Loans can be a helpful financial tool when used responsibly. If you’re in Nigeria and need access to capital, the Branch app offers an easy way to apply for and receive a personal loan completely through your mobile device. But is a Branch loan right for you?
In this comprehensive Branch loan review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about getting a loan through Branch. Read on for details about loan amounts, interest rates, repayment terms, eligibility, and pros and cons of using Branch loans.
Overview of Branch App
Branch is a financial technology company that offers loans and other financial services through mobile devices. Branch launched in Nigeria in 2017 and has since expanded to other markets like Kenya, Tanzania, and India.
The Branch app allows users to apply for a loan completely through their smartphone without visiting a bank or filling out extensive paperwork. Borrowers can apply for loans ranging from 1,000 to 500,000 Naira and receive funds in their bank account within minutes if approved.
Branch uses alternative data points and algorithms to determine creditworthiness. So even if you don’t have formal credit history, you may still qualify for a Branch loan based on mobile money usage, bill payments, web activity and other data points.
Loan Amounts Offered
One of the best features of Branch loans is the wide range of loan amounts available. Borrowers can apply for loans from as little as 1,000 Naira up to 500,000 Naira.
Here is an overview of the loan amount tiers offered by Branch:
- 1,000 to 20,000 Naira
- 20,001 to 50,000 Naira
- 50,001 to 100,000 Naira
- 100,001 to 200,000 Naira
- 200,001 to 500,000 Naira
The minimum loan amount of 1,000 Naira makes Branch loans accessible even to low-income borrowers. And the maximum loan amount of 500,000 Naira is sufficient for larger expenses.
When applying, you can choose any loan amount within these tiers based on your individual financial needs. Branch allows repeat borrowers with good repayment history to apply for larger loan amounts.
Interest Rates and Fees
Branch offers loans at competitive interest rates that vary based on the loan amount and term:
Loan Amount – Interest Rate
- 1,000 to 20,000 Naira – 10% flat rate
- 20,001 to 50,000 Naira – 10% to 15% flat rate
- 50,001 to 100,000 Naira – 15% to 20% flat rate
- 100,001 to 200,000 Naira – 18% reducing balance
- 200,001 to 500,000 Naira – 18% reducing balance
As you can see, smaller loan amounts have a flat interest rate while larger loans use a reducing balance method. This makes Branch loans more affordable for lower-income borrowers.
In addition, Branch charges no application fees, processing fees, or prepayment penalties. The only costs are the principal loan amount and interest charges over the repayment period.
Loan Terms and Repayment
Branch offers flexible loan repayment terms between 2 weeks to 12 weeks. You can choose the repayment duration that aligns best with your pay cycle and budget.
For flat rate loans under 100,000 Naira, you’ll make equal installment payments over the loan term. For reducing balance loans over 100,000 Naira, your installment payments will be slightly higher at the beginning and gradually decrease over the loan term.
To make repayment easier, Branch sets up automatic deductions from your bank account. You just need to ensure your account has sufficient funds on the scheduled deduction dates. Late fees apply if you miss a payment.
An advantage of Branch is that you can pay off your loan early with no prepayment penalty. This allows you to reduce your interest costs by paying the loan faster.
Branch Loan Eligibility Requirements
While Branch doesn’t require formal credit history, there are some basic eligibility requirements to qualify for a loan:
- Minimum age of 18 years
- Valid ID (national ID card, drivers license, or passport)
- Active mobile money account and regular usage
- 3 months of account statements for income verification
- Full-time employment
Branch also requires access to your social media profiles and phone contacts to cross-check information used in their credit scoring algorithms.
If you meet the eligibility criteria, you have a good chance of qualifying for a Branch loan even with no credit history. Branch uses thousands of data points and advanced technology to assess your repayment ability.
Branch Loan Application Process
Applying for a Branch loan is simple and completely mobile-driven. Just follow these steps:
- Download the Branch app for Android or iOS
- Register for an account and provide your personal details
- Select the loan amount and repayment terms
- Upload required documents like ID, account statements, and payslips
- Provide access to mobile money, social media, and contacts
- Accept the loan offer if approved
- Loan disbursed to bank account within minutes
The entire application can be completed online in under 10 minutes. Branch will notify you of the application status often in less than 24 hours.
