if he plans to include it in the album.  What changes, you might ask? Well, hop over to the next section to see.

Recommendations:  C.M.J should tighten the loose ends in his verses and improve his songwriting. That's all I would change.

Finally, some more information on C.M.J:

Artiste's Stage Name: C.M.J - Christ's MessenJa

Artiste's Real Name: Isaac Hanokam Hassan

Connect with C.M.J: FaceBook | Twitter | ReverbNation

MIX TAPE / Featured Song: TURN IT UP / I Surrender

Beats: Octavia

Am I the only person who JUST found out that this past Sunday was Palm Sunday? LOL! Please tell me I am not alone jo! Better still, I will blame it on not seeing anyone with palm fronds ... That's right.  Blame it on some random strangers.  That usually works *wink* Have a lovely week ahead!


Hmm... I get where you are coming from. I dont know anyone who has returned to Nigeria paying their loans from the US but I know of a friend who we finished from Singapore together who I doubt has paid a penny from his loan. Its hard for people who stayed back talk less of people who go to Naija. How much will they be able to earn to help them pay back? Well, maybe I am generalizing... if you get a job in one of the oil companies sha.

I was not fooled on April 1st. YAY Me! Too smart, I guess. haha


Ah, i almost got pranked by Verastic o but i didn't fall for it. That story was haute but it just felt soo wrong and she made it about Funmi (her bestie). I'm sure if it the story was about someone else, i would have gorged.

Asfor student loans, since i was bred and buttered and of course schooled in Nigeria, i can't talk about that.

So how are you coping with the allergies tho? pele *hugs*

Fortunately for my siblings and I, our parents (and fellow siblings) slogged for the extra fees that were not handled by scholarships and grants. I can only imagine the terror of having to pay off loans from Naija... especially for someone like me who plans to bail this U.S of A as soon as I'm done...hmm

And as for APRIL FOOL's let's just say... I was the pranker not the prankee

You're not the only one that didn't realise it was Palm Sunday o, I was so disappointed in myself...I've just looked up google and discovered it's the Sunday before Easter Sunday- how did I not know this?!
Student loans- I studied in the UK and as far as I know, international students are not eligible for loans (no surprise there- can you imagine the number of our people that would just tika race and run after studying?!), so you just have to either pay for it yourself or get a scholarship or sth similar...I seriously thank God I didn't have to worry about loans- you finish university/college, get a job and think you can relax and enjoy your hard-earned salary, but noooo, you have to start paying for your education- mehn, the thought is just too painful...

I did my undergrad degree in Canada and I was fortunate enough to have
my dad pay for everything (Tuition, accommodation, feeding e.t.c).  I am
definitely not in a position to discuss the burden of student loan but I
can discuss the burden
of survival Afer School. If international student tuition is similar
across the board, then I am sure my America educated counterparts have
it just as difficult......................making ends meet on a
fixed income is not easy, especially if not a medicine
grad.   I find it hard to save my monthly target after taxes and all
(of which about 35% of my income goes to taxes, and then there are other
deductions like CPP, EI.... orishirishi). I guess my point is that this
system isn’t designed for you to be wealthy;
it’s designed for moderate survival. If you get a reasonable job offer
in Nigeria, you will probably make enough to pay off your loan at a much
faster rate.

LDP: LOL at not getting pranked.  I guess you were too sharp (or else the prankers didn't try hard enough).  Next year dey sha, so beware!

Just like you, I don't know anyone personally who is paying loans from Nigeria.  Your friend's situation might be a better reflection of what happens when graduates leave for their home countries, but I have no proof, so all na speculation.  Like you rightly pointed out (and that's what really concerned me), the returnee would need to earn a good chunk to pay loans and live comfortably in Nigeria.  

Toin:  Hehe! Vera had me fooled one year like that, but not this year :-)  The only reason being that I was not on her page on April 1 gan gan.  If not ehn ... 

I don't blame you for not being able to talk about loans.  I completely understand.  I didn't know anything about them too until I came here, but I still appreciate your commenting though :D

(thinks to herself: "I shall milk this allergy question from Toin for all its worth")

*sniffling and pulling on her best 'feel sorry for me' face* The allergies are clearing up sha, thank God. *sniffles and fakes cough and then accepts Toin's hugs with a big grin*

NollywoodREinvented:  Wow! You guys are truly fortunate.  It's a blessing to be able to finish school in this country debt-free.  LOL at bailing out from here as soon as you're done.  I hope you'll still be running NRI from Naija sha.  Abeg, no just disappear o!

