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Loans In South Africa – Apply Online Today

Loans in South Africa are available from online lenders. They typically range from R500 to R250,000 with flexible repayments.

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Complete Guide to Loans In South Africa 2024

Woman holding cash is happy after getting a loan

Looking for a personal loan? It’s important to find out how loans work so you can make informed decisions that best support your needs.

Loans In South Africa: How Do They Work?

Although there are different types of loan products, they generally work the same way. The following terms will help you understand how most South African loans work.

📌Loan amount. This is the amount you wish to borrow. In South Africa, loan amounts can be as little as R100 or as high as R300,000. The amount you qualify for depends on your credit score, monthly income, and other factors.

📌Loan term. This is the amount of time you need to pay the loan back. Short-term loans are usually paid within days or 12 months. Long-term loans can have repayment periods of up to 5 or 7 years.

📌Interest rate. The interest rate is the amount you pay on top of what you have borrowed. Your lender applies an interest rate to your loan amount to make a profit. The maximum interest rate prescribed by the National Credit Act is 27.75% per annum.

📌Repayment or installment. You usually repay your loan in monthly installments. The size of your monthly installments depends on the loan amount and term. The bigger the loan amount and loan term, the higher your monthly repayments and vice-versa.

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Secured Vs. Unsecured Loans

Loans can be either secured or unsecured. Most loans offered by South African lenders are unsecured. 

When the loan is unsecured, there’s no need to put up your possessions as collateral. Instead, your lender will consider your income and credit score as the main factors to determine your creditworthiness. 

With secured loans, you need to put up an asset as collateral. For instance, car loans are usually secured, so the lender can repossess the car you’re buying if you fail to pay as agreed. 

Let’s look at the main differences between secured and unsecured loans.

Secured LoansUnsecured Loans
How it works
You need something valuable to offer the lender, usually your car or home. The lender will repossess the asset if you fail to pay.
How it works
You don’t need collateral, but you often need a good credit score to qualify.
– You can get a higher loan amount
– Repayment periods are longer
– Interest rates are lower
– You can qualify easily even if your credit is not perfect
– You don’t need a valuable asset to get a loan
– Less risk because you won’t lose your collateral
– The application process is simpler
– There’s the risk of losing collateral
– The application process may take longer
– It’s challenging to qualify when your credit is low
– Higher interest rates
– Low borrowing limits.

How much does it cost to borrow?

Borrowing is not free, so you need to borrow wisely! The total cost of any loan will depend on the following:

The interest rate 

The higher the interest rate, the higher your overall borrowing costs. Always shop around to find a lender with the lowest interest rates. 

You can also reduce costs by borrowing a smaller amount and choosing a shorter loan term. The longer you take to pay off your loan, the more interest accumulates.

Read More: 0 interest loans South Africa

Loan fees and charges

Loan fees and charges also inflate the cost of your loan. Depending on the lender, you’ll need to cover the following charges:

📌Initiation fee. This is a one-time fee to process the loan.

📌Monthly fee. This is an ongoing fee charged monthly to maintain your loan account.

📌Early payment fee. Your lender may charge an early repayment fee if you pay off your loan quickly and close your account before the loan term ends.

📌Late payment fee. You should always make repayments on time to avoid this fee. Late payments can also affect your credit score. 

📌Insurance. Insurance is usually compulsory. You can choose your own or opt for the lender’s insurance.

Representative example

Let’s say you want to borrow R20,000 at an interest rate of 18% for one year. Once you receive this amount, you’ll be required to pay back roughly R2,123.00 each month. 

At the end of your loan term, you would have paid back R25,476.24, meaning that the total cost of your loan is R5,476.24.

General Loan Application Requirements

To qualify for a loan, most lenders require that you:

✔️Be at least 18 years 

✔️Have a valid South African ID

✔️Be employed or self-employed

✔️Have a regular, sufficient income

✔️Provide 3 months’ worth of payslips or bank statements

✔️Meet minimum credit score requirements

✔️Have South African citizenship or a South African residence permit

What details do you need?

