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SASSA Loan: how to Apply and Access it

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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SASSA loans have garnered significant attention, especially in 2017, when an alarming increase in lenders demanding SASSA (South African Social Security Agency) cards as security for loans was observed.

This trend prompted serious investigations by the National Credit Regulator (NCR) following numerous complaints from beneficiaries seeking confirmation of payments.

SASSA loan

These loans have become a hot topic because some lenders prey on the most vulnerable—pensioners and those receiving social grants—by offering them loans with sky-high interest rates. However, in some instances, SASSA loans for child grant recipients offer quicker and larger sums of money, benefiting many South Africans living below the poverty line.

In this article, we delve into this loan service, explaining what they are, how they work, the risks involved, and how consumers can protect themselves from scams.

The above discussion provides insight into what SASSA offer. The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is a National Agency created in April 2005 to administer and distribute social grants and loans. SASSA loans provide an accessible way to obtain small loans to combat poverty in South Africa.

Also read: Absa Instant Loan Declined: What To Do When Your Absa Loan Application is Declined

How to Apply for a Loan

Since its establishment in April 2005, SASSA has been a key player in distributing social grants. Although SASSA website offers extensive guides on these topics, it’s important to note that it doesn’t directly provide loans.

The goal is to facilitate access to instant loans for poverty alleviation. Below, we outline how consumers can apply for a loan via cellphone.

SASSA Loans: Step-by-Step Application Process
While these loans are not directly from SASSA but from private entities, they are available to beneficiaries of SASSA grants. Consumers can apply for a loan via cellphone using the following steps:

  1. Dial *130*3737*1# on your phone.
  2. Follow the on-screen prompts, including entering your ID number and consenting to a credit check.
  3. Enter a PIN for security and provide details about your monthly expenses.
  4. Select the specific grant or personal loan you’re interested in, and receive instant notification about the application’s outcome.

If you encounter difficulties, alternative USSD codes (*120*3210# or *120*69277#) are also available to assist you throughout the process.

Also read: Standard Bank Student Loan and How to Apply

Can a Pensioner Get a Loan?

If you’re a recipient of a SASSA grant and are wondering about the possibility of obtaining a loan, you’re not alone. This question is quite common among pensioners and those receiving disability grants. Let’s delve into the answer below.

The quick answer is yes, it’s possible to apply for a loan while on a SASSA grant, but not through SASSA itself. However, although the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) doesn’t directly provide loans, it does offer valuable guidance and eligibility checks for loans via the SASSA loans platform. Loans for pensioners in South Africa are particularly beneficial for those seeking financial assistance in the short term.

How to Qualify for a SASSA Loan

To qualify for what’s known as a ‘SASSA loan,’ you need to meet a few criteria:

  1. Be a South African citizen.
  2. Be 18 years of age or older.
  3. Have a valid Identity Document.
  4. Have a steady income.
  5. Have bank accounts in your name.
  6. Be a recipient of a SASSA grant, such as the Old Age Pension or Disability Grants.

Note: SASSA will assess your financial history and debt-to-income ratio to determine your eligibility for a term loan. Your current income will also influence the loan amount.

Institutions Offering SASSA Loans

While direct borrowing from SASSA isn’t an option, some institutions offer loans with manageable repayments. These loan options have been a financial lifeline for many, providing significant aid in times of need.

However, caution is advised. The landscape is unfortunately filled with scams posing as SASSA loans, emphasizing the need for a careful approach when applying for any loan.


Can SASSA directly provide loans to beneficiaries?

No, SASSA does not directly provide loans to beneficiaries. However, it offers guidance and eligibility checks for loans through the SASSA loans platform.

Who can apply for a loan?

South African citizens who are 18 years of age or older, have a valid identity document, a steady income, bank accounts in their name, and are recipients of a SASSA grant such as the Old Age Pension or Disability Grants can apply for a SASSA loan.

What is the application process for a loan via cellphone?

Applicants can dial *130*3737*1# on their phones, follow the on-screen prompts, provide necessary details, including their ID number, consent to a credit check, enter a PIN for security, detail monthly expenses, and select the desired grant or personal loan.

Are SASSA loans beneficial for pensioners and individuals with disability grants?

Yes, they provide financial assistance in the short term and have been beneficial for pensioners and individuals receiving disability grants.

What should applicants be cautious about when applying for SASSA loans?

Applicants should be cautious about scams masquerading as SASSA loans. It’s important to carefully assess loan offers and institutions before applying to avoid falling victim to fraudulent schemes.

Also read: Build it Material Loan: how to Get a Loan to Build


In conclusion, SASSA loans play a crucial role in providing financial support to South African citizens, particularly pensioners and individuals receiving disability grants. While SASSA does not directly offer loans, its guidance and eligibility checks through the loans platform have been instrumental in facilitating access to much-needed financial assistance.

It’s important for applicants to meet the eligibility criteria, including being South African citizens, having a valid Identity document, a steady income, and being recipients of a SASSA grant. The application process, conducted via cellphone, offers convenience and accessibility.

However, caution is advised due to the prevalence of scams posing as SASSA loans. Applicants should thoroughly research loan offers and institutions to avoid falling victim to fraudulent schemes.

Overall, SASSA serves as a lifeline for many, addressing immediate financial needs and contributing to poverty alleviation efforts in South Africa.

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Christian Maximilian
Christian Maximilian

I am a Software Engineer, technical writer, and overall tech enthusiast. For me, utilizing my skills as a Software Engineer to perform Technical Search Engine Optimization is not just a job, but something I gladly incorporate into my pastimes as well, and I have been doing this for over 3 years.

When I'm not coding or writing technical documentation, I enjoy listening to music and exploring new genres.

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