Wonga Loan Review

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Wonga, a prominent financial company, originated in England in 2006, offering short-term loans to British citizens. It gained recognition for its convenient services and became synonymous with “wonga,” British slang for money. Due to challenges in the evolving financial landscape, Wonga ceased operations in England in 2018.

However, it expanded to South Africa in 2012, recognising the market’s potential and unique needs. Wonga grew in popularity, offering financial services to South Africans and becoming a trusted name in the industry. This article explores Wonga’s short-term loans and will help you to determine if you should use Wonga for your financial needs.

Wonga Lender at a Glance

Wonga Lender at a Glance

  • Loan amount: R500 - R8 000
  • Loan term: 6 days - 6 months
  • Interest rate: 0.16% per day / 5% for the first month and 3% every month thereafter
  • Initiation Fee: 13.3% - 17.2% of the loan amount
  • Monthly Service Fee: R69

What You Should Know about Wonga:

Wonga is a reliable financial service provider that offers short-term loans to South Africans facing urgent financial needs. One of the notable advantages of Wonga's loan services is its policy of not imposing penalties for early repayments. This gives borrowers the flexibility to repay their loans ahead of schedule without incurring any additional charges.

Furthermore, Wonga values its returning customers and rewards their loyalty with additional benefits. As a returning customer, you can enjoy higher loan amounts and longer loan repayment periods.

Pros of Wonga
  • Wonga has strict lending criteria, discouraging individuals who may not need a loan or cannot afford it from applying.
  • Paying off the loan early with Wonga allows borrowers to save on interest, as they do not charge any fees for early repayment.
Cons of Wonga
  • Wonga does not offer long-term personal loans, so it's suitable for borrowers needing larger amounts for purposes like buying a car or going on holiday.
  • Wonga does not offer face-to-face customer service as it does not have physical branches. All paperwork must be uploaded online.
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*Representative example: Estimated repayments of a loan of R30 000 over 36 months at a maximum interest rate, including fees of 27.5% APR would be R1 232.82 per month. BetterLoans is an online loan broker and not a lender. Our service is free, and we work with NCR-licensed lenders in South Africa. Interest rates charged by lenders can start as low as 20% APR, including an initiation and service fee determined by the lender. The interest rate offered depends on the applicant’s credit score and other factors at the lender’s discretion. Loan amount R500 – R350 000. Repayment terms can range from 3 – 72 months. The minimum APR is 5%, and the maximum APR is 60%.

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How Do Wonga Loans Stand Out?

Wonga Loans distinguish themselves through their early repayment option, allowing borrowers to save on interest by settling their loans ahead of schedule. Unlike many other lenders, Wonga does not impose any additional charges or fees for early repayment, offering borrowers the flexibility to manage their loans more efficiently. This feature enables individuals to potentially reduce the overall cost of their loan and take control of their financial obligations in a more cost-effective manner.

Wonga’s existing customers will benefit from the advantage of accessing a higher loan amount and a longer repayment period than new customers. These improvements are designed to enhance the experience of Wonga’s loyal customer base and offer them enhanced borrowing and repayment options.

Wonga Loan Products

Short-term Loans

Wonga, a financial service provider, caters to the urgent financial needs of South African citizens by offering short-term loans. With a maximum loan amount of R4 000 and a flexible repayment period of up to three months, borrowers can choose a repayment plan that suits their circumstances. These short-term loans come with a daily interest rate of 0.16%, which should be considered when borrowing from Wonga.

Benefits of Taking a Loan from Wonga

Wonga is known for providing fast and convenient loans, making it an ideal choice for individuals who find themselves in urgent financial situations. Wonga aims to streamline the loan process to offer quick access to funds. Their online application process is designed to be user-friendly and efficient, allowing borrowers to complete the necessary steps and receive a loan decision promptly. This speed and convenience can be invaluable when you need immediate financial assistance.

Wonga places a strong emphasis on responsible lending. They prioritise the financial well-being of their customers by thoroughly assessing each loan application and only approving loans for individuals who can afford them. This responsible approach helps to ensure that borrowers are not burdened with debt they cannot manage, promoting financial stability and responsible borrowing habits.

Wonga Loan Interest Rate and Fees

Wonga offers a daily interest rate of 0.16% on its short-term loans. This means that for every day the loan amount remains outstanding, the borrower is charged interest at a rate of 0.16%.

It is important to note that Wonga operates within the National Credit Act’s regulations, which define the maximum allowable interest rates for short-term loans. As per the Act, the maximum monthly interest rate that can be applied is 5% of the loan amount during the initial month of the repayment term and 3% every month thereafter.  This ensures that borrowers are protected from exorbitant interest charges.

In addition to the interest rate, Wonga imposes a monthly service fee of R69. This fee is a fixed amount that borrowers are required to pay each month, regardless of the loan amount or duration.