You should also provide the following details in your application:

⭐Your full name

⭐Phone number


⭐Home address

⭐Your bank account

⭐Purpose of the loan

⭐Details of current loans you have

What Are the Different Types of Loans available in South Africa?

Personal Loans

Personal loans are the main financial product offered by South African lenders. Most personal loans are unsecured and flexible, so they work for many purposes. For example, you can take out a personal loan for the following reasons:

❇️Cover cash flow gaps

❇️Pay for your wedding

❇️Renovate your home

❇️Pay for a holiday trip

❇️Pay for study costs and fees

❇️Cover medical bills

❇️Pay for car repairs

❇️Buy household items and furniture

❇️Or any other legitimate reason

As mentioned, unsecured personal loans tend to have higher interest rates than secured loans, so it’s a good idea to find the lowest interest rate personal loans available.

Payday Loans

Payday loans are a type of short-term loan designed to boost your cash flow until your salary comes in at the end of the month. 

Payday loans have some of the highest interest rates, so you should only take one out when needed. Even then, make sure you only borrow what you can afford.

Debt Consolidation Loans

Debt consolidation loans are a type of personal loan. They make it easier to manage your debt. For example, let’s say you currently have a mix of loans, such as a personal loan, a payday loan, and an account at a clothing store. 

You can apply for a debt consolidation loan and use it to pay off all these loans. This leaves you with a debt consolidation loan – a single loan that’s easier to manage since you only need to make one monthly repayment. 

A debt consolidation loan can save you money if you use a low interest rate loan to get rid of loans with a higher interest rate.

Car Loans

Vehicle loans are secured loans that work to buy a new or used car. The car you’re buying acts as collateral, meaning the lender will repossess it if you default on your loan. 

There are different types of car loans, including motorbike loans, boat loans, and caravan loans, depending on the type of vehicle you wish to buy.

Online Loans

Online loans refer to any type of loan accessible via the internet. Many South African lenders provide online loans, which allow you to apply from anywhere as long as you have a smart device and a working internet connection. 

The process typically involves uploading the required documents from your device, whether payslips or bank statements.

Short Term Loans

As the name suggests, short-term loans are designed to be paid back quickly, usually within six months and sometimes 12 months. 

They’re best for when money is tight since you can apply and receive the money quickly. Short-term loans don’t require collateral but often carry expensive interest rates and fees.

Cash Loans

a cash loan showing a pile of rands

In the strictest terms, a cash loan is received as cash. However, this is rare as most financial institutions prefer to deposit the money in your bank account. 

The situation might differ if you borrow from a loan shark or pawn shop. In general terms, a cash loan refers to any loan where the cash is paid directly into your bank account.

Instant Loans

Instant loans are short-term loans involving small amounts of money. Same-day loans are usually classified together with instant loans since the term refers to any loan with fast approval and payout. 

Getting fast cash in an urgent situation is easier if you’re an existing customer that has already been deemed creditworthy.

Loans for Bad Credit

Loans for bad credit are designed for people whose credit is not-so-good or those who are still building up their credit history. The problem with having a low credit score is that the lender is not confident about whether you’ll pay back the money. 

Most lenders charge high interest rates and limit the amount you can borrow to reduce the risk.

Read More: Should You Take a Mashonisa Loan?

Loans for the Blacklisted

Being blacklisted doesn’t mean that your name has been added to a central list somewhere. It only means that your credit history indicates a missed or late payment in the past. 

This usually results in a poor credit score, so lenders may be hesitant to offer you credit. Therefore loans for the blacklisted carry high interest rates and limited borrowing power because of their high-risk nature. 

Your best bet is to settle overdue accounts and pay off your debt to reduce what you owe. Be sure to make payments on time to improve your credit score. 

Read More: PEP Loans for Blacklisted People: 3 Ways to Apply

SA Home Loans

South African lenders also offer home loans. Home loans come with high borrowing limits of up to R300,000 and longer repayment terms of up to 30 years. 