NollywoodREinvented: Haha! See levels o! You were the pranker this year.  Last year nko? *looking at you quizzically* Prankee? Yes?

Renny: Phew! There I was thinking I was the only one who totally missed Palm Sunday.  Well, we both know when Easter Sunday is, right? That'll be sometime in May, right? LOL! Just kidding.

Your comment provided useful insight into the UK financial aid system.  So, thanks a lot! I just assumed that it would be the same as the US.  Here, international students have to find co-signers who are either permanent residents or U.S. citizens.  That raises the bar somewhat because in the past they could get loans without co-signers and the whole "disappearing act" you mentioned was commonplace until the rules were changed.  I am not sure people still do that, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least.  You're truly blessed to not have to worry about loans.  It's a real burden students (American and International) have to deal with and with the economy, it's pretty tough out there.  So, I join you to praise God o.  It is worth celebrating!

9jaFoodie: First off, thank God for your dad covering all your school expenses.  I tell you, that alone is worth celebrating this Easter (that new scotch egg recipe comes to mind as a celebration-worthy "tool.")  It is a real blessing to graduate from school debt-free.

Secondly, thanks for your detailed comment because I didn't know, until you mentioned them, those things about schooling in Canada. Once again, I assumed it was the same as the US.  Boy, was I wrong! 35 kini? In INCOME taxes? Your conclusion is definitely on point:  That system was not made to make folks wealthy.  After-school survival is a completely different ball game.  I keep referring to the economy because it is creating a new "breed" of graduates.  There are graduates with expensive degrees and no jobs, waiting tables at restaurants.  Add to that the student loan palaver, and you have a recipe for high blood pressure!  

For Nigerian returnees, the key like you rightly pointed out would be getting a reasonable job offer so they can afford loan payments, if that is on their agenda.

Now, I really cannot comment on this issue, since I don't know how it works.

When it comes to higher education student loan you need to make sure you are not planning to go returning to university at any time in the long run. This is because they only allow you to settle one time and if you go returning to university you might have new loans to add into the education mortgage consolidation

It's almost as if you were talking to me. I didn't have much loans graduating from college ($6k). I know, see my mouth like $6k as if I can pay for it right now. And then I now added law school loans on top that one (let's not even discuss it, I go dey vex). 

But I do know someone who just ja and went to Naija, no job, no nothing.. said when Naija money comes he'll be paying it. It's not like they'll send police or something to Naija to go scout him out. Me, I plan on finish paying my loan before I leave (God-willing) because even if I go stay in Naija, I plan on coming here often. And I cannot be coming here with all the cash I'll need for all my expenses/ they might even stop me at the airport and detain me there until I finish paying. (::smh:: at my imagination, but you never know.. these people don't play with their money). 

p.s: the one thing I heard that scared me white (yes, pun intended) is that if you declare bankruptcy, you can let go of all debts except school loans. This thing is SERIOUS o.. E wan follow person die. 


Atilola: I understand, and I still appreciate your leaving a comment regardless :-)

PayDay Loan: What you said is actually quite important and I didn't factor that into this post.  The thrust of this post was for international students who are Nigerians and they cannot consolidate their loans if they are private loans (more than likely they are).  But your point is well-taken and should be considered especially for those who plan to cut and run as they can ruin their chances of getting this type of financial aid in the future.  But then again, if you cut and run, you might not really care.  

Thanks for stopping by :-)


I am glad you were able to relate o! I have met more people with student loan issues than those who didn't (American and International Students alike), and like you kuku know law school tuition is no joke, especially if you're paying out-of-state tuition.  The thing with loans is that they pile up, and for those going to professional schools after college, that's a common way to pay for school.  The problem though is that in this economy, those 100K and up jobs are harder to come by, and complicates things.

The friend you mentioned who just went to Naija and fashi'd the student loan palaver ehn, I expect to see more and more of that.  And it won't be because people are irresponsible, but because if they can't find jobs here and student visa has expired, they gasta go home and sort themselves out. Unfortunately, with the increase in cut and run cases, companies might be less willing to lend money for school.  I hope they don't black list us sef.  

Your plan to stay and finish paying here is a wise choice, but for some, they don't even have that choice for immigration reasons.  They have to leave.

And yes, you heard right! Student loans CANNOT be discharged in Bankruptcy, regardless of what chapter the person files.  It's a real nightmare, and folks have been clamoring to have that law changed for sometime now, especially since stuff like credit cards, and other debt can be wiped out.  Okay, make I stop here for now :-)


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