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How to Stop Loan App from Accessing my Contacts in Nigeria

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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In Nigeria, the proliferation of loan apps has made borrowing money more accessible than ever. However, many users are concerned about the privacy implications of these apps accessing their contact lists.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to safeguard your personal information and prevent loan apps from accessing your contacts.

In this post, we’ll be talking about these steps.

What is a Loan app?

A loan app, short for a loan application or mobile loan application, is a digital platform that allows users to apply for loans directly from their mobile devices.

These apps streamline the loan application process, often eliminating the need for traditional paperwork and lengthy approval procedures associated with banks and other financial institutions.

Users can typically apply for loans, submit required documents, and receive funds electronically through the app. Loan apps have gained popularity for their convenience, accessibility, and ability to provide quick access to funds, especially in regions with limited access to traditional banking services.

Read also: Full List of Genuine Loan Apps in Kenya

Are Loan Apps Regulated in Nigeria?

In Nigeria, the rapid proliferation of loan apps has raised concerns about consumer protection, fair lending practices, and data privacy.

Recognizing the need to regulate this burgeoning industry, Nigerian authorities have taken steps to establish a regulatory framework to safeguard the interests of borrowers and ensure the stability of the financial sector.

These Regulatory Framework include:

1. Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN): 

As the primary regulatory authority for financial institutions in Nigeria, the CBN plays a crucial role in overseeing the operations of loan apps.

The CBN has issued guidelines and regulations that govern the activities of fintech companies, including those offering loan services.

The CBN requires fintech companies, including loan apps, to obtain appropriate licenses before offering financial services to the public. This ensures that only credible and compliant entities operate in the market, reducing the risk of fraud and misconduct.b

2. National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA): 

NITDA is responsible for regulating the use of information technology and data protection in Nigeria. It collaborates with other regulatory bodies to ensure that loan apps comply with data protection regulations and safeguard users’ personal information.

NITDA has enacted data protection regulations to safeguard the privacy and security of personal data collected and processed by loan apps. Fintech companies are required to implement robust data protection measures and obtain consent from users before accessing their personal information.

3. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC): 

While primarily focused on regulating the capital market, SEC also plays a role in overseeing certain aspects of fintech activities, including crowdfunding platforms and digital lending services.

Regulatory authorities have also issued consumer protection guidelines to safeguard the rights of borrowers. These guidelines outline fair lending practices, disclosure requirements, and mechanisms for resolving disputes between borrowers and lenders.

Regulation plays a crucial role in ensuring the responsible and ethical operation of loan apps in Nigeria. By establishing clear guidelines, licensing requirements, and consumer protection measures, regulatory authorities aim to promote financial inclusion while safeguarding the interests of borrowers.

However, ongoing efforts are needed to address emerging challenges and ensure effective enforcement of regulations in this rapidly evolving sector.

Read also: Mpesa Loan Apps in Kenya

How to Stop Loan Apps from Accessing Your Contacts

Here are some ways to stop loan apps from accessing your contacts and bothering your friends:

1. Block Access:

When you first use a loan app, it might ask for permission to access your contacts, messages, or other things on your phone. Many people say yes because they want to use the app. But later, you might not want the app to keep accessing your contacts. 

So, after you’ve gotten your loan, go to your phone settings and turn off these permissions for the app. 

This way, they can’t get your contacts unless you default on your loan. But if you turn off the permissions and don’t use the app anymore, they won’t have access.

2. Don’t Give Access:

 When you’re using a loan app, don’t agree to let them see your contacts. If you accidentally give them access, you can go to your phone settings, find the app, and deny access to your contacts.

3. Check Permissions:

When downloading a loan app, always review the permissions it requests. If the app asks for access to your contacts, consider whether it’s necessary for its functionality. If not, deny the permission.

  • On ios
  • Check and Revoke Permissions:

Open Settings. Navigate to the loan app under Privacy. Disable the toggle switch next to “Contacts.”

  • Notifications:

Manage notification settings in Settings > Notifications to control alerts.

  • Uninstall the App:

Hold the app icon until it wiggles, then tap the “X” to uninstall.

  • On Android
  • Review App Permissions:

Open device settings. Select “Apps” or “Application Manager.” Locate the loan app. Tap “Permissions” and disable contact access.

  • Manage App Notifications:

Disable notifications for the loan app to prevent contact-related alerts.

4. Review App Settings:

Within the settings of your phone, you can usually manage app permissions. Navigate to the app settings, find the loan app in question, and revoke its access to contacts.

  • On iOS
  • Background App Refresh:

Review the Background App Refresh setting to limit background data access.

  • On Android 
  • Remove App Access:

In app settings, find “App permissions” or “Permissions.”

Select “Contacts” and remove access.

  • Uninstall the App:

If needed, uninstall the app to revoke all access.

5. Use Privacy Settings:

Some loan apps offer privacy settings within the app itself. Explore the settings menu to see if you can disable contact syncing or revoke access to contacts.

6. Use a Privacy-Focused App:

Consider using loan apps that prioritize user privacy and data protection. Look for apps with transparent privacy policies and a commitment to respecting user data.

Remember, only borrow what you can pay back, and be careful with your personal information online.

Read also: Best Loan Apps Without CRB in Kenya

How do loan apps assess creditworthiness without accessing contacts?

Loan apps play a crucial role in providing financial services to individuals who may have limited access to traditional banking institutions. 