They usually have a variable interest rate, meaning that your interest rate can change at any time based on changes made by the South African Reserve Bank. Like vehicle loans, home loans are secured loans, so the house you purchase acts as collateral.

Student Loans

Student loans allow you to borrow money to cover study costs, including tuition, boarding, textbooks, food, and other student expenses. 

To apply for a student loan, you often need a parent or guardian with sufficient income to cosign the loan. In addition, student loans are often split into two parts. 

When you’re studying, your parents or cosigner will cover interest payments only. Then, once you graduate and start working, you pay off the principal amount on your own.

Business Loans

Men shaking hands after finalizing a business loan deal

Businesses need capital to operate, and where there are cash flow gaps, a business loan can help. Business loans work for various purposes, including buying equipment and stocking up on inventory. 

To qualify, you often need to meet minimum annual revenue and credit score requirements. You may also need to submit a business plan and provide additional collateral.

Can You Submit an Online Loan Application?

Yes. Technology makes it faster and easier to apply for a loan in South Africa. 

That means you can skip the bank queue and apply in the comfort of wherever you are. In most cases, the first step is filling out the online loan application form. 

Once you submit your loan application, the lender will verify your information. If you qualify, you’ll receive an offer, and once you accept, the provider deposits the money in your bank account.

Are There No Credit Check Loans In South Africa?

Loans with no credit check are not standard practice in South Africa. The National Credit Regulator (NCA) requires registered lenders to be responsible, meaning they should only give out loans to people who can afford them. 

The only way to know what you can afford is to carry out affordability checks, which involve looking at your credit history. 

Lenders that advertise no credit check loans will still carry out a hard credit check, but they’re willing to look past a low credit score. “No credit check” loans usually carry high interest rates to reduce the lender’s risk.


Where can I borrow money fast in South Africa?

Many legit lenders offer instant online loans in South Africa. The application process is usually fast, with little to no paperwork. 

Some lenders even promise you’ll receive money in your account within minutes once you submit the application form and receive approval.

Which loan is easiest to qualify for?

The easiest loans to get include secured loans and short-term loans. With secured loans, you offer collateral to reduce the lender’s risk, so they’re more willing to give you credit. 

Short-term loans like payday loans have high interest rates, and small loan amounts to reduce the lender’s risk, making them easy to qualify for.

Where can I borrow money in South Africa?

There are many lenders to choose from if you’re looking for loans in South Africa. The list includes big banks, private lenders, microfinance companies, loan sharks, and pawnbrokers. 

Visit our Reviews section to learn more about the different types of South African lenders that can help you.

How can I get a loan instantly?

Visit the lender’s website directly and check if you qualify. Next, complete and submit the online loan application form. Once the application is approved, the lender immediately deposits money into your bank account. 

Several South African lenders advertise same-day loans, including Hoopla, Unifi, and Sunshine financial services.

How to borrow money online in South Africa?

It’s easy. Visit your preferred lender’s website and check that you qualify. Then complete and submit the online loan application form.

What credit score is needed for a loan in South Africa?

Minimum requirements for credit scores vary from credit provider to credit provider. The higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate you get and the easier it is to qualify for loans. However, you can still qualify for a loan even if your credit score needs improvement.

How to get a loan without a job in South Africa?

If you’re not formally employed, you may still be able to get a loan if you’re self-employed. Your lender will check if you have a reliable and regular income that allows you to repay your debt.

Can I get a loan with no proof of income?

Loans that don’t require proof of income are high-risk loans. As such, the lender may require collateral and charge a high interest rate.

How to get a loan with no credit?

Getting a loan with no credit is difficult but not impossible. There are lenders willing to help you, although these types of loans tend to be expensive.

Where can I get money urgently?

Many lenders in South Africa offer quick and fast loans. For example, credit providers like BFS, Boodle, and Wonga provide short-term loans to help in a crunch.

Our Research Expert

Gracie Makowe is a full-time personal finance writer with 10 years of experience and a Bachelor of Commerce in Financial Management from UNISA. Learn more.