SMS loans (or SMS Lån as it is called in Norway) were once one of the most popular loans in Norway. It was a common financial practice to take out this credit line not just in Norway but other Scandinavian and Nordic nations like Sweden and Denmark.
The reasons for this were not far-fetched. This is given how securing it did not require collateral and could be processed very quickly. The fact that borrowers did not have to physically show up at the creditor’s office was an added advantage.
However, there are several downsides to SMS loans and this explains why it is no longer available to Norwegians and residents in many other Scandinavian nations. Many other European countries at large have made a similar fiscal policy that bans or greatly regulates SMS loans.
Thankfully, there are still alternatives that offer many of its benefits and leave out a lot of its drawbacks. Some of these alternatives will be discussed in this article. The reason why SMS loans lost their place in the Norwegian financial system will also be discussed here. By the way, you can visit: forbrukslånlavrente.com/sms-lån for more information about lenders that offer these alternative lines of credit.
Current Alternatives to SMS Loans in Norway
While SMS loans have become a thing of the past in Norway, some alternatives offer lots of the benefits it did offer. You can apply for them when the need arises and they include:
They have a cash advance limit and are a good way to take care of emergency projects. More often than not, the set cash advance limit is between 5,000 – 600,000 Norwegian Kroner. So, you should take note of your desired cash advance limit when applying for one.
You should also find out the eligibility criteria before you apply. Eligibility is usually determined by factors such as age, credit score, income status, and a few other reasons.
It has a lot in common with SMS loans. The ability to get small unsecured loans is one of the shared similarities. In the same vein, high-interest rates are a concern with this alternative. So, you should bear this in mind when applying for it.
This also proves the need for due diligence before application. You can use comparison tools as suggested early on. Your chances of finding cheap (low-interest rates) are increased with such tools.
This facility is so convenient that borrowers secure it using a mobile app. Thankfully, a lot of them offer these credit facilities at reduced costs. This is besides the several loyalty programs that they offer clients. The repayment structure can also be very flexible. All these are reasons you may want to consider them.
Reasons Why SMS Loans Were Discontinued in Norway
SMS loans went from being very popular among Norwegians to becoming obsolete and fading away. The question is what were the things that led to its discontinuance?
The truth is that the predatory practices of creditors forced the hands of the country’s administrators. This is given how many of these creditors took undue advantage of borrowers’ urge for funds. They did this by imposing ridiculously high-interest rates and other loan fees.
Norway still has huge personal debt levels compared to several other parts of Europe. However, it would certainly have been worse if the activities of SMS loan lenders remained unchecked. By and large, they were discontinued in Norway because of the strict regulations introduced to curb the activities of SMS loan lenders.
The major policy change was the insistence on creditors running credit checks on borrowers before lending them money. As a result, SMS loans were discontinued because:
They were No Longer Quick
This is perhaps the most notable change that made this loan make very little sense to borrowers. The quick pace of applying and processing this credit line was one of its major highlights. The effects of the policy changed all this.
Requiring that credit checks be conducted took some time. Additionally, there were regulations forbidding granting loans before a set time. All these made securing this credit line slower and unattractive to borrowers.
Lack of Convenient
For starters, credit checks meant documentation. For example, borrowers were supposed to sign before being granted the credit line. This is for security reasons.
While it is still possible to sign digitally, it is not possible to do this via text alone. This in addition to the fact that securing the credit line became slow made it inconvenient.
Brief Repayment Period
Having a short repayment plan was one of the common features of this line of credit. This is even before the effects of the policy. This still did not change afterward and it made SMS loans less attractive to borrowers.
This is because they had to repay the loan within a very short time frame compared to many other credit lines. Repaying loans within a short time frame is usually difficult for many people. So, many borrowers started considering other lines of credit with more affordable repayment structures.
Unreasonable Interest Rates
Many SMS lenders were very guilty of predatory lending practices. This is especially considering the percentage of effective interest rates that came with these loans. Some creditors charged as high as 300 percent of the loan cost.
To put things in perspective, this means you could pay as much as 6000 Norwegian kroner in interest rate for a loan of 2000 Norwegian krone. This would bring the total repayment to 8000 Norwegian kroner. This is how predatory these lenders could get with borrowers. Initially, many borrowers did not take this too seriously because the lines of credit were usually small amounts.
However, the inconvenience caused by the credit check delays meant that the high-interest rates were not worth it any longer. As a result, many people who would usually consider SMS loans started applying for other traditional lines of credit.
Low Credit Limits
SMS loans typically had predefined limits that were too low for many people. This only made them suitable for small emergency funds. Those who needed to borrow large amounts had to look elsewhere.
Inability to Meet Loan Criteria via Text Messaging
The introduction of credit checks made it impossible to secure loans solely through text messaging. One of the reasons is that prospective borrowers had to provide their signatures. This is not possible through text messaging.
SMS loans are long gone in Norway and there are clear reasons for this. We have discussed some of these reasons in this article. However, there are worthy alternatives as also discussed in this article. You can consider them but should ensure you are not a victim of predatory lending. Using a comparison platform is highly recommended as it can be very helpful.