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Author: admin | Category: Car Loan Canada | Date: 31.01.2015

Some of the same groups that fought today's hike to 6.8 percent fought for that rate not long ago. But not long ago, lenders, borrowers a€“ and Republicans and Democrats alike a€“ embraced the 6.8 percent rate. The interest rates on student loans have seen many changes over the last decade and a half. The new rate looked like a reasonable deal to borrowers at the time, providing a fixed rate that appeared to also be moderate. The various bills that have been introduced in the House and Senate have proposed a mix of solutions: variable rates and fixed rates, capped and uncapped, short- and long-term plans.
He also adds that government programs that cap payments can mean the current fight might not even change monthly payments for some borrowers.
This is a research report from our series of occasional reports, released for public interest. The share prices of South Africa’s African Bank and Capitec Bank saw significant downward pressure last month as a result of fears over exposures to unsecured lending. The exemption covered loans of R6 000 (from 1999, R10 000) and shorter than 36 months in duration, and allowed a microloan industry to rapidly develop in South Africa. The exemption framework meant that such microloans effectively operated in a regulatory vacuum.
In 1999 the Micro Finance Regulatory Council was established as a regulatory body for exemption-related lending, as a first step toward tackling the abusive practices in the industry. In the late 1990s, as a response to the rapidly weakening rand in 1998, monetary authorities sharply increased interest rates to attract capital into the country, reaching a peak of 25,5% in September that year. The democratic government had attempted to liberalise the financial sector and increase competition, so had licensed over a dozen new banks to operate. This balance sheet risk and the real and perceived erosion in asset quality in the late 1990s led to significant outflows of funding from small banks in favour of large banks.
However, in 2000 the government decided to act aggressively to end microlenders’ (and everyone else, including insurance companies) access to deductions from civil servants’ salaries.
At that point there were three major lenders in the market which had built substantial books of microloans – Saambou, Unifer (a subsidiary of Absa) and African Bank, alongside hundreds of other small lenders. The Unifer experience made the market nervous, turning attention on African Bank and Saambou.
Following the 2002 crisis, the government began working toward an overhaul of the entire credit regime.
Any institution with more than 100 credit agreements or a credit book of more than R500 000 must register with the NCR. The act is silent on other charges that may be levied alongside the loan, such as initiation fees or insurance such as credit life policies that can be attached to the loan. This naturally opened the space for a whole new industry in the form of larger unsecured loans.
In the process the unsecured credit market evolved from a microloan market into a large, middle-class focused credit business. The growth of “consolidation loans” which take a number of smaller loans granted by competitors and consolidate them all into a single facility. The effort to “capture” clients by granting them a large facility that fully consumes their affordability, thereby closing out access to the client by other borrowers in terms of the NCA’s affordability testing restrictions. It is difficult to determine exactly which institutions have driven this growth and changing demographic of borrowers. Clearly a major source of growth in the industry has been from the four large South African retail banks, which entered a market dominated by African Bank and Capitec. With the exception of Absa, which made an explicit decision to reduce its unsecured lending, unsecured lending has been the biggest growth area for the big banks.
Banks are also encouraged to move into unsecured lending by the requirements of Basel 3, which South African authorities have enthusiastically implemented. But the growth in unsecured lending among the formal banks, including African Bank and Capitec, is not where the most abusive practices take place.
Our research has also found some less formal lenders who get clients to sign an acknowledgement of debt form at the time the loan is issued. Our research indicates that the abuse of attachment orders (often called garnishee orders) is focused outside the formal bank sector, used by retailers and other small lenders. Another clear factor that has contributed to consumer indebtedness is the additional charges that are levied on loans beyond the interest rate itself. An alarm bell was sounded over the growth of unsecured lending early in 2012 when figures for the fourth quarter of 2011 were released that showed unsecured lending had grown 47% in Q42011. Various political interest groups have different views and vested interests regarding unsecured lending. There is also a view in some political circles that unsecured lending and the black listing of defaulters contributes to unemployment because potential employers undertake credit checks. There is also a clear view among the ANC’s leftist allies that unsecured lending represents one of the worst abuses of capitalism and amounts to predatory business.
Among the financial cluster in government and the Reserve Bank the memories of the 2002 crisis are still fresh.
In the background, African Bank’s senior executives have been raising the alarm among regulators about the growth of unsecured lending.
Surprisingly, the political level has not yet commented on the displacing of home loans by unsecured lending. Of course, the real issue for bank profitability is the performance of existing loan books. In the case of African Bank specifically, we are more sanguine about its prospects than the rest of the market.