The initiation fee is calculated as a percentage of the loan amount and varies between 13.3% and 17.2%. The percentage charged depends on various factors, such as the borrower’s creditworthiness and the loan duration. As a responsible lender, Wonga ensures that all additional interests and fees are disclosed to the borrower prior to signing and entering into a loan agreement. 

How To Qualify For Wonga Loan

To secure a short-term loan from Wonga, ensure you meet these crucial requirements to increase your chances of approval:

  1. Age Verification: Ensure you’re at least 18 years old, meeting the legal requirement to make financial decisions independently.
  2. South African Residency: Wonga operates exclusively in South Africa, so being a resident of the country is a must to qualify for their loans.
  3. Active South African Bank Account: Having a bank account in South Africa is necessary for Wonga to deposit the loan funds securely and set up convenient repayment arrangements.
  4. Personal Email Address: Effective communication with Wonga throughout the loan application and repayment process requires a valid personal email address.
  5. Valid Mobile Phone Number: Stay in the loop with timely updates and notifications about your loan by providing a functioning mobile phone number.
  6. Repayment Capacity: It’s crucial to be able to repay the loan on the agreed-upon date. Wonga prioritises responsible lending, so carefully evaluate your financial situation and repayment capacity before applying.
  7. Credit Check: Wonga conducts a credit check to assess your creditworthiness and ability to manage financial obligations. They prefer lending to individuals with a solid financial track record and the capacity to repay without excessive strain.

How to Apply for a Wonga Loan

The best way to apply for a Wonga loan is to use BetterLoans. In addition to Wonga, we request loan offers from other top lenders. You can easily compare and choose the best loan offer.

Applying directly for a loan from Wonga is relatively easy and straightforward. Firstly, you will need to connect to the website using your mobile phone, tablet, or desktop PC. Once you’re on Wonga’s website, you must create an account to log in. This account will allow you to access the loan application process and manage your loan.

After creating your account, you must specify the amount of Rand you desire to borrow. Please note that for new customers, the maximum loan amount is R4 000. Next, you will need to indicate the duration of time you need for repayment. For new customers, the maximum repayment period is 3 months, while existing customers can enjoy repayment periods of up to 6 months. 

Once you have provided the necessary loan details, you will need to complete the secure application form. This form will require you to provide personal and financial information. Additionally, Wonga will require your most recent payslip or bank statement dated no more than 60 days ago. This document proves your income and helps Wonga to ensure responsible lending practices.

When done, review all the information on your application form and make sure the information is as accurate as possible. It will slow down the whole process if Wonga needs to request additional documents.

How Long It Takes Wonga to Approve a Loan

If all goes well with the application, Wonga’s goal is to secure loan approval and transfer funds to the applicant’s account within a span of just 15 minutes. The company’s efficient and streamlined application process, coupled with its advanced technology, enables a quick turnaround time, ensuring that borrowers can access the funds they need swiftly. 

However, this speedy application process relies on the accuracy of the information provided by the applicant. If information is found to be false or inaccurate, the whole application process is slowed down

Is Wonga a Trusted and Reliable Lender?

Wonga emerged in England in 2006, providing short-term loans. Despite ceasing operations in England in 2018, Wonga expanded to South Africa in 2012 and achieved remarkable success by offering short-term loans and registering with the National Credit Regulator in 2019.

Wonga’s commitment to responsible lending practices and adherence to regulations earned trust and credibility among South African citizens. Today, Wonga is a leading financial service provider in South Africa, known for transparency and reliability. 

As mentioned, Wonga is duly registered with the National Credit Regulator (NCR), ensuring compliance with the provisions set forth in the 2005 National Credit Act. By adhering to the requirements outlined in the Act, Wonga operates within the legal framework of the financial industry.

Wonga has received a below-average rating on the South African review site HelloPeter.com. The company holds an average rating of 1.5 out of 5 stars based on nearly 1500 reviews. Most complaints concern Wonga Loans’ failure to update the credit bureau after loan repayments, negatively impacting customers’ credit scores.

On the other hand, Wonga receives reviews above the average on Google Reviews. The company has an average rating of 3.6 out of 5 stars based on a total of 66 reviews.

Wonga Contact Details

  • Office Address: 1st floor, 14 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001

  • Open:08:00 – 18:00 Monday to Friday, and Saturdays from 08:00 – 13:00

  • Email: [email protected]

  • Phone: 0861 966 421

  • Website: https://www.wonga.co.za/

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Wonga only allows customers to take one loan at a time.

Wonga works with most of the major banks in South Africa, ABSA, Capitec, FNB, Nedbank, and Standard Bank. If you use a different bank, loan amounts may take longer to reflect.

Yes, Wonga verifies your income and employment.

Picture of Foli Raheem
Foli Raheem

Foli has an MSc. Economics degree, and has been active in South Africa lending space for years. Whenever he is not writing, you will find him building websites.