- You can take out a personal loan if you don’t have enough money to cover immediate expenses. Once the loan has been approved, you should pay back the money over a specified period.
- There are two main categories of personal loans. This includes secured and unsecured.
- Personal loans are short-term. Most of them should be paid back within six years.
- Most personal loan packages in South Africa have favourable interest rates.
- You can apply for a personal loan as long as you are above 18 years of age and can prove that you have a steady source of income.
- There are several penalties associated with personal loan products. This includes early repayment and late repayment.
- You can use a personal loan for household expenses or cover emergencies like funerals.
Personal Loan Definition
A personal loan is a cash you borrow from a bank or a lender. Usually, you apply for this type of loan to pay for immediate expenses if you don’t have the money in your savings or can’t access it right away.
How do Personal Loans Work?
There are different types of personal loans. They can either be secured or unsecured. Both types have other benefits. For instance, secured loans usually have lower interest rates. This is because there is a lower level of risk on the Lender’s end. Some examples of personal loans in South Africa include car loans and mortgages.
Most personal loans are unsecured, meaning you are not required to put up any of your belongings as collateral or security for the loan. As a result, the Lender cannot get their money back if you fail to pay up. As you might imagine, the interest rate may be slightly higher than secured loans.
However, this doesn’t mean that you will get away with it. If you fail to honour your promise to pay back the money you owe, the Lender may take you to court. Furthermore, they will submit your profile to credit bureaus. In turn, it will damage your credit history and even cause you to be blocked.
Personal loan packages have several uses. You can use this loan to consolidate your debt or finance big purchases. It’s also possible to use the cash you obtain via these credit packages to pay for a vacation or wedding.
When your application for a personal loan is approved, the Lender will deposit the money into your bank account. They will then ask you to pay back the funds in a specific period. Sometimes, the loan repayment term can be as long as six years.
What are the significant differences between a secured and unsecured personal loan?
Both these types of personal loans give you a large sum of money, and you get to pay it back over a specified period for a fee. They, however, work differently. Here are some of the key differences between these two types of facilities:
|Secured Personal Loans||Unsecured Personal Loans|
|There is collateral – This means that the money you borrow will be tied to a valuable.||No Collateral –Money is not tied to any value in this case.|
|The lender charges a lower amount of Interest because of the common risk associated with the package.||Higher Interest charged – it may be difficult for the lender to get their money back if you don’t pay.|
|Higher limits on amounts to borrow||Lower limits on charges that you can borrow|
|Fewer requirements when applying for the loan||More difficult requirements when applying for the loan|
Why Should You Consider Applying for a Personal Loan?
Credit can be expensive. As such, you must only use such facilities when necessary. Here are some acceptable reasons why you can choose to take out a personal loan:
- You need to address an emergency and don’t have enough money in your savings.
- You want to improve your credit score.
- There’s a necessary purchase you want to make.
- You need money for home repairs or to fix your car.
There are plenty of other reasons you may need to borrow money from lenders in South Africa. The most important thing is to ensure that whatever reason you have is valid.
Here are other things to think about as you prepare to start looking for lenders:
Are you Eligible?
Lenders don’t just give money to everyone. Before you can get approval, specific requirements must be met. Here are some things to think about:
- Are you over the age of 18?
- Do you have a steady source of income?
- Are you a permanent resident of South Africa?
- Do you have a valid ID?
- If you aren’t a permanent resident, do you at least have a valid Visa or Work Permit?
- Do you have proof of residence?
- Can you afford the loan repayments?
- What amount are you looking for?
Ideally, your answer should be yes to the majority of questions above. Please note that even if you meet all the above requirements, it doesn’t mean you automatically get the loan. After submitting the required documents, the Lender will check a few more before giving you money.
What do you want to use the money for?
As mentioned before, credit can be a bit expensive. As such, you must think carefully before you start looking for cash. Even if you are convinced that your reasons are valid, you still need to figure out the type of personal loan to go for.
Lenders have different types of loans that can suit your financial situation. They tailor-make loans to suit the needs of the borrower.
You can take out a regular personal loan to cover funerals, trips, and wedding expenses. In most instances, this won’t require too much money. Therefore, you will get approved if you have a good credit score.
What are the interest rates charged for the loan?
