A personal loan is a type of debt instrument that you can use freely for anything. Some lenders may ask you what you will be using the money for, while some will leave you alone so long as you satisfy all the requirements and commit to all monthly repayments on time.
Before you apply for a personal loan in South Africa, it’s best to have an idea of how much it will cost you in the long run. Considering monthly repayments, interests, and other fees in computing the total amount of the loan you want to get will make you more prepared to take the debt.
To make it easier to gauge whether your finances can handle a personal loan, use the online calculators available on official South African bank websites.
How to Use a Personal Loan Calculator
When you use a personal loan calculator, you’ll often see the following information:
- Loan Amount
This field will require the target amount you want to borrow. Online loan calculators usually display the minimum and maximum amounts you can request. Anything above the prescribed values won’t be accepted by the calculator.
This refers to the timeframe when you will fully repay the loan. Terms often range from 6 months to 72 months, with longer timeframes having lower monthly repayments.
Some calculators will let you select the loan term, while some will automatically list all calculated rates for each term option available.
Interest rates vary, so there will usually be an indicated range of how much they can fluctuate. Different lenders will offer either fixed or variable rates. Also, expect personal loan interest rates to be way higher than those offered on vehicle finance and house mortgages.
The total interest value may sometimes be displayed separately to let you see the impact of the term and rates on your loan.
Some online loan calculators will show this as a separate entity for better transparency. This may include an admin fee, a monthly service fee, initiation fee, and other extra costs you must pay on top of your loan.
Some lenders will require you to include a credit protection plan to cover your loan from death, critical illness, disability, or retrenchment. The insurance cost will usually be indicated in the calculator, so you can quickly assess its impact on your monthly repayments.
- Monthly installment
The monthly installment details how much you’ll have to allocate on your budget per month for loan repayments. The amount indicated in the calculator factors in the interest rates, so you can easily estimate if you can afford the loan.
The first repayment date when you apply for the loan will usually be stated on the calculator too.
- Total repayment
This value refers to the total amount you’ll be repaying for the loan after the agreed timeframe has elapsed. This already includes the interest rate accumulated throughout the loan term. However, the amount may or may not include the admin fees associated with the loan.
Once you’ve seen the estimates and you’re comfortable with the payment and fees associated with the loan, you can take the next step and check your eligibility for borrowing money.
Requirements for Personal Loans
To apply for a personal loan, you must satisfy the following conditions and supply the documents listed:
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- Submit a copy of your South African ID.
- Provide proof of income statement that you’re earning at least R2 000 per month, or as specified by the lender.
- Provide a bank statement reflecting the last 3 salary deposits from your employer.
- Provide proof of home address like bills not older than 3 months.
Most of the online calculators are linked to a form that can quickly assess your financial status for pre-qualification. Just fill out the form and submit any additional documents required to apply.
Getting pre-approved doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a loan. You still must go through the application process, but you’ll gain more confidence that you’ll get the loan because you’ve passed the preliminary screening.
List of Online Personal Loan Calculators
Major banks and alternative lenders often offer personal loans to South African citizens. Here are some of them that also have an online loan calculator you can use for free:
1) Nedbank Personal Loan Calculator
2) Standard Bank Personal Loan Calculator
3) Old Mutual Personal Loan Calculator
4) DirectAxis Personal Loan Calculator
5) Absa Personal Loan Calculator
6) WesBank Personal Loan Calculator
7) Sanlam Personal Loan Calculator
Some banks offer a payment break after you satisfy a few conditions. The payment break can help you save on monthly fees and interest rates.
A personal loan can be used for almost anything you can think of, including tuition fees, house repairs, parties, or vehicle purchases. It’s up to you how to use the borrowed money, but that doesn’t mean you can apply for a personal loan whenever you feel like it.
Personal loan calculators are designed to give you an idea of how much borrowing money can cost you in the long run. Use them to make wiser financial decisions on when and how to utilize personal loans to your advantage.