There is clear evidence that the rest of the banking market has now dramatically slowed down its lending. A standardisation of the affordability testing that lenders are supposed to do before agreeing to give a loan. More stringent regulation of the informal industry to force nonregistered lenders out and to substantially constrain the activities of debt collectors which take over nonperforming books. More stringent regulation of insurance products (mostly credit life) that are attached to unsecured loans. Less likely, but sensible, would be a remodelling of the consolidated loans register launched in 2002. However, it is clear that there is no risk of a 2002-like banking crisis as a result of the recent growth in unsecured lending.
This entry was posted in Africa, Country, Financial, Industry, Reports, Reports & Insights, South Africa.
The population of Africa’s cities will triple by 2050 with over one billion people living in cities by 2040. Major recent discoveries in oil, iron ore, natural gas, and other key commodities are set to provide major economic stimulus.
Leriba is a specialist consultancy with a unique combination of financial and political research skills. First and foremost we aim to make a positive contribution to our clients and to the societies in which we operate. Clients can have full confidence in our ethics, professionalism and discretion. Unlike some other consultancies, our analysts live and work in Africa and have built up substantial networks and insight. We are able to work in any of Africa’s 54 countries. Since, I haven’t posted on here in a while, you probably didn’t even know that I was using Lending Club, but now you know! John has got himself into a situation where he owes a lot of money at high interest rates on his credit cards.
This is a very common situation on Lending Club, but people can actually get loans for all kinds of reasons such as home improvement, starting a business, etc. Anyway, Lending Club has grown in popularity over the past few years since I started investing. The other advantage of having a bot to invest is that whenever a loan payment is received, the bot will automatically reinvest which means that money is never just sitting around getting no return.
Building the bot was actually fairly easy, Lending Club posts new notes on their website 4 times per day at 6 AM, 10 AM, 2 PM, and 6 PM PT. William Sidell is the founder of Legendary Software Labs, an app company that has had apps with over 13,000,000 downloads. The program would only run if launched manually, so I used another program called cron that would automatically launch my program at the times when Lending Club releases new notes.
Hey William, I came across your post while researching for automated approach to purchase notes.
1) The bot will typically finish purchasing the notes within 2 seconds of checking available inventory. What I wound up doing was creating a filter on Lending Club and then loading them from the python api. I was just reviewing the terms of service and saw that automated data collection is no longer allowed.
However, they do have an API that you can sign up and use that allows you to do the same things. They have replaced Lending Club Prime with their auto investment tool and I believe they don’t even charge for it now.
If you are using the same library that I linked to in this article, then I can provide a few lines of code that should work. And despite a slew of proposals to avert the rate hike a€“ not to mention loud complaints from students and advocacy groups nationwide a€“ Congress failed to agree on a path forward.
In fact, some of the same groups that fought it this time around also helped to enact the new rate. When the interest rate had been tied to the treasury, borrowers paid the 91-day treasury rate plus 2.3 percentage points. In 2007, a newly Democratic Congress passed a bill to eventually halve rates on subsidized Stafford Loans for undergraduates, but only for the 2011-12 school year, after which the rates would again rise. PIRG, a federation of state public interest research groups, is a consumer watchdog group that championed the 6.8 percent rate.


PIRG's Higher Education Program, was not with the group during the 2001-2002 fight, but defends the group's decisions at the time.
Banks were heavily involved in making subsidized federal loans at the time, but that ended in 2010, when Congress passed a bill making the federal government the primary loan distributor. Student Association also pushed for the 6.8 percent rate, which it also fought against this time around.
According to the New York Federal Reserve Bank, student loan debt stands at nearly $1 trillion, with average debt balances at nearly $25,000. PIRG and USSA are only two of many groups whose views on rates have shifted over the years, but they are indicative of the way political and economic context alike can alter what looks like the "right" rate for students to be paying. Members could still agree to a fix once they come back from the July 4 break, meaning that while higher rates are worrisome, it may not yet be time to panic. Last year, before Congress extended the 3.4 percent rate, he calculated that the difference would only be around $9 per month on a $5,550 Stafford loan. In this Leriba Report we discuss the background to the unsecured lending issue and scenarios for how it may resolve. In 1992 an exemption was granted for small, short-term loans, from the normal restrictions of the Usury Act. By 1999, total microlending in the country had reached R15 billion, encouraged by the first democratic government elected in 1994. All organisations providing loans in terms of the exemption were required to register with it, and it had some powers to inspect and discipline members for violations of its codes of practice. These tended to operate duration-mismatched balance sheets, holding short term deposits to fund long term loans, with statutory capital ratios of 10%. A number of small banks collapsed, others wound themselves up or were sold to larger institutions. Collectively, they had built microloan books worth over R14bn, much of it collected through deductions to civil servants’ salaries. Banks scrambled to set up bank account debit orders as an alternative collection mechanism while furiously lobbying government to continue deductions. In early February 2002 a rumour (later proved true) circulated that Saambou’s auditors KPMG had filed a report to the Reserve Bank indicating their concern over its going concern status. The small banks crisis had been an example of downward contagion – a bank in trouble usually led to a loss in confidence of smaller banks.