Charging Interest is how lenders benefit from giving you cash. You are generally better off with a loan with lower interest rates. This is because it won’t be too expensive to pay back.
What are other charges associated with the personal loan?
Lenders also charge other fees to process your application besides the interest rate. This includes loan initiation or origination fees, late and early repayments.
It’s essential to go over all these details before you submit your application. This will help avoid surprises.
How much time do you have to pay back the cash?
Deciding how much time you want to take to repay the money you borrow is essential. It’s tempting to spread the loan payments over a few months or years. It may seem like a longer loan term is favourable, but that’s far from the truth.
After all, the longer you take to repay a loan, the lower the monthly instalments you will be required to pay. However, it would be best if you also considered the interest rate. Taking too much time to pay back the money means more Interest charged. As you might imagine, this makes the loan quite expensive.
The Personal Loan Application Process
There are several ways to apply for this type of loan. You can either approach physical branches, do it over the phone, or submit your application online. Most people complete these processes online since travelling to different locations saves you the hassle.
Please note that the specifics of the application process depending on the Lender you are dealing with. Regardless, a few requirements and documents are similar across most lenders. For instance, you need a valid ID, proof of income, proof of residence, and a good credit score.
How You Can Improve Your Chances of Approval
To ensure you don’t have problems with your application, there are several things you should look at. Naturally, you want to ensure that you meet the Lender’s requirements. Apart from that, you must also take time to gather all the necessary documents. Here are other steps to take:
- Check your eligibility before applying.
- Provide accurate information in your application.
- Assess your debt-to-income ratio.
- Avoid trying to get approval from multiple lenders simultaneously
- Go through your credit record and check for errors.
- Apply for an amount that you can afford
- Choose a lender with favourable terms.
- Find someone to cosign the loan with you. For instance, you can combine your income with your spouse to get a better chance of approval.
- On the application form, make sure to state all your sources of income.
Personal Loan Interest and Fee Structure
Interest on personal loans is expressed in percentage of the total amount borrowed. This rate ranges from Lender to Lender and is dependent on several factors. In most instances, interest rates are applied annually.
The instalments paid every month include the interest rate, which will have been divided by twelve to come up with the monthly fees. For the bank that is lending you money to come up with the rate it charges you, these are the factors considered:
- Your creditworthiness as a borrower: If your creditworthiness is high, banks will give you better deals at low Interest because there is a low risk of defaulting payment.
- Lender’s cost of borrowing: For banks to lend to us, they borrow from each other or their customers. They shift the price they are charged when borrowing and add their own on top of it.
- The tenure of the loan: lenders tend to charge more Interest to short-term loan holders because the loan has less time to accrue Interest as compared to a long-term loan
On top of the Interest charged on a loan, you must keep other fees in mind before getting a Personal Loan. The costs are explained below:
The Lender will charge you an application fee when you apply for a personal loan. This is usually a fixed amount. You can think of this as an administration charge for handling the application.
Late Payment Fees
The Lender will penalise your account if you fail to pay an instalment in time. It’s crucial to determine the late payment fee for your product of choice.
Some lenders will charge you a penalty fee if you pay back the borrowed loan in full before the agreed time. This is because paying back takes away the profit the Lender was set to make if the loan had been paid over the entire term. As such, they try to recoup some of the money via a penalty.
Returned Check Fee
This fee may be called a bounced check or an insufficient funds fee. As you might imagine from the name, you are penalized if adequate funds are available to make an instalment.
How to Figure Out the Total Cost of Your Personal Loan
To calculate the total cost of your loan, you must consider three main components of your loan.
- The total loan amount, which is called the Principal
- The tenure of the loan or the life of the loan, for example, if you pay back the loan over five years, the term will be five years.
- The Interest charged by the Lender on the loan is a percentage of the Principal.
- Extra fees charged
The total cost of the loan = Total loan amount + Total Interest paid + Extra fees charged
In most instances, it’s not difficult to calculate the total amount of money you will pay back over the life of your debt. However, things can get a bit tricky if you are dealing with variable interest rates.
Instead of cracking your head and figuring out how much a loan will cost, you can use a loan calculator. There are several loan calculators you can use. Check out the one on our website for the most straightforward calculation process.
