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What you need to know before applying for a personal loan

Anyone can run short of money for various reasons. The South African economy, like many other economies across the world, is going through a difficult period, and people are finding it very hard to pay their bills. This affects different people in different ways. You may for example need to repair your car or buy new tyres. You may need to pay school fees for your children. You may have to cover unexpected medical expenses. Your house may need some repairs. These things usually happen when we can least afford them. If you cannot afford these extra expenses, the answer could be to apply for a personal cash loan from a reputable lender, preferably an Authorised Financial Services and Credit Provider. The National Credit Act should protect you from getting into further trouble, as the lender has to abide by the law, and is not allowed to lend you money that you cannot afford to repay.

If you decide to apply for a personal loan, you will have to meet certain basic requirements. The following are some examples of what is usually expected from you. Some lenders may have slightly different requirements.

  • You must be over the age of 18.
  • You must be in formal employment, which means that you must have a regular job.
  • You must have proof of residence, in other words you need a document to prove where you live (your home address). This could be a municipal account, a TV Licence, an account from a large retailer etc. This document must not be more than 3 months old.
  • You must have a copy of your latest payslip from your employer.
  • You must have a valid South African ID document.
  • You must have your latest bank statement to show the lender that your salary has been deposited.

When you fill in the application form for a personal loan, you will need to answer some questions. You need to be accurate with your answers. A credit check will be carried out, and if they decide that you are able to afford the repayments, you will be contacted by the lender and told how much you can borrow, for how long you can borrow the money, and how much you have to pay back each month. You will also be told what the rate of interest is on your loan. Personal Loans usually range in value somewhere between R4 000 and R100 000.

Once you sign and return the agreement, the money will be deposited in your bank account. You will need to make a regular monthly payment after that until you have paid off the loan. If you manage to make regular payments and have already paid back a reasonable amount , you may want to borrow some more money, and this can sometimes be done if you still meet the original requirements.

It is also advisable to have insurance cover against death, permanent disability, dread disease and retrenchment when taking out a personal loan. In the event of something unforeseen happening to you, some or all of your payments could be covered, depending on the wording of the policy.

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