Guaranteed loan approval South Africa
Personal Loans in South Africa for Bad Credit

A poor credit score or credit history can make getting approved for a personal loan challenging. However, some lenders in South Africa cater specifically to borrowers with bad credit by offering specialized loan products.

This comprehensive guide outlines the personal loan options available, interest rates charged, eligibility criteria, application process, pros and cons, and tips for getting approved despite the bad credit.

Guaranteed loan approval South Africa

Also See:

List Of personal loans for low credit scores in South Africa

List Of payday loans for low credit scores South Africa

List of Payday Loans South Africa bad credit

Easy Money Payday Loan Requirements

What is Considered Bad Credit in South Africa?

Your credit score in South Africa ranges between 0-999. Here is a credit score guide:

  • 0-549: Very poor credit
  • 550-624: Poor credit
  • 625-739: Average credit
  • 740-799: Good credit
  • 800-999: Excellent credit

Generally, a credit score below 650 is considered bad credit by most mainstream lenders. Factors that can lead to poor credit include:

  • Frequently missed or late loan payments
  • Defaults on past loans
  • CCJs (County Court Judgements)
  • Debt Review or Administration Orders
  • Blacklisted with credit bureaus
  • Multiple hard credit inquiries

Having bad credit limits your traditional loan options. However, some specialized lenders offer personal loans even with poor credit.

Types of Personal Loans for Bad Credit

Here are some of the personal loan options available from lenders that approve borrowers with bad credit:

Bad Credit Loans

Personal loans are designed for those with credit scores below 650. Amounts from R1000 to R250,000.

No Credit Check Loans

Loans that don’t check your credit score. Approval is based on income and expenses. Loans up to R10,000.

Payday Loans

Short-term loans up to R8000 with 1-6 month repayment. High interest and fees.

Debt Consolidation Loans

Loans that combine multiple debts into one manageable payment. It can assist in improving credit.

Top Lenders for Bad Credit Loans

Here are some top lenders providing personal loans for bad credit:

1. Real People

  • Loans from R1000 to R200,000
  • Terms from 1-60 months
  • Fixed interest from 29% p.a.

2. Precise Credit

  • Loans up to R150,000
  • Terms up to 60 months
  • Interest from 39% p.a.

3. Unsecured Loans 4U

  • Loans from R1000 to R150,000
  • 1-5 year terms
  • Fixed rate from 28% p.a.

4. Cash Loans Direct

  • Loans from R500 to R150,000
  • 3-12 month terms
  • Interest rate starting at 39%

Loan Amounts and Terms Offered

Personal loans for bad credit are available from R500 up to R250,000 maximum. Typical loan amount ranges:

  • R500 to R8,000 for payday loans
  • R1,000 to R150,000 for personal loans
  • R1,000 to R250,000 for debt consolidation

Loan terms range from 1 month to 5 years depending on the lender and product. Short 3-12 month terms are more common with bad credit loan products.

Interest Rates Charged

Lenders charge higher interest rates for bad credit loans to account for the increased risk:

  • Good credit loans: 10% – 20% p.a.
  • Average credit loans: 20% – 25% p.a.
  • Bad credit loans: 25% – 39% p.a.
  • No credit check loans: 59% – 125% p.a.
  • Payday loans: 60% – 180% p.a.

Compare rates from multiple lenders carefully. Try to find the lowest rate you qualify for.

Eligibility Requirements

Here are the basic requirements to qualify for bad credit personal loans:

  • 18+ years age
  • South African resident
  • R3000+ monthly income
  • Permanent employment
  • Valid ID
  • Proof of address
  • Active checking account
  • Not currently under debt review
  • Contact details for verification

Meeting eligibility criteria makes approval easier despite a low credit score.

How to Apply in 5 Steps

Follow these steps to apply for bad credit personal loans:

1. Check your credit report – Get your report from TransUnion to know your score.

2. Research lenders – Find lenders that offer loans for your credit score range.

3. Compare loan options – Apply with multiple lenders to compare quotes.

4. Submit application – Complete the online application form with the required documents.

5. Accept loan offer – If approved, accept a loan offer that best suits your needs.

Be transparent about your financial situation to boost approval chances despite bad credit.

Pros of Bad Credit Personal Loans

Benefits of personal loans for bad credit include:

  • Available even with very poor credit scores
  • Get access to larger loan amounts
  • Lower rates than payday and no credit check loans
  • Fixed monthly installments convenient for budget
  • Improve credit score by borrowing responsibly

Cons to Be Aware Of

Consider the downsides too:

  • Higher interest rates than good credit loans
  • Limits on the loan amount you can qualify for
  • Stricter eligibility criteria
  • Rejections from mainstream lenders are still likely
  • Missed payments further damage the credit profile

Tips for Getting Approved

Follow these tips to boost your chances of loan approval with poor credit:

  • Apply with lenders specializing in bad credit loans
  • Avoid unnecessary loan applications to limit hard inquiries
  • Explain past defaults transparently to the lender
  • Start small – borrow a smaller amount initially
  • Use any available assets or guarantors to secure the loan
  • Make repayments on time going forward to build a positive credit history
  • Pay down existing debts to lower your debt-to-income ratio
  • Maintain a steady income and avoid job changes while applying


In summary, bad credit borrowers in South Africa do have personal loan options to consider despite low credit scores. Specialized subprime lenders offer loans from R1000 to R250,000 to applicants with scores as low as 300. Compare offers from multiple lenders to find the best rate you qualify for based on your credit profile. Follow the tips above to improve your chances of loan approval. Handle the loan responsibly to gradually improve your credit over time.


Q: What credit score is needed for personal loan approval in South Africa?

A: Most banks approve personal loans for applicants with a minimum credit score of 650-700. But specialized lenders offer approval for scores as low as 300.

Q: Where can I get a personal loan with bad credit?

A: Lenders like Real People, Precise Credit, Unsecured Loans 4U and Cash Loans Direct specialize in personal loans for bad credit borrowers.

Q: How can I get a loan if I’m blacklisted in South Africa?

A: If blacklisted, your options are very limited. However, some lenders like Real People may still approve you for small personal loans depending on eligibility.

Q: Is 100% loan approval guaranteed for bad credit?

A: There are no guarantees with any lender. But your chances are higher with lenders specializing in bad credit lending if you meet their eligibility criteria.

Q: How much can I borrow with a bad credit score of 500?

A: With a very low credit score of 500, you may qualify for a smaller personal loan of R1000 to R10,000 from specialized subprime lenders.


By QueenB

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