The Right Way(s) to Use Money After Your Loan Gets Approved
Consolidating Your Credit Card Debt
Credit cards can derail your finances if you are not careful. This is especially true if you have several of them. Fortunately, you can use a personal loan to condense your credit card debt into one monthly payment. If you are lucky, you can find a package with a low-interest rate.
Get Cash for a Big Purchase or Expense
We all need to spoil ourselves from time to time. As long as you stay in control of your finances, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with making a big purchase from time to time. It’s also understandable that not everyone has the discipline and financial capacity to save and buy everything for cash.
This is where personal loans come in. The good thing is they offer better fees and interest rates compared to credit cards.
You can use the the money you get from lenders to pay for your wedding, vacation, furniture purchase, medical procedure, and much more. However, before you go ahead and spoil yourself, you should consider how much it will cost you to take out the loan.
Again, a calculator will come in handy. It will show you how much it will cost you to buy whatever you want to invest in.
Boost Your Credit Rating
Apart from buying things and consolidating your debt, a personal loan can also boost your credit score. This facility gives you an excellent chance to improve your credit utilization. Apart from that, making all your payments on time will help you establish a good payment track record, which you will need in the future.
When you have a good credit history, you will qualify for highly competitive interest rates when you approach lenders. It doesn’t matter what type of loan you need; as long as there is a history of you not missing payments, lenders will consider you a favourable candidate.
What are the Advantages of Personal Loans?
Here are some of the benefits to consider:
- Fast access to money – you can get the cash in your account in as few as three days.
- You can get approval even if you don’t have valuables to use as collateral.
- Banks and lenders have flexible borrowing limits.
- Lenders will not ask what you want to use the money for.
- You can get favourable interest rates if you have a good credit score.
- Taking out a personal loan can help you improve your credit score.
- You can use the money to consolidate your debt.
Which Banks Can You Approach if you Need a Personal Loan?
There are several banks and financial institutions you can approach if you need money. Here are the most trusted service providers:
The bank is a subsidiary of the Barclays Africa Group and has been around for some time. It offers some of the most favourable personal loans. They offer amounts ranging from R 3,000 to R350 000, with interest rates of up to 17.5%. The tenure of their loans is from 12 months to 84 months.
This bank offers amounts ranging from R 1,000 to R250 000. Depending on the amount and affordability, you can pay back the money in up to 84 months. Capitec offers some of the lowest interest rates, starting at 12.9%.
One of the most significant benefits of FNB credit packages is that you don’t get charged a penalty for early payment. Depending on your affordability, you can get up to R200 000 and interest rates of 26.5%.
This bank gives out loan packages of up to R200,000. Their interests are from 15% to 24.5%. You will also have to cover insurance charges ranging from 5.04% to 5.40%. African bank has loan terms of up to 72 months.
This bank can give you personal loans of up to R300 000. The tenure of their loans ranges from a year to 6 years, with interest rates of about 17.5%
Financial Institutions and Lenders to Approach
Apart from banks, there are many other financial institutions you can approach if you need cash. Here are some trusted companies.
This financial service provider offers loans up to R300 000 for 24 to 72 months at an interest that starts from as low as 18.55% to 24.5%. Their selling point is that they offer 10% of your loan amount in wealth bonuses.
This financial services provider can offer you up to R250 000 in personal loans. The tenure of their loan range from 12 to 60 months, and their interests start from as low as 15%
They offer up to R200 000 for a period of from 24 months to 72 months at interest rates of up to 27.25%
Bayport Financial Services
This company offers you personal loans of up to R250 000 for up to 84 months, paid at an interest rate of 20%.
How to Choose the Best Lender
Before you apply for a personal loan, you should take some time to compare various lenders. This will give you a clearer picture of the general trend regarding interest rates, fees, requirements, and loan terms. If you settle for the first lender you approach, you may pay higher than average interest rates when there are cheaper options elsewhere.
Factors to consider when choosing the best Lender
- Fees associated with the loan – When shopping for a personal loan, compare how different lenders charge fees and penalties for late and early payments. If there is a possibility that you may want to pay back the loan before the agreed-upon time, choose one with no early or lower repayment fees.
- Interest rates – Choosing a lender that charges a lower interest rate for the same loan over the same repayment period is essential.
