Your Guide to Payday Loans in South Africa (2022 UPDATE)
What are Payday Loans?
Payday Loans are cash loans ranging from R500 to R8,000 which are repayable in one full instalment on your next pay date.
How do Payday Loans work?
Here’s why payday loans are popular: you can secure a loan in a very short period of time. For payday loans, South Africa residents can apply online and get confirmation and the money in their bank accounts within a day or two.
The second benefit of payday loans is that obtaining one doesn’t require a lot of paperwork. You don’t necessarily have to have a credit report done to qualify. As long as you can provide proof of regular income whether you’re an employee or self-employed your application may be approved. You will have to supply:
- Your ID documents
- Proof of residence
- Confirmation that you’ll have ongoing employment for the duration of the loan period
The lenders require proof that you’re able to pay the loan or its instalments in the agreed timeline.
The absence of strict requirements is the other reason you may find these loans useful. If you have credit problems but need money fast to cover emergency expenses, a payday loan can help.
Once you acquire the loan you will have anything from one day to six months to repay the money with interest incurred. The payback period will be determined by the specific agreement you have with the lender.
How Much Does a Payday Loan Cost?
Your payback amount will depend on how big your loan is and the interest rate you’re offered by the lender. With most lenders you can expect an interest rate of up to 5% per month. Loan Example:
If R2000 is borrowed for 20 days
Initiation Fee: R265.00
Service Fee: R40.00
Total to Repay: R2393.00
Here is a comprehensive look at payday loan fees.
Are Payday Loans Right for You?
Is it wise to take out a payday loan? If you’re facing an emergency situation, this is definitely an effortless, fast solution to get the cash you need. Many consumers have used it successfully in these scenarios:
- Paying bills related to a medical emergency
- Repairing a business vehicle while waiting for the next salary payment, to prevent a loss of income
- Covering unforeseen expenses while waiting for payday
This type of loan shouldn’t be seen as an add on to your regular salary. It’s also not wise to use it regularly or for leisure expenses; you run the risk of ending up in more debt than before.
South Africa has seen a growth in lenders so you can take your pick on where you’ll secure your instant loan. Ready to start?
Are payday loans legal in South Africa?
Yes, payday loans are legal in South Africa. That is if you take the loan from a registered credit provider. Payday loans, if they adhere to the requirements of the NCR, are perfectly legal in South Africa. Every person or business that gives loans to consumers has to be registered with the National Credit Regulator (NCR)
Are there alternatives to payday loans?
There are a couple of alternatives to consider before you decide on a payday loan:
- Payment plans: You could talk to your electricity, water, or phone provider and maybe they can work out a payment plan for you, or perhaps give you an extension on your due date if you have got behind on your payments.
- Get in contact with your creditors: Speak with your creditors to see if you can extend the due date of payments; maybe even work out a new payment plan that works for you all.
- Seek a personal loan elsewhere, like consider a small personal loan from a credit union or a bank because you might qualify – these will come with much lower interest rates than the ones offered by payday loan companies.
- Use your credit card to pay for emergency payments and bills: OK, this is not an ideal long-term solution and you will still need to pay off your balance, but at least it’s an alternative to a short-term loan that has high immediate interest rates.
Why are payday loans bad?
They are considered by many as bad because many are designed to trap you to be on a continual cycle of debt. Usually, payday loans that are quicker and easier to access also tend to have higher fees; that’s why it’s imperative to pay the debt off in full in your repayment terms. Payday loans are also not a long-term solution; they really are just a quick fix in an emergency, but one which must be settled almost immediately, otherwise you won’t win. They never really help to minimise long-term debt. There are also some payday loan providers that make signing up sound so easy and simple and yet they aren’t honest with you at all. If your loan deal sounds too good to be true, believe it, and rather be concerned than happy.
Will I be prosecuted if I don’t pay back a payday loan?
Lots of people who borrow money like a payday loan get scared if they can’t repay their loan on time. They need to remember that payday lenders don’t have the right to bully them or threaten them and people can’t even be arrested if they fail to pay a payday loan back. It is not a criminal offence in South Africa. But the lender probably will take you to court though if you don’t pay, and then if you are summoned to court, you must appear.
What happens if you get a payday loan and close your bank account?
If you close your banking account so that the payday loan lender can’t draw out the required funds to pay it off, they will keep on trying anyway, but believe it, they will get the money back and you will be the one at a loss because you will be incurring more bank fees. Eventually, the lender might send your loan to its collections department where you will end up paying even more costs and fees.
Do payday lenders take you to court?
Sure, because they will want their money back according to their agreement with you. So the short answer is yes, and they will sue you in court too if you default on your debt and are in violation of the agreement you made with them. OK, they can’t take you to a criminal court but they will sue you for the money in a civil court.
How do I get rid of a payday loan legally?
- You can get rid of the payday loan by taking a new and less expensive loan.
- Take the money out of your savings and get rid of the payday loan debt.
- If permitted, arrange for a repayment settlement plan with the current payday loan lender.
- You can consolidate your debt so just one payment of all your debt is made.
- Banks can help you to get your debt under control.
Can I stop payday loan lenders from debiting my account?
You can stop electronic debits to your account. You have the right to stop a payday lender from taking automatic payments from your account even if you arranged with them that they could. But that does not mean you stop making the payment!
If I don’t pay my payday loan, what happens?
Thing is, a payday loan will come with very high-interest rates and fees, sometimes making them impossible for people to repay. If you are unable to pay back a payday loan, your account will probably get sent to a collection agency, and from there to an attorney’s office even – all these procedures will damage your credit.
How do you pay back payday loans?
Well, payday loans aren’t long-term loans; they are mostly short-term unsecured loans, helping you to gain access to quick cash to see you through to the end of the month or in a desperate situation. They usually have to be repaid in full on your next pay date.
What should I do to get rid of my payday loan?
You can negotiate repayment options with your lender. As mentioned above, you can also take out a personal loan with lower interest rates and maybe get rid of the payday loan for instance. Lenders want their money owed to them so they might just be flexible about their arrangement with you to get their money back. If you are desperate, maybe friends and family can help you settle your payday loan debt. Sometimes you might have to sell things you no longer need. What about a cash advance from your credit card? Or maybe your employer will give you an advance on your salary?
Can you go to jail for failing to pay a payday loan?
As mentioned above, you won’t go to jail if you fail to pay your payday loan. But the lender might take you to a civil court to get his money from you. The best advice here is to make sure you can pay back debt before you take out a loan because you will just be damaging your own credit record, making it difficult for you in the future. Remember too, that when you do consider a payday loan that you do your homework and make sure you choose a reputable lender.
Do payday loan lenders check your credit?
Yes, payday lenders run a credit check on you to see your credit history and your outstanding monthly debt repayments.