"A long time ago, I had a temp job in the credit department of a catalog ordering company. This was prior to omnipresent online credit card use, so large orders phoned in from the catalog were treated as loans. We would pull a credit report and assess the situation.
One guy's order tripped the limits and he was sent my way. Hmm, he wants to order... 2000 window air conditioners? That's very expensive and seemed odd because if you are a home developer or a retail store and need a lot of inventory, you buy bulk. My catalog company sold to the public.
So I start digging and he lives in Georgia. I looked it up on a map: it's the middle of nowhere. His address says he lives on a street called 'Trailer Park Court.' OK. Also not good.
Oh, and it appears he declared bankruptcy... yesterday?! I actually laughed out loud. His financial history gets worse as you go back.
So, of course, I cancel his order and send him the standard letter, and think nothing of it. Until a few months go by. The letter I sent him instructs to call with questions, which is silly, because I can't give out any info on the phone, anyway. Regardless, he calls. I answer the phone. He starts screaming. He starts by screaming. I don't know who he is or what he wants yet. But this is par for the course.
I get him simmered down and am talking to him about why he can't order 2000 air conditioners, without really saying why. He's acting all indignant as if he doesn't have a job and doesn't live in a mobile home and didn't just declare bankruptcy, and wasn't trying to sneak in one more order before the paperwork is filed (he wouldn't have to pay back the 'loan' for 2000 air conditioners).
So he gets mopey and says, 'Aw durn. I was hopin' to cool off mah yurd. Muggy down here, and hot as anythang.'
His plan was to plug in 2000 air conditioners and air condition the outside."
"I worked at a call center for a credit union. I would tell people balances, take loan applications, etc.
So, an elderly man would spend hundreds of dollars a week at a bottle store, spending everything in his account. He would call up, obviously having had a few too many, wanting his account balance and wanting to know why his debit card was declined. Well, he spent all his money at the bottle store. So, he would ask for a loan for more money (probably to buy more of the stuff.) Because of the law or whatever, we were not allowed to decline him for applying for a loan. So, we had to fill out a loan application, just for him to be not be approved for it obviously. He would apply for loans once, even twice a month. Never approved. I honestly think he had a few too many all the time and never remembered applying for loans.
Finally, after, I think a year of this, this issue eventually made it's way up to the head people of the credit union and they decided they would have him come in... with a family member, and discuss his account. I think they had an intervention with him and made a family member present just in case this guy was suffering from dementia and needed family to take over his financials from him (a la power of attorney, etc.) From what I hear, it went well. I never heard of him applying for a loan again, to my knowledge. If he did ever call in again, he was supposed to be sent to a manager for another discussion over the phone.
Not really an absurd reason as it is a sad one."
"I'm just a teller, so I don't deal with loans much. There was one guy who said he just needed $50 until he got paid. I said, 'Well do you have a credit card? We can do a cash advance.'
He said no, he needs a loan.
'I don't think there's any way we can give you a $50 loan.'
'Well, can you just give it to me, and then take it out of my account when my check comes in?'
'That's not really something we do, and we probably don't have anyone to actually record and monitor it.'
'BUT YOU'RE A BANK!!' he shouts, and then storms off. I just gave my manager a confused look.
It felt like the guy wanted me to literally take $50 out of my drawer, give it to him, and have him pay me back."
"I work at a bank in Australia. Oh, where to start.
We had one customer who wanted to borrow funds to start a theme park based around tents, nowhere near other people, with projections that between 600,000-800,000 people would attend per year.
Another customer wanted a loan using his ex-wife's house as collateral, on the basis that he had paid for it so it was really his money anyway.
A third customer wanted to borrow funds to start a snow manufacturing and delivery business for Christmas (in rural Australia, where Christmas is held in summer and is rarely under 30 Degrees Celsius).
A fourth customer wanted to buy a Range Rover while on Centrelink (state welfare) with a non-payment period because she 'could use the car to meet someone who could pay for it.'
The list goes on.
We had a customer borrowing funds for a training course to improve her job, then as the loan was funding she attended the branch to announce she was quitting her job and using the money for a holiday. She announced this just before we approved the loan, so ended up declining it. She was not happy about that.