- Customer Reviews- It is essential to check out the reviews by previous customers of the same Lender to understand their experience with that Lender before deciding to apply for a loan with them.
How to get Pre-Approved
- Have a high debt-to-income ratio.
- Check your credit score
- Make sure you have an excellent credit history
How to get a loan with zero credit
Many lenders favour giving an individual a good credit score over a weak one. However, even if you have zero credit, you can still get approved for a loan and below are ways to get consented:
- You can choose a secured personal loan
- Get someone to co-sign on your loan application to spread the risk
- Apply for a loan from lenders that do not check your credit score
- Please apply for a payday loan because it reduces the risk for the Lender
How much can I even borrow?
Many lenders in South Africa, when giving a personal loan, give out amounts up to R300 000. However, the maximum amount is not for everyone, as some may not qualify for big amounts.
When shopping around for a loan, getting one that will not affect your debt-to-income ratio so much is important. Over 50% of your monthly income can not be used to pay your monthly instalments. In this case, most banks will not approve your loan.
The other factor to look at is the number of expenses that you have to pay each month. Suppose too many bills are paid monthly, and the amounts are deducted from the account number. In that case, you risk having insufficient funds when the instalment is due.
What’s a good interest rate for loans?
An interest rate deemed good for a personal loan is below the average national interest rate. Currently, the average interest rate in South Africa is 11.97%.
There is a big difference between an interest rate and an annual percentage rate (APR) on a personal loan. APR will be the interest rate plus other fees added to the loan.
The risk will determine the rate you charge you pose to the Lender.
Definition of Common Terms Associated With Personal Loans
Annual Percentage rate
This is the total cost of taking a loan per year. The rate includes the interest rate and other fees for the year’s loan.
This flat fee is charged when you hand in the necessary documents to apply for a loan. Even if you do not get the loan, this fee is not paid back.
This is when it’s the due date on your loan instalment, and the amount gets deducted automatically from your account.
The person who applies for and gets a loan. Likewise, this person must pay back the loan in the agreed-upon instalments.
Collateral (or security)
It is an asset you can use as assurance against a loan. If you can not pay back the loan, the Lender will repossess that asset.
Credit Agencies/Credit Bureaus
These are companies that keep credit information and history on people and companies. The data they have come from lenders and many sources like hospitals and schools.
This records how frequently you take on debt and how you repay it. The information includes which type of debt you have taken and how many credit cards you have. Lenders use your credit history to decide whether to give you a loan.
It’s a three-digit score that lenders use to make a decision about whether to lend you money or not. They use it to know the type of borrower you are and if you can make the monthly repayments. The higher the credit score, the better. A 670 credit score is qualified as a good credit score.
It is money you owe someone, businesses or lenders. You will be obligated to pay back this money on the terms you and the Lender agreed.
A person, business or even country that owes money to another
This is a process done at law that will cut your instalments and increase the terms of repayment of your loan if it is not more than R50 000
It is the process of taking a loan to repay debts like credit cards and mortgages.
This process is used to help debtors who have problems paying their loan instalments. In this process, you approach a debt mediator who makes payment arrangements on your behalf to reduce the payment obligation for you.
This is when you fail to make your monthly payments on your loan and fall behind on your payments.
This is the difference between the market value of the property and how much you owe for that property. For example, if your house is worth R5 million rands, but you still owe R1 million in mortgages, your equity is R4 million.
These are payments made to a lender for giving you a debt or loan. To come up with these charges on loan, you add the interest and all the other fees paid for the loan.
Fixed Interest Rate
A constant Interest that is charged against any form of debt over time. It will apply throughout the tenure of the loan.
Gross Monthly Income
It is the total amount of cash that you earn from work every month before deducting expenses like taxes and other deductions.
This is the general interest rate used to gauge market conditions.
Someone is said to be insolvent when they cannot pay their debts. A company can also become insolvent if they become bankrupt.
This is the money charged as the cost of borrowing and is usually charged in percentage form of the total loan borrowed.
Line of Credit
You can tap into this loan limit until you breach the specified debt limit.
This is a binding legal document drafted and signed between the Lender and the borrower. This document shows essential information about the loan, like the Principal, interest rate, penalties if you default, payment schedule and many more.
