Joining a Sacco has been a refuge for people from all walks of life. It is estimated that they contribute to approximately 30% of Kenya’s GDP. They are, therefore, a huge shaper of Kenya’s economy and a reliable source of loans for mid to low-income earners in Kenya. However, it’s hard to ignore the controversies surrounding many established Saccos. Whether it’s bad investments or falling for conmen, joining one has its fair share of risks as well. If you’re planning on saving with a Sacco, here are some things to take into account.
A Sacco offers easy loans to its members with very low-interest rates. Compared to banks, these loans are processed faster and have fewer requirements. For instance, in Sheria Sacco, applicants only need to be members and have a minimum monthly contribution for a development loan.
Joining a Sacco helps young people cultivate a saving culture. Instead of spending the Ksh 1,000 frivolously, they can deposit it in their Saccos. This also increases their borrowing capabilities thus enabling them to make more developments in life. Dues to the bank’s strict policies, it’s harder for young people to save with them.
A Sacco belongs to its members. These members are usually people you can identify with. There’s no classism in Saccos and you can feel comfortable interacting and sharing your challenges thus building each other up. Saccos like Matatu Sacco are able to help you with your matatu business.
If the worst scenario happens and your Sacco goes bankrupt, what happens? Well, members are only liable to the extent of their contribution. This means that your personal property is exempt from attachment.
Saccos pay out dividends to their members at the end of every financial year. Depending on the interest on the deposit and dividend on share capital, members receive their dividends 2 weeks after approval. This depends on your Sacco’s financial performance that year since the higher the balance, the higher the dividends.
Many Saccos go under because of bad management. The representatives embezzle funds or make bad investments which bankrupt the Sacco. Saccos are more vulnerable to bankruptcy since they don’t have other institutions to bail them out.
Whether this is done by legitimate agents or not, some Saccos prey on the naivety of Kenyans to con them. For instance, the Ekeza Sacco recently came under fire after members complained they couldn’t get loans from the Sacco. It was later discovered that the proprietor had transferred billions into his personal account.
Unlike banks where you can borrow loans in the millions, many Saccos can only manage loans in the hundreds of thousands. Therefore, members are limited to small loans and smaller investments as a result.
Trust me, you don’t want to get caught in the politics of a Sacco. Things can get messy. However, Saccos rely on its members’ co-operation for it to succeed. Such disputes impede the Sacco’s and members’ progress.
Lack Of Accountability
We’ve seen members left stranded after a Sacco goes under. Unlike banks, there’s no way for Sacco member to recover their money. The wise thing to do is to withdraw your money when you notice something suspicious. Therefore, it is important to make sure you invest in a reputable Sacco that has a history of being run well.
I’m a content writer, bibliophile and travel enthusiast. I have worked in the digital space for over 5 years which has exposed me to a variety of lifestyle topics and peeked my interests in beauty, fashion, travel and wellness.