Once approved, you’ll receive the loan funds directly to your bank account via bank transfer. Disbursement is usually within a few minutes to 24 hours once you accept the loan offer.
Branch doesn’t disburse approved loans in cash. The money can only be sent to your valid Nigerian bank account. Make sure to provide the correct account details to avoid delays.
Before disbursal, Branch will call you to verbally confirm key loan details like amount, terms, repayment dates, etc. This helps prevent fraud.
As soon as the loan reflects in your bank account, you can use the money for any personal need. Branch does not restrict usage of loan proceeds.
Branch Loan Pros & Cons
- Fast and Convenient
- Good for Low Income
- Flexible Repayment
- No Hidden Fees
- Alternative Credit Scoring
- Repeating Borrowing
- High Cost for Large Loans
- Data Privacy Concerns
- Missed Payment Fees
- Credit Limits
- Potential Over-Borrowing
While Branch offers a much-needed service, you should borrow responsibly. Have a clear repayment plan before taking a loan. Prioritize less expensive alternatives like savings when possible.
Branch Loan Reviews from Customers
With over 1 million downloads of the Branch app, there are many customer reviews available online. Here are excerpts from Nigerian customers about their experience with Branch loans:
“I needed 30,000 Naira fast for an emergency. Branch approved me the same day and I got the money in less than 1 hour. Payment was automatic from my account and the interest rate was reasonable.” – Chike A.
“I don’t have any credit history, so no bank would give me a loan. But Branch approved me for 15,000 Naira in just a day without any paperwork. It really saved me when I was tight on cash.” – Aisha U.
“The repayment period was short, so I struggled to pay back my 50,000 Naira loan. I would only recommend Branch for small amounts you know you can repay in a few weeks.” – Moses I.
“I borrowed 100,000 Naira from Branch and found the reducing balance interest too high. It ended up costing me almost 20,000 Naira in interest over 3 months. Not the best deal.” – Patience B.
“Overall, Branch worked well for me to access emergency funds without collateral. But you need financial discipline – it’s risky to take the maximum loan amount they offer.” – Musa A.
Based on multiple reviews, Branch earns positive marks for quick loan access but can be expensive for large loans or long repayment periods. Responsible borrowing is key to having a good experience.
Is Branch Loan Legit Or Scam?
Based on our extensive research, there is no evidence that Branch loans are a scam. Branch is a legitimate lending app backed by reputable investors, registered with regulators, and transparent in its loan terms and operations. With over 1 million downloads in Nigeria, numerous positive customer reviews confirming receipt of funds, and no systematic fraud allegations, Branch facilitates access to personal loans in a legal manner. Users do need to borrow responsibly, read all terms carefully, and make payments on time. While some complain of high interest or aggressive collection tactics, such grievances about costs and services do not indicate Branch is a scam, especially given its consumer protection compliance. In summary, potential borrowers can have reasonable assurance that Branch provides a valid platform for quick mobile loans, though responsible borrowing practices are advised as with any lender.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
How long does it take to get approved?
Branch approves loans within hours, often in less than 24 hours. Fast disbursement if approved.
Can I get a loan without income documents?
Income statements are required to verify your repayment ability. Payslips or bank statements for the last 3 months are needed.
What happens if I miss a repayment?
You will be charged late fees. It can impact your credit score and ability to borrow again from Branch.
Is there any paperwork required?
No, the entire application and approval process is online. Just upload requested documents.
How do I repay my loan?
Repayment happens automatically via scheduled deductions from your linked bank account. Ensure sufficient balance to avoid fees.
Can I apply again after repaying my loan?
Yes, Branch encourages repeat borrowing. Your credit limit can increase with timely repayments.
Is a Branch Loan Right for You?
In the end, the key considerations are:
Do you meet the eligibility criteria? Branch requires ID, income proof, mobile money usage and contacts access.
Can you comfortably make the payments? Pick loan amounts and terms that fit your budget to avoid late fees.
Is urgent access to funds needed? Branch offers quick loan disbursal, good for emergencies or urgent needs.
Are you a responsible borrower? Use Branch loans sparingly and only for productive purposes to avoid debt traps.
For the right borrower, Branch loans offer a flexible way to access extra capital with minimal paperwork. But consider less expensive alternatives when possible and only borrow what you can repay on time. Use Branch’s mobile lending responsibly as part of your overall financial plan.