If you’re self-employed, personal loans may be hard to come by. Banks typically grant personal loans to people who have a job that regularly pays them every month. These clients pose lower credit risks compared to self-employed persons who are presumed to have an unstable source of income.
Personal loans are not impossible to obtain but lenders will usually require a lot of documentation on your end to make sure you can repay the loan monthly. It doesn’t matter if you’re earning more compared to peers who have day jobs.
To apply for a personal loan as a self-employed individual in South Africa, you have to be willing to gather a lot of documents and have the patience to wait for a lengthy assessment. But before you get to this point, you should need to know which institutions offer personal loans for self-employed workers.
Where to Get a Loan?
Banks enforce strict restrictions in screening applicants for personal loans, which is why it’s safe to assume they won’t offer personal loans to self-employed individuals. Banks like Nedbank doesn’t accept personal loan applications from self-employed workers, and so does Capitec.
However, banks like African Bank and FNB provide flexible personal loans to freelancers. Since it’s harder for freelancers to apply for loans from banks, their typical option is to go to alternative lending institutions.
Lenders like JPMoney offers personal loans for self-employed citizens. They have a minimum income requirement that you have to satisfy, though, to qualify for their loan.
Another alternative avenue you can approach is peer-to-peer lending platforms. RainFin, for one, is an online platform that connects individual borrowers and lenders to allow quicker and more convenient application and transaction processes.
Your credit score will be assessed once you sign-up and create your profile on the platform. After that, your loan needs will be posted for lenders to see. All you need to do is wait for someone to pick up your request and lend you the money you need.
The platform effectively cuts the lengthy assessment process banks have. Some of the loan offers may even have lower interest rates compared to other lenders. You can discuss this with your lender before agreeing to the loan terms.
How to Get a Loan?
Is it possible to get a self-employed loan in South Africa?
The answer is, Yes.
It will be a long process but it’s not impossible to get approved.
As discussed, there are financial institutions that provide personal loans even to self-employed individuals. You have to show them that you can be trusted and you’re capable of repaying the loan on time. You can ask for a standard lending program that lets you borrow a small amount only to help build your credit score.
Get a loan that requires a few documents only. Those that require no credit checks are also advisable for the first few loan requests. This may have higher interest rates compared to other loans but it can help you build up your credit rating.
Personal loans for the self-employed person won’t cost more than loans offered to employed workers. It’s just that they’re harder to get because of the higher risk lenders will have to shoulder when taking in self-employed applicants.
To apply for a personal loan, you simply have to proceed with the same process an employed individual undergoes and submit any additional documents your lender might require. Prepare the following documents together with your loan request form:
- Bank statements for the past 6 months
- Proof of earnings for the past 6 months
- A copy of your ID book
- Proof of residency like utility bills for the past 3 months
The level of scrutiny lenders enforce in dealing with self-employed individuals may be somewhat similar to that of a blacklisted applicant. This is understandable since you don’t receive a fixed income every month.
Your situation as a self-employed individual makes it harder for banks to assess whether you’re having difficulties with your financials or not. They can’t see any guarantee that you’ll be able to pay your monthly loan obligations. Banks may further dig into your financials to see if you really have the capability to handle the loan, resulting in a longer assessment period.
For freelancers, bank statements can be used to show records of monthly income. You should also have an up-to-date record of your tax documents.
If you run your own company, build up your financial records and make sure you’re working on multiple contracts with a number of clients to show you have a solid income stream.
There are a few banks that offer personal loans if you’re self-employed. Most likely, you’ll have to look for alternative lenders that provide more amicable and flexible terms. Still, you have to check their qualifications since not all alternative and micro-lenders accept personal loan requests from self-employed applicants.
As a self-employed individual, it will be challenging for you to get a personal loan in South Africa. All hope is not lost though, as long as you have a solid income statement and patience in filing all the documents you’ll be required to submit.