We had a customer wanting a Personal Loan because she had to refinance massive credit card debt that she had accrued in one month. Sorry lady, 'I cut up the card, and therefore there is no credit account' does not suffice as a repayment plan.
A fellow wanted to borrow funds because his attempts to pump and oversupply potatoes into the Australian produce market failed to make an impact on their price, and therefore he wanted a loan to be able to export the potatoes overseas to sell at a higher price.
I also forgot about the guy who watched a video on Youtube about a way to make infinite energy and was wanting to borrow funds to build a machine so that he could put the commercial energy companies out of business.
Another guy wanted to borrow funds because he had won the 'Indonesian National Lottery' and was required to send them some upfront taxes and fees. After days trying to convince him that as he had never entered an Indonesian Lottery that it was exceedingly unlikely that he had won one, he went to another bank that would actually let him proceed with a Personal Loan application to fund him to 'collect his winnings' (My bank, as all banks should, has a policy of declining loan applications that will degrade a customer's financial position)."
"I had a young male non-client come set up an appointment for a business loan with a teller. The schedule notes alluded to an engineering firm so I assumed he was a recent graduate looking for startup capital. Generally, these loans aren't crazy as they're only looking for $10,000 - 20,000 to get things rolling. Oh, boy was I wrong. This kid came in, probably no older than 20, with slicked-back hair and a full three-piece suit, carrying a briefcase. You have to be nice to everyone, but I immediately knew that this was going to be a waste of time.
I sit him down in my office and ask him what he's looking for. He calmly lays down his briefcase and asks me for a TWO BILLION DOLLAR LOAN.
First of all, I'm not even authorized to give more than $250,000. When I asked him why he needed this he said that he wanted to buy all the property in our entire city, demolish it, and rebuild it into a 'super city.' He even gave me a drawing of what the city would look like. After immediately declining this spectacular deal, he lets me know that he was really disappointed because he was hoping to quit his job at the grocery store that day."
"A guy once wanted a loan so he could buy a revenge snake.
Here's the whole story:
A customer walks in. He asks for $200. I asked him why as he was filling out the paperwork. He said his ex-wife has been breaking into his house almost every night, but she is terrified of snakes. He was going to buy a massive snake and sleep with it until she stops breaking in. If she doesn't stop, he is going to release the snake into her apartment. I gave him a mortified look, worrying that his genius will escape him.
His credit score checked out, so in line with company policy I gave him the loan. He gave me a $5 tip and walked off smugly.
And he went to buy his revenge snake."
"A 20-something dude who just started out a 'career' as an 'area sales manager' for some company that was clearly a scam wanted to buy a Mercedes to 'adequately represent his profession /position,' something in the range of 60,000 Euros.
Needless to say, the loan was denied, and since he had his current account with us, I would check it periodically for the big bucks he claimed would be rolling in soon. It didn't even take 2 months until he was on welfare."
"I had a guy come in acting rudely to the greeter, who then referred the customer over to myself. This guy was in his fifties and looked liked he lived in his car.
He proceeds to tell me he needs $5,000 to fly to Washington in order to solve the murder of his son and retrieve the body. He does not want to do any paperwork for this and tells me he's a dealer, and he wants to leave $10,000 worth of nose candy as collateral for the $5,000 cash without even showing an ID. He assures me he's a professional and in the 26 years he's been doing it he's only been arrested twice. Though he mentioned he did just get out of jail on charges the were unrelated-to-his 'business.'
I had to decline his generous and exciting proposal cause of, ya know, everything about it."
"I had a guy who owned his own multi-level marketing business and was looking for a business development loan.
Mostly for me, the absurd part of people's requests are when they want a business loan because they have an idea they think would work. Yet they have no experience, no capital, and insufficient collateral. Sometimes it's a legitimate proposal but they don't have the resources or collateral. Barriers to entry is a hard concept for some to understand.
Then there are the requests that just hard to deal with. I had a lady who needed a loan for only enough to cremate her husband who had just passed away (since it was less expensive). She had terrible credit and basically no income... I gave her the loan anyway."