While some loan apps request access to users’ contacts as part of their credit assessment process, others employ alternative methods to evaluate creditworthiness without accessing personal contacts.

1. Financial Transaction Analysis: 

Many loan apps analyze users’ financial transactions to assess their creditworthiness. By analyzing income and expenditure patterns, these apps can gauge an individual’s financial stability and repayment capacity. 

This approach provides valuable insights into users’ financial behavior without compromising their privacy by accessing personal contacts.

2. Mobile Phone Data Analysis: 

Some loan apps utilize mobile phone data to assess creditworthiness. This may include analyzing call and SMS patterns, mobile data usage, and device information. By examining these data points, loan apps can infer users’ socio-economic status, level of activity, and reliability, enabling them to make informed lending decisions.

3. Credit Bureau Integration: 

Many loan apps integrate with credit bureaus to access users’ credit reports and scores. By accessing this information, loan apps can evaluate users’ credit histories, including past loans, repayment behavior, and overall creditworthiness. This method allows loan apps to make data-driven lending decisions while respecting users’ privacy.

4. Biometric and Behavioral Analysis: 

Some advanced loan apps employ biometric authentication and behavioral analysis techniques to verify users’ identities and assess their creditworthiness. 

Biometric data such as fingerprints or facial recognition, coupled with behavioral patterns such as typing speed and device usage habits, can provide additional layers of security and accuracy in credit assessments.

5. Machine Learning and AI Algorithms:

Loan apps increasingly leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms to analyze vast amounts of data and identify patterns indicative of creditworthiness.

These algorithms continuously learn and adapt based on user behavior and historical loan performance, allowing loan apps to refine their credit assessment models over time.

By employing these alternative methods for credit assessment, loan apps can effectively evaluate users’ creditworthiness while minimizing the need for intrusive data access, such as contacts.

However, it’s essential for users to review and understand the data privacy policies of loan apps to ensure that their personal information is handled securely and responsibly.

Read also: Best Phone Loan Apps in Kenya

What Steps to Take if Personal Data Misuse is Suspected

1. Document Evidence:

If you suspect that a loan app has misused your personal data, document any evidence that supports your claim. This may include screenshots of suspicious activity within the app or any communication related to your loan application.

2. Contact the Loan App: 

Reach out to the customer support team of the loan app immediately to report your concerns. Provide specific details about the suspected misuse of your personal data and request an investigation into the matter.

3. File a Complaint with Regulatory Authorities: 

In Nigeria, regulatory bodies such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) oversee financial and telecommunications services, respectively. If the loan app is found to have violated data protection regulations, file a formal complaint with the relevant regulatory authority.

If the loan app fails to address your concerns or if you believe your rights have been infringed upon, consider seeking legal advice. Consult with a lawyer who specializes in data protection and consumer rights to explore your options for legal recourse.

5. Monitor Your Financial Account: 

Keep a close eye on your financial accounts and transactions for any unusual activity that may indicate identity theft or fraudulent use of your personal data. Report any suspicious transactions to your bank or financial institution immediately.

6. Educate Others: 

Share your experience with others to raise awareness about the importance of safeguarding personal data when using loan apps. Encourage others to be vigilant about their privacy rights and to report any instances of data misuse or privacy breaches.

By taking proactive steps to address suspected misuse of personal data by a loan app, users can help protect themselves and others from potential harm and contribute to the promotion of responsible data practices within the fintech industry.

Pros and Cons of preventing loan apps to accessing your contacts


  • Protects your privacy: 

Preventing loan apps from accessing your contacts reduces the risk of your personal information being misused or shared without your consent.

  • Greater control: 

By managing app permissions and privacy settings, you retain control over who has access to your contact information.

  • Enhanced security: 

Limiting access to contacts reduces the likelihood of unauthorized access to sensitive data.


  • Limited functionality: 

Some loan apps may rely on access to contacts for certain features or services, so restricting this access could limit the app’s functionality.

  • Inconvenience

Managing app permissions and privacy settings may require extra time and effort, which could be seen as an inconvenience for some users.

  • Compatibility issues: 

Revoking access to contacts may lead to compatibility issues with other apps or services that rely on contact syncing.


Why do loan apps need access to my contacts?

Loan apps may request access to contacts for various reasons, such as verifying your identity or assessing your creditworthiness. However, not all apps require this access for their core functionality.

Can I still use the app if I deny access to my contacts?

In most cases, denying access to contacts should not prevent you from using the basic features of the app, such as applying for a loan or managing your account. However, certain features that rely on contact information may be limited.

Can loan apps misuse my contact information?

While reputable loan apps adhere to privacy regulations and secure user data, there’s always a risk of misuse or data breaches. Granting access to contacts exposes personal information, including phone numbers and names, which could be exploited if the app’s security is compromised.

Are there legal protections for my privacy?

In Nigeria, data protection laws such as the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) provide some protections for personal data. However, it’s essential to review the privacy policy of each app to understand how your data is being handled.


While loan apps can be a convenient way to access funds in Nigeria, it’s essential to prioritize your privacy and security. By following the steps outlined above, you can prevent loan apps from accessing your contacts and mitigate the risk of your personal information being compromised.

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Blessing Ukibe
Blessing Ukibe

Medical Student at Nnamdi Azikiwe University|Tech content expert at Silicon Africa Technology|Lover of fun books and fun fun ☺️

Articles: 123

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