This fell upon Nedbank, which had clear acquisitive ambitions, frustrated two years earlier when its effort to buy Standard Bank had been blocked by regulators. This process was led by the MFRC which was to become the seed institution of the National Credit Regulator which was introduced in 2007 in terms of the National Credit Act.
For instance, the cap for unsecured credit is now the South Africa Reserve Bank’s repo rate, times 2.2, plus 20 percentage points. Those who fail to register can incur financial penalties and have their loan agreements declared null and void.
That means the actual repayments and profitability of a loan can be significantly higher than the annual rate being charged. However, in 2007 the financial crisis intervened, substantially sapping demand for credit in the South African economy. Our research suggests a wide range of new entrants into the credit market including insurers, retailers, and specialist lenders. They have been attracted by the far higher margins in unsecured lending than found in other forms of credit.
The motives for doing so are obvious – unsecured lending provides by far the largest margins in the retail banking segment. While South African banks have no problem meeting the capital requirements of Basel 3, they find it far more difficult to meet the liquidity provisions because of the high proportion of overnight money market funding in banks’ liability mix.
Many of the anecdotes about aggressive threatening collection methods are done by debt collectors who have bought books from larger lenders. The lender can then fill in an outstanding balance at a later date and use it to obtain an attachment order. African Bank, for instance, only collects on 10 000 loans through garnishee orders which appear to have been legitimately obtained. These include initiation fees and insurance charges, which are often made compulsory for the borrower to obtain the loan. This led to some rash statements from the political level in South Africa, such as higher education minister and Communist Party head Blade Nzimande who described it as a “time bomb” comparable to the US subprime crisis. A common view in the ANC is that unsecured lending is one of the factors driving South Africa’s often violent wage negotiations. There is clearly concern that the rapid growth is similar to that of 1999-2002 which led to the last banking crisis. Home loan borrowing is significantly more economically productive in financing fixed capital formation, helping employment. The one major difference between 2002 and now is that very little depositor funds are exposed to unsecured lending. The total unsecured lending book is now R453bn among banks, less than 13% of banking assets of R1,3bn. All of the big four banks have noted in recent commentary that they have increased provisions amid worsening loan performance. Figures from the SA Reserve Bank are slightly more up to date, though less specific, than those for the NCR.
The advantage with unsecured lending is that they have a short duration, so bad loans can be worked out of the system faster.
African Bank’s commentary on recent results was that March displayed a surprisingly poor payment performance, leading the bank to make unanticipated additional provisions to cover losses.
The bank has proven itself able to anticipate problems and provide for them before they strike.
The National Treasury spooked the market in December when it suggested it may support a summary ban of garnishee orders. The NCA requires such tests be done, but does not specify exactly what they should consist of.
We expect that such insurance must be made voluntary by borrowers (currently most require it) with all prices disclosed and scope given to borrowers to obtain competitive quotes. All lenders should be required to submit their loans and quotes to the register in real time in order to prevent consumers from taking out multiple loans simultaneously.
However, formalising the industry is likely to favour the larger lenders that are equipped to do proper credit vetting on a large scale.
Africa is the last major region in the world to offer the prospect of take-off phase economic growth, delivering world-beating returns to investors.
Urbanisation in Africa and the rest of the world will drive demand for natural resources which Africa is uniquely positioned to satisfy with both new and old discoveries.
The regulatory and legal structures common in much of the world are only nascent in many African countries. We help analyse opportunities and examine current investments for unforeseen political and financial risks. Our insights provide actionable information which directly pay off through better investment decisions. He has decided that he wants to take control of his life and pay off his credit card debt, but a bank won’t give him a loan to pay it off.
Large institutional investors have started dumping millions of dollars into these loans and have started acquiring the best loans as soon as they are available for investors to put money in.
I wrote a small program using the API’s methods that will login, check available account balance, find notes that match my filter, and invest in the notes at an amount specified. How long does it take for your program to run from the time you query for available notes until the actual purchase is successfully made. However, new notes are not always released at exact times, it could be seconds or minutes after. I was using Prime for a while but they would only invest like once or twice a month and would frequently not invest a very large percentage of the cash I had in my account.