"I'm not a banker, but I am a pawnbroker.
A frequent customer of mine, who happens to have a chronic gambling problem, goes to Best Buy and buys a brand-new $1000 TV on her credit card, brings it to my shop, and borrows a few hundred bucks using the TV as collateral. She proceeds to go to the casino, wins a bunch of money, comes back and pays back what she owes me for the TV loan, which all things considered is very cheap (like $20 to borrow $300), and then returns the TV to Best Buy so she doesn't have to pay the rates for a cash advance on her card.
A long and almost ridiculous process to get extra gambling cash. I am not even sure it's cheaper for her to do it that way than to just take out cash on her credit card. She has done that about 5 times though, and we see no reason not to do it, but I am certain there are more efficient ways to spend your money."
"A client wanted a $60,000 loan to send the funds to her overseas US boyfriend who she had never met because he was going to pay her back as soon as he got his discharge from the Marines.
There had been a mix-up with his papers supposedly, and they were trying to deploy him to Afghanistan when he was supposed to be retiring. Somehow, because of this, all his money was frozen.
She got the loan and I often wonder about her and hope that it was not a complete pack of lies.
I know she definitely sent him the money, as when she came to get the loan she had already sent him over $50,000 in the last week. I couldn't get a clear answer why he needed so much money, other than that he was trying to sort things out so he could come and be with her.
It was an unusual situation and due to responsible lending, I was very apprehensive about doing the loan. I got it cleared with management after we got the client to declare that she fully understood the risks, etc.
She was adamant that he was legit.
I honestly tried to discourage her, and I know how it sounds but I did everything in MY power to stop her.
She knew what she was doing. She knew the implications. If I didn't give her the loan she would have got it from someone else. We, being my boss and me, spent plenty of time warning her of scams and the risks. She was absolutely adamant he was her boyfriend and we were worried about nothing.
So we couldn't stop her as there was no reason to deny other than our suspicion. There's no way for us to prove that it was a scam despite how it sounded. At the end of the day, you just can't stop some people from making poor decisions, no matter how hard you try to tell them."
"I had a guy come in and try and get a title loan against his car. I worked for a credit union and this product was not promoted or even truly offered. But since we were small they could be pretty lenient with what we could do for customers. The guy also had a mortgage with us, two credit cards (which were almost maxed out), and good payment history. So they let me go through with beginning the application.
There was not much in his checking account and no savings, so when we got to the income part I was surprised to hear that he made $100,000 a year with $20,000-30,000 in bonuses (he worked for a big tech company). I check his direct deposits and the amounts checked out. So finally we get to the end where I'm asking for purpose of the loan. And this dude is skirting around, but I tell him because of banking regulations, even if it was for 'personal' use we need a reason. So eventually he concedes and tells me he owes a couple of friends (loan sharks) some money and they need it back really badly (or they would hurt him), and that he owed more than the car. He intended to use the car to raise the money through 'quick investing's' by which I knew he meant gambling.
The dude needed to pay off his loan shark debts cause he was completely hooked on gambling and apparently terrible at it. He did not get approved. I felt bad for him but it's like, come on dude. You 100% need to find a better way to deal with this situation."
"I used to be a personal banker in a small branch of a large bank. This branch was in a small town, and most people were fine, but occasionally we would get some 'interesting' people coming in.
One of these people was a woman in her mid-twenties who came in with her father to get her first credit card. She seemed very excited about it, and the father was being very supportive, saying things like 'you earned this, honey.' It seemed like a pretty big deal to them.
So I ask what she is planning on using the card for, and she tells me that she wants it to pay for a Hello Kitty tattoo she has always wanted on her shoulder. The tattoo was going to cost almost $1000 and I could see that she only had a few hundred dollars to her name.
Unsurprisingly, her credit was abysmal and she did not get approved for the card. The card she was applying for had an interest rate of over 20% so she would have been paying that off forever.
I told them they'd have to look elsewhere for a card. Sometimes I wonder if she ever got that tattoo."
These comments have been edited for clarity.