This is the total amount you owe the Lender at any given time in the life of the loan. The Loan amount includes the Principal, interest charges, penalties and other charges on loan.
Married in Community of Property
This is a marriage contract where the two parties agree that all the liabilities and assets are shared equally among spouses.
Maximum Loan Amount
This is the maximum amount of money one can borrow from the Lender.
Minimum Loan amount
This is the minimum amount of money that is the authorized limit by the Lender for a specified type of loan.
Monthly Loan Repayment
This is the calculated monthly instalment that you are supposed to pay in monthly instalments at regular intervals over the life of the loan.
Net Monthly Income
The amount of money you are left with from your salary after making the necessary deductions like taxes and other charges.
This agreement between the borrower and Lender outlines the commitment of both parties.
This is an amount borrowed by an individual for personal use, which can include even making investments in a company.
Personal Protection Plan
It is an optional service; you can choose to take it on just in case you stop making monthly payments on your loan due to involuntary health issues or loss of employment.
This fee is charged if you pay the loan before it is due.
This is the interest rate lenders use as a benchmark to set different interests on the loans they offer.
This is the original amount agreed by the Lender to give to the borrower.
Secured Personal Loan
This personal loan is taken out with an asset pledged against it. If you can not repay the loan, the Lender takes the asset as collateral.
This is when your assets are temporarily taken till you pay back the funds you owe a lender.
Term of Loan
This is the time from when the loan is issued to when the loan is due to have been paid for in full.
Any loan that requires assets as collateral is a title loan.
Total Loan Repayment
The total amount of money that the borrower is obligated to pay. You add the Principal, Interest rates and other charges incurred during the life of the loan.
This is when the Lender authenticates your assets. Liabilities and income to make the final decision of whether to give you a loan or not.
Unsecured Personal Loans
A personal loan is not tied against collateral. Instead of lenders relying on the borrower’s assets, they rely on your creditworthiness.
Variable Interest Rate
A type of interest rate that changes and changes over time because it’s based on a benchmark rate that changes from time to time
Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Loans
What is a Personal Loan?
The type of loan that you take out for personal use is flexible to use as you, please.
How does the quoting process work?
To get a quote for a personal loan, you need to furnish the Lender with information like how much you need to borrow and the duration shingles of the loan. The Lender’s platform will find you the most appropriate loan options and their cost.
I’m a foreign national how should I apply for a Personal Loan?
Yes. The South African Reserve Bank governs any debt given to foreigners under their exchange control policy. It states that you can apply for any loan if you have a valid working permit in South Africa.
Is there an age limit when you apply for a Personal Loan?
Many lenders have no age limit and only require that you are over 18 years of age, and as long as they can assess your risk profile, you can apply for a loan no matter how old you are.
Do I have to be employed to qualify for a Personal Loan?
No. Income comes from different sources, and lenders only care that you have enough to pay them back. You can even qualify for a secured personal loan without proof of income.
Do I need a bank account to apply for a loan?
Yes. Lenders deposit loan funds in bank accounts to minimize risk and fraud.
What will my ID number be used for?
This is used as proof of identity of you, the borrower, to the Lender for them to know that you are a natural person to avoid fraud.
Do I need to provide any documents?
Yes. Your national identity card, proof of income in the form of your bank statement for three months before the loan application and your proof of residency. A copy of your valid work permit is necessary if you are not a South African resident.
Is collateral necessary to secure my Loan?
Unless you take a secured personal loan, you do not need any collateral.
How much can I apply for?
South African Lenders give up to R300 000 in personal loans, but how much you qualify for varies from person to person because of their debt-to-income ratio.
Can I be refused a loan?
Yes. If you have a bad credit history, for example, if you defaulted on previous loan payments and your debt-to-income ratio proves to the Lender that you will struggle with monthly instalments.
If approved, how fast will I get my funds?
Some lenders pay out immediately, but the average minimum time for a payout is 48 hours after the loan is approved in South Africa.
What are the loan repayment terms?
These are specified and agreed-upon terms between you and the Lender about how you will repay the money you borrowed and for how long.
Can I choose the way I make repayments?
Most repayments are made in monthly intervals, but you can choose to make them weekly or fortnightly.