That proposal passed the Senate via unanimous consent and passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support.
That meant rates could dip well below 6.8 percent, but could also climb above 8 percent, as occurred in 2000.
While she acknowledges that 6.8 percent looked a lot lower in 2001 than it does now, she also says one key factor has changed since then. While the 2001 leadership of the student-run organization is no longer in place, the group now says that avoiding higher rates is a matter of helping students plagued by debt amid a slow recovery. This was done mainly in an attempt to widen access to financial services to include black South Africans who had been systematically excluded from the formal sector under Apartheid. While this was dubbed a small banks crisis, it was not seen as systemic and there was limited intervention by banking supervisors. African Bank had anticipated the change to deductions and had been rapidly evolving its book out of the civil servant space, relying to a greater extent on company payroll deductions through joint product offerings and on bank debit orders.
By December 2001, it had net liabilities of R1,14bn, having underprovisioned for bad debts by R1,78bn. Nedbank’s acquisition of BoE allowed the authorities to withdraw their unconditional guarantee and the panic in the sector subsided. The Act was promulgated by the department of trade and industry, which remains the lead political overseer for the implementation of the act.
Institutions, particularly large banks also become risk averse, increasing credit granting stringency across the board. The financial crisis was particularly hard on home loan lending businesses because property values fell at the same time as defaults spiked. As a result they are under pressure to reduce the maturity profile of their asset mix, so encouraging the growth of shorter term unsecured lending relative to longer term secured lending.
These debt collectors are free of the regulatory oversight faced by big banks and other registered lenders and therefore far more likely to be use unsavoury if not illegal tactics. Heavily indebted employees become desperate for increases with their take-home salaries because of repayment deductions.


This is cited as one reason for a credit amnesty currently being proposed which will see credit bureaus being forced to delete the adverse credit information they hold about certain categories of borrowers.
It has been suggested that the garnishee system should be summarily terminated to prevent its abuse. Those in this camp argue against a termination of the garnishee system out of fear it will have a similar impact as the termination of Persal deductions in 2001 which directly contributed to that crisis. African Bank has the most experience in the market and has a good reputation for anticipating problems before they materialise. We believe this feature will emerge as a source of political opposition to unsecured lending in the future. This is based on the SARB’s definition of unsecured lending, which includes overdrafts and credit cards which are categorised differently in the NCR’s figures. Partly this is because of the major growth in the middle class segments of the market with large numbers of new providers have targeted their lending at this segment. These show that the “other loans and advances” segment of total private sector credit extension actually exhibited a decline in April 2013 compared to March 2013. Our interviews have made it clear to us that the bank has led the engagement with authorities over unsecured lending rather than followed it. The challenge then is how the banks manage their existing books and what regulatory change is brought to bear in an attempt to improve the market. Our interviews suggest it has since backtracked, fearful that such a dramatic step would have unintended consequences. A standardised test would help prevent the “race to the bottom” that characterises current competitive dynamics. Insurance revenue is certainly going to decline for some of the lenders alongside other non-interest revenue. Urbanisation presents opportunities for tertiary sectors like retail, telecommunications, banking and logistics.
In rapidly changing economies, reputations are only starting to develop and information on performance histories difficult to obtain.
The incentives facing local partners are opaque and may well be antithetical to outside investors’ interests.
He goes online to Lending Club and requests a loan from his peers that is much lower than the interest rate on his credit cards.
Since the loans were getting snatched up so quickly, I was left with all of the loans that historically performed the worst.
He also had an auto investor tool, but his autoinvestor tool was using Lending Club’s portfolio builder tool which typically results in adding some poor loans. This number will drop over the next year or two as more defaults start rolling in and a large amount of my initial loans were not really the best.
To use the API, you need to have knowledge of python and know how to do some basic programming.
I ‘ve heard that this has to be about 10 seconds or less in order to get the best of the best loans. I could have it continuously poll every few seconds to see if new notes are available at the hours they release them and could have it purchased within 10 seconds. Another question: do you use other automated approach of purchasing notes in addition to your bot?
If you have much money in your account ($50K+), it will only invest a little bit at a time so it takes a long time to put all your money into loans.
The banks argued that the interest rate caps of the Usury Act made it impossible for them to make small loans, of the sort needed by poor black South Africans looking to enter the formal system. A focal point for the industry became the civil service, from which repayments could be collected through a deduction from the central government payroll, which had been allowed from 1993. The banks did minimal assessments of borrower affordability, bank account management, or any other traditional credit scoring techniques.
