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Short term loan solutions in South Africa

Make an informed decision when comparing and applying for a short term payday loan.

Payday loans are expensive forms of credit and shouldn’t be used to fix long-term financial issues. People should avoid payday loans if it will put their budget under strain, as late fees for payday loans can build up quickly and result in debt.
Name Product Minimum Loan Amount Maximum Loan Amount Term of Loan Turnaround time
Wonga Short Term Loan
Wonga Short Term Loan
4 days to 3 months for new customers, up to 6 months for existing customers
As soon as possible after an application has been approved
Apply for a first time loan up to R4,000 and have the ability to pay off your loan sooner to save on charges
Lime Quick Loan
Lime Quick Loan
5 to 37 days
By 7 pm on the same day
Borrow from Lime and you can take advantage of its loyalty program, which may cut the cost of future borrowing. Loan approval can take as little as five minutes.
FASTA Instant Credit
FASTA Instant Credit
1 to 3 instalments
Get approval in minutes
Get up to R8,000 in cash, in-store credit or online vouchers with a loan from FASTA. Pay back your loan amount in up to three instalments.
MPOWA Finance Loans
MPOWA Finance Loans
5 weeks
By 5pm on the same day
Apply for a loan of up to R5,000 with MPOWA. This lender offers a very fast online approval process; you could receive funds in your account in just two hours.
Creditgenie Loan Assist
Creditgenie Loan Assist
Varies per lender
Varies per lender
Access to a financial wellness programme and round-the-clock customer support are among the benefits of choosing a personal loan with Creditgenie.
UApply Loans
UApply Loans
Varies per lender
Within 24 hours
Apply for a payday loan in a matter of minutes with UApply. The process can be completed online with no paperwork needed. Choose a loan amount ranging from R500 to R20,000.

Compare up to 4 providers

Important: Remember it’s important to compare your options and other financial avenues before applying.

About payday loans

No matter how good you are at managing your finances, sometimes unexpected expenses crop up and you need money in a hurry. It could be a household bill, urgent car repairs or simply a purchase that you just have to make. Sometimes getting access to all the funds you need can seem beyond your financial grasp.

This is where payday loans come in. These small, short term loans are designed to cover you until payday. They give you the funds you need to make your purchases and then, when you next get paid, the theory is that you pay back the loan amount.

A number of South African lenders specialise in offering payday loans, with many even giving financing to customers with bad credit histories or even bankruptcy. However, you also need to be wary of the loan terms and high fees these loans attract.

Risks of payday loans

There are several risks when it comes to taking out a payday loan. In general, try to avoid taking out a payday loan if you aren’t certain that you will be able to pay it back. Downsides to payday loans include the following:

  • High default fees. The biggest pitfall of taking out a payday loan is that if you are unable to repay it on time, you will likely be charged additional fees in addition to the interest you owe. This could end up significantly increasing the amount of money you must repay the lender and cause financial difficulties.
  • The debt cycle. If you have difficulty making a repayment, it might be tempting to borrow more money to pay off your loan. This becomes a cycle of debt that can be very difficult to get out of.
  • High interest rates. Payday loans typically have much higher annual interest rates than other types of loans.
  • Direct debit risks. Many payday lenders require you to make repayments via direct debit on your next payday. Unlike other loan types, payday loans cannot typically be repaid in small instalments. If you need the money from your next pay cheque to pay for rent or other expenses, you could be left short.
  • Credit rating impact.If you are unable to repay your loan on time, it could negatively affect your credit rating.

Advantages of payday loans

  • Get money fast. Payday loans offer a quick and convenient way to access the funds you need.
  • Easy application process. You can typically apply for these loans quickly and easily online, with fast approvals granted to many customers.
  • Know the fees upfront. Lenders will inform you of the fees and interest rate attached to your loan upfront so you know exactly how much you will have to pay back.
  • Quick access to funds. As a payday loan is something you take out when you need money fast, most lenders will give you fast access to your funds.
  • Low minimum amount. You can borrow smaller amounts of money with a payday loan, meaning you can borrow as much as you may need to cover a particular bill.
  • Accessible credit option. You can still apply for a payday loan even if you have a bad credit history or an outstanding loan. As long as you can afford to pay off the amount you apply for, you have a chance of being approved.

How to apply for a short term loan

Lenders that offer “payday loans” or short term loans differ from institutions and other lenders in their application process and criteria. You can usually apply for these loans online – they should outline your loan’s final amount, so you know exactly how much it will cost to borrow.

For a lender to approve a short term loan, you have to meet eligibility criteria and provide documentation. After you’ve submitted your application, you could receive a response relatively quickly.

Typical eligibility requirements

You may need to meet the following criteria as a minimum:

  • Earn an income that supports the repayment of the loan
  • Have a job, with a steady income
  • Be regularly paid, into your bank account either daily, weekly or monthly
  • Not be self-employed (some lenders may make an exception)
  • If you have bad credit, you need to prove your current financial situation is stable and reliable

It’s important to note, meeting the eligibility requirements does not guarantee approval of a loan.

What other fees are associated with payday loans?

Along with establishment and monthly fees, if you are late or miss a repayment, lenders may charge other fees, which can include:

  • Late payment fees. If you are behind with a payment and don’t notify your moneylender beforehand, they will likely charge you.
  • Arrears fees. The account will attract a charge if you go into arrears.
  • Collection fees. Any loans which are referred to collections or are defaulted on may incur additional fees.
  • Collection letter sent out. If you receive a collection letter because you have failed to make a repayment and the lender cannot contact you, they may charge you a fee.
  • Statement fee. If you request an account statement from the lender, you may be charged a fee.

Pros and cons of payday loans

  • Convenient. These loans offer a convenient finance solution when you need fast access to money.
  • Fast approval. Many lenders offer approval of applications within minutes and can then transfer the money to your account within an hour.
  • Choice. This is an increasingly competitive market sector, which means consumers have an ever-growing range of lenders and loans to choose from.
  • High interest and fees. These loans attract higher fees and interest rates than other loan products.
  • Untrustworthy operators. Remember to keep an eye out for unscrupulous lenders.
  • Debt cycle. Payday loans can lead to a cycle of debt that is difficult to get out of.

What you need to know to repay your payday loan on time

There are two things you can do to ensure that you pay off your loan on time. The first is to make sure you’re fully aware of the fees, charges and interest rates attached to your loan. This will help you understand exactly how much your loan will cost you.

The second thing you will need to do is carefully manage your budget. If you fail to make your repayments, you can expect to be hit with hefty fees and charges which can quickly increase your debt. Planning ahead and staying in control of your finances is the best way to secure your financial future.

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Frequently asked questions

Since payday loans have such short terms — sometimes as little as just seven days — there’s not enough time for interest to add up to a profit. When it comes to payday loans, a high APR is a reflection of the loan’s high fees, not its high interest rate.

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