How will I know if I can pay the monthly repayments?
Calculate all the debt obligations you must pay monthly against your monthly income to get your debt-to-income ratio. If your debts are equal to or more than your income, you may struggle to make the repayments.
Will non-payment affect my credit rating?
Yes. It will dramatically affect your credit score.
Will my loan instalments be affected by interest rate fluctuations?
If you took out your loan on a fixed interest rate, any changes in the rate would not affect your loan. However, fluctuations will change your loan’s interest rate if your loan is on a variable interest rate.
Can I use my Loan money as I, please?
Yes. That is the main reason for taking out a personal loan to use it as you, please.
Can I apply if I am paid my salary in cash or by cheque?
Getting a loan in South Africa is hard if you can not show your bank statement. However, some lenders will give you a loan if you produce your salary slip and proof of employment from your employer.
Can I apply for a Personal Loan if I am a weekly/fortnightly earner?
Yes, you can get a loan if you earn weekly or after every two weeks. It is possible to make arrangements with your Lender to make your repayments on weekly or fortnightly intervals.
I am a business owner. Can I apply for a Personal Loan for my business?
A business can not apply for a personal loan because the loan must be used for individual needs. There is a loan option available for companies called a business loan.
Can I apply for a Personal Loan on behalf of someone else?
It is possible to apply for a personal loan on behalf of someone else, but this carries a lot of risk for you, the applicant. You must be sure that the person can pay back the money they owe. However, we recommend that instead of taking out a loan for someone, you can lend them the money personally.
Can I apply for a Personal Loan if I am under or have applied for Administration or Debt Review?
Getting a personal loan when you are under debt review is impossible because your profile as a borrower will have been flagged to all the lenders. Responsible lenders will not approve your loan application during the process.
Can I apply for a Personal Loan if I have been declared insolvent?
Lenders will not approve a loan application if you have been declared insolvent because you will not be able to pay back the loan.
Do I need to get my partner’s permission to take a loan?
If you and your spouse use a joint bank account for your finances and you are married in a community of property, then they need to sign off on the loan application because any debt you take out will be shared between you.
How can I protect my family?
To protect your family against your debt, don’t take out loans against family property. Also, please take out a loan that you can repay without having a co-signer who is a family member on it.
What can I take a loan for?
Loans can be taken out for different purposes. A personal loan is for the personal use of an individual. You can take a mortgage if you want to buy a house. You can take out a car loan for a car, and for a business, you have to apply for a business loan.
For how long can I take a loan?
For a personal loan, in South Africa, the maximum tenure is 72 months or six years. This is because the loans are usually not worth a lot of money and are short-term.
How can I know that I am eligible for a loan?
If you are over 18 years, which is the legal adult age and can prove that you will be able to pay back the loan, you are eligible for a loan. Lenders need proof of age, income, and residence to lend you money.
How do I apply for a loan?
To apply for a personal loan in South Africa, you can do it online via the Lender’s website. You can call them through their customer service line or walk into their offices and apply manually.
Do I need a good credit rating?
Yes. A good credit rating shows the Lender that you can pay back your debts and that you are a reliable borrower.
What is a soft search?
This is when the Lender runs enquiries about your credit history before deciding on whether to approve your loan application or not.
What if I miss repayments?
The Lender can penalize you if you miss repayments by charging a late payment fee. If you can not repay, you can be flagged as a bad debtor, affecting your credit rating.
What is an APR?
This is the annual percentage rate charged on loans. You can think of this as the cost of borrowing.
What is debt consolidation?
The process of condensing many debts into one amount under a single lender.
What is a repayment holiday?
You can take this break from making your repayment instalments due to injury, changing jobs or sick or maternity leave, or any extraordinary circumstances agreed upon in the loan contract.
What if I get the total amount before the loan term is over?
You can pay back your loan early. However, this will attract additional charges from the Lender. Companies that lend money profit from interest rates, which are charges per annum. Paying back the money early means paying less interest rate, which translates to less profit for the Lender. Hence, a penalty is their way of trying to avoid losses.
What if I’m struggling to repay my loan?
If you are struggling to repay your loan, talk to your Lender. Sometimes you find someone to talk to your Lender on your behalf. Some lenders can give you time to sort out your finances without making repayments.