The Chairman of Wanabarabara Housing Cooperative Society Engineer George Kiiru, on Wednesday, while addressing the press urged Kenyans to join Savings and Credit Cooperatives Societies (SACCOS) to easily own and invest in property.
According to Engineer Kiiru, buying property as a group is much easier and more affordable as compared to buying it individually.
SACCOs offer almost all the services as banks but the only difference is how they operate.
While in a SACCO, one can save money and access credit or a loan depending on the amount and saving period.
How To Join A SACCO
Step 1: Fill in the membership application form. You can do this physically by visiting the offices of the preferred Sacco or online by visiting the website of the Sacco.
Step 2: Submit the personal documents. To make sure that the personal details you fill in the application form are true, you will be required to give documents such as your national identity card and KRA pin.
Step 3: Pay the registration fees. To become a member most Saccos require one to pay registration fees of maybe 1,000 or more.
Step 4: Start monthly savings contributions. With a Sacco, you are required to contribute savings regularly on the set minimum amount. Some Saccos may have a rule of not saving less than 1,000 but have no maximum limit.
General rules/basics Of Banks And SACCOs
1. Mandatory Membership Before Savings
You must first become a member before you start saving. Also, Saccos have a minimum share capital that you must purchase. What is a share capital? It is a unit of ownership in the Sacco that a member acquires so as to become a shareholder. The share capital is non-refundable and upon leaving, you can only transfer or sell to a member of the same Sacco.
2. You Borrow Against Your Savings
You can only be lend money in reference to what you have saved . Most Saccos give you up to three times of what you have saved. For example, if you have saved 150,000 you can get a loan of 450,000.
3.Borrow with guarantors
To get a loan in a Sacco, you must have a guarantor who is in the same Sacco. This, however, is a disadvantage to people who know nobody in the Sacco they are in. Saccos now accept collaterals such as title deeds and also they are offering mobile loans that don’t require collaterals or guarantors.
4. Front-Office Services
Some Saccos venture into investment opportunities such as land buying for their members.
5. On accessing emergency loans
Saccos can approve emergency loans between 30 minutes and 24 hours with a lower interest rate compared to banks.
Factors To Consider While Choosing A Sacco
Be keen on what your family, friends, and colleagues are saying about a Sacco. Go through the SACCO reviews by checking online. Also, check if the Sacco has been regulated by the Sacco Society Regulatory Authority (SASRA).
2. Guarantors and Security
Check if a Sacco is flexible enough to meet your needs.
3. Technology and accessibility
Check if the SACCO you are choosing can be accessed anytime.
Saccos give dividends to it’s members depending on the Sacco’s performance. Check the interest rates at which a Sacco gives it dividends
5.. Investment Opportunities
As mentioned earlier that some Saccos are now venturing into investment opportunities, it would be best if you consider joining one that does so.
BY MARGARET MUGO