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According to the Dictionary of South African English, Mashonisa is urban or township slang that refers to a money lender or a loan shark. The word Mashonisa means to lose heavily or become bankrupt. 

This makes sense because Mashonisas/loan sharks charge high-interest rates on their loans, so it's easy to lose a lot of money and go broke quickly trying to pay back your debt. 

Already, this should tell you why it's not a good idea to take out a Mashonisa loan. However, if you're still tempted, here's everything you need to know about whether or not you should take a Mashonisa loan.  

What's a mashonisa loan?

Mashonisa is an illegal and unregulated lender that operates without compliance with the National Credit Act (NCA). They offer loans that don't require documents to fill out. That means you don't have to provide pay stubs to show income. In other words, there is no consideration of your ability to repay the loan or your credit repayment history. This is against the National Credit Act (NCA), which, among other things, wants to protect you from becoming a victim as a customer of imprudent lending. 

A Mashonisa loan doesn't guarantee lawful interest rates and fees and the avoidance of illegal collecting methods such as the keeping of ID books, pin codes, and bank cards. For many years, short-term, high-interest loans have been a feature of Mashonisa loans. 

However, with Mashonisa lenders not regulated and many operating below the radar, when you go into debt, there are no options for dealing with it like when you utilize a registered lender. As a result, desperate borrowers who turn to a loan shark are vulnerable to abuse. 

5 disadvantages of a mashonisa loan

It's a financial prison

Is taking a Mashonisa loan a bad idea? 

Borrowing money from a loan shark carries several risks. First, they may pressure you to borrow additional funds to pay off one loan with another. This unquestionably traps its victims in a debt cycle that they will never be able to escape.

The loans are too expensive

People who offer Mashonisa loans create payment systems that allow them to take advantage of high-interest rates. However, these loan agreements do not consider the borrower's ability to pay on time. Late fees will be assessed if the payment is scheduled every week and the borrower fails to deliver.


A loan shark is an unregistered lender, and they do not record their transactions to reputable credit bureaus. If you have issues with your transactions, it can be tough to develop a solution. Many Mashonisas do not follow legal procedures and do not possess the necessary permits. They don't have any legal documents and aren't bound by any agreements. So, even if you pay your bills on time, if you have a terrible credit history, you will not be able to raise your credit score.

Mashonisa mostly causes more trouble

Things can get dangerous if you don't pay

Loan sharks are shady money lenders who provide you with a loan without legal documentation. They will provide you with a high-interest loan, and if you cannot repay the loan in full on time, they will use threats and violence to recover their money. Typically, a loan shark targets low-income families or those in the midst of a financial crisis, so here is why you shouldn't take this loan:

  1. They provide loans at a high-interest rate.
  2. If the family does not keep up with their payments, the lender becomes hostile.
  3. They will go to any length to reclaim the money they loaned.
  4. Mashonisas are illegal lenders. They don't follow the rules - If you have a complaint, you have nowhere to turn because loan sharks are exempt from the regulations designed to protect you as a consumer.

As a result, borrowing money from Mashonisas has several risks.

Alternatives to mashonisa lon

Personal loan

A personal loan through Myloan can help you finance a large purchase or pay off high-interest bills. Given the numerous advantages of a personal loan, you may be thinking about applying for one. Please fill out our loan application form to receive offers from various lenders. It's one of the most straightforward and practical ways to borrow money in South Africa.

Loans for the blacklisted

Blacklisting can occur due to a variety of financial mishaps, ranging from a modest missed payment to an unpaid account. These factors can result in a low credit score, making it difficult to obtain a loan. But with MyLoan being blacklisted doesn't mean you can't get a loan. When you apply for a loan through Myloan, we can provide you with a loan that you can use for cash emergencies, autos, or education.

Debt consolidation loan

Debt consolidation is the process of taking out a new loan to pay off existing debts and responsibilities. Multiple debts are consolidated into a single, more significant loan, with more favourable payback terms, such as a reduced interest rate, a lower monthly payment, or both.

Payday loan

An unsecured borrower is not required to put up specified assets as collateral so you can have quick access to funds when you need a little additional cash to get you through the month. So if you require a payday loan, it's great to apply for one through MyLoan to receive offers from a variety of lenders. Choose the best lending choice for you - with no strings attached and no hidden fees.

MyLoan has partner lenders you can trust - apply today

Do not worry about Mashonisa loans in this day and age of information; quick loans with minimal difficulty are available. You may conveniently apply for a loan online or anywhere with MyLoan while also taking advantage of the attractive loan rate. 

Applying for a loan through MyLoan has grown simpler, and the application process does not necessitate submitting a large number of documents. As a result, the funds are disbursed immediately and at a relatively low-interest rate compared to the Mashonisa loan. All you have to do is make sure you satisfy the eligibility requirements.

You only need to complete a single application form. Once you've submitted it, it'll be sent to several lenders who will analyze it and contact you with an offer if you qualify. After evaluating the offers, you select the most acceptable loan for you and acquire funds.

To summarize, taking a loan through MyLoan is a safer and more accessible alternative to a Mashonisa loan to access money or cover costs, even if you have a low income or a bad credit rating.

How much do you need?

Get a Loan up to  R350,000

Representative example: Estimated repayments of a loan of r30,000 over 36 months at a maximum interest rate of 29.25% apr would be r1,381 per month including fees. Repayment terms can range from 2 - 72 months. Myloan is an online loan broker and not a lender. Our service is free, and we only work with NCR-licensed lenders in South Africa. Interest rates charged by lenders can start as low as 19.25% 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.