Absa, under pressure from the Reserve Bank, moved in to rescue it, buying out minorities and integrating Unifer into its operations. Despite a rescue deal proposed by Investec and backed by the Reserve Bank, South Africa’s minister of finance, Trevor Manuel, decided to put the bank into curatorship believing at the time that it was solvent and could be wound up.
South Africa’s sixth largest bank BoE became the target of depositor withdrawals, despite it having almost no exposure to microloans and no doubt over its solvency.
In the space of three months, the country’s sixth, seventh and eighth biggest banks had all been removed. The NCA opened a market for high interest rate loans in South Africa by doing away with the exemption from the Usury Act, which had restricted the unsecured lending industry to loans under R10 000 in value and on terms of less than 36 months. Such competition has not led to significant price competition but rather to a “race to the bottom” in credit vetting criteria.
This damaged returns and the businesses are trapped by long term loans priced at uneconomic levels that can have up to 15 years still to run. One of the tactics employed is the illegal use of emolument attachment orders, which are a court order requiring employers to deduct repayments from their employees’ salaries.
In August 2012 it first raised its concerns about the speed of growth of the sector, saying that defaults were showing a worrying trend.
For the big four banks, unsecured lending is such a small part of their balance sheets that they could easily withstand a dramatic spike in bad debts. The poor economic performance of the South African economy, which registered surprisingly low growth of 0,9% for Q12013, has placed significant pressure on this area of the market. In the fourth quarter of 2012 the number of accounts reported as current had fallen to 65,88% of the total from 71,08% the quarter before (see figure 7). It has helped put pressure on the rest of the market to slow down lending, ensuring that its clients have less chance of becoming over indebted to other lenders. The Banking Council has engaged with the National Treasury to form a joint view on needed regulatory amendments.
There is going to be an increase in bad debts, but this will largely be contained within current provisions.
As in any rapidly changing environment, opportunists are aiming to exploit potential investors. Base on #1, I wonder if I have my own up and running where should I host it to get the fastest response since speed is king here.. Like I said, after my program launches, orders are typically placed within 2 seconds and I have that server in their San Franciso region.
The reason they do this is because if there is someone with a multi-million dollar account, they don’t want to auto invest all their money and have no more loan inventory for anyone else. Loans were pushed out to civil servants, knowing the collection mechanism was almost fail safe. As it happened, the bank in fact was insolvent to the extent of about R7bn, which the government was forced into covering in order to bail out depositors. The Reserve Bank recognised a clear crisis was evolving in the banking sector and stepped in with unlimited liquidity support for BoE.
While the political authorities had made the wrong call in putting Saambou into curatorship (which cost tax payers over R7bn) they responded very aggressively to stem the crisis. All lending in South Africa was now governed by the NCA and all lenders had to register with the NCR. In order to grow their book, many lenders will accept lower quality clients than their competitors. There is evidence that collectors have bribed clerks at magistrates courts to sign of the orders. Figures obtained by the NCR from the top 10 unsecured lenders in the market showed that revenue sources are as per figure 5.
Some have also suggested it is one of the factors behind the violence at Marikana earlier this year that led to the fatal shooting of 34 mine workers by police. It has since lobbied the Reserve Bank and the Banking Council to take clear steps to slow down the rate of growth. For Capitec, which derives some 40% of its funding from retail deposits, the risk is sufficiently low to not be concerning. The bank has attempted to lobby to prevent the “race to the bottom” that was characteristic of the market. Such amendments will need complex futher political negotiation with the DTI which oversees the NCA and the department of justice which oversees magistrates courts and garnishee orders. Just as the opportunities in Africa are clear, the stories of investments gone wrong are sobering.
He pays off all his credit cards and now only has 1 monthly payment to Lending Club at a lower interest rate than he previously had. Instead, I just have it poll 1 minute after the hour, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes and see if any new notes are available.
The main cause of insolvency was its microloan book, almost half of which turned out to be bad.
The Bank and the minister of finance issued an unprecedented open ended public guarantee for all of BoE’s deposits, making it technically the safest bank in the land. It did however cause a significant panic at the political level, the after effects of which are still with us today.
Our interviews with key players in the industry suggests that actual pricing does not vary much from the 31% cap the NCA provides.
These orders in many respects fail to meet the legal requirements for their issue, and often include grossly inflated collection fees and interest rates in violation of South Africa’s in duplum rule which caps maximum loan exposures at 50%. But withdrawals in fact increased, with the public seeing the guarantee as confirmation of a crisis.
I don’t really like the idea of giving them the username and password to my lending club account though. In addition, though it was never made public at the time, Invested, the fifth largest bank, saw an increase in its withdrawals.




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