For those aspiring to work in a Sacco Society, these are the main duties and responsibilities of a loans clerk:
(a) Maintain records of members’ loan applications and approvals.
(b) Scrutinizes loan application forms and agreements to ensure they give accurate information and other particulars.
(c) Guides board of directors meeting and advises them on the loan policy, defaulted loans and recovery methods from the guarantors.
(d) Advices the society on amount of loan to be recovered from each member.
(e) Ensures loan transactions are posted to members’ account and computation of interest earned by each member and society is done as necessary.
(f) Reconciles loans accounts to ensure postings are correctly done.
(g) Attends loans committee meetings.
(h) Ensures adequate supply of stationery.
(i) Ensures sample checking of the correctness of interest calculations on loans and act upon discrepancies discovered.
(j) Follow up list overdue loans and debts and ensure that proper recoveries are made.
(k) Carry out any other duties related to credit administration as instructed by the senior management.
(l) Appraise loans applications before they are forwarded to the General Manager.
(m) Advise the senior manager on defaulting of loans and means of recoveries.
(n) Compute defaulted loans, reveal how much is defaulted and the number of defaulters.
(o) Serve guarantors with letters on defaulted loans.
(p) Maintain records of each members’ loan application and approval, have knowledge of how much is loaned each month and the number of loanees.
(q) Ensure adequate supply of stationery in the department.
(r) Enter necessary data in the loan register
(s) Attend approval of loans by the credit committee.
(t) Ensure that there is proper recovery of loans through updating of statements.
(u) Compute capitalized interest on defaulted loans.
(v) Ensure that refund of loan is properly computed.
(w) Delegates duties and responsibilities in the department
(x) Carry out any other duties related to loans as instructed by the senior manager from time to time.



The issue of members who qualify for loans and not being able to get guarantors within the society membership is emerging as one of the most challenging issue faced by Sacco Societies. It follows that such members are sorryfrustrated and withdraw their membership from the society as they cannot get loans when they apply for them. Membership withdrawal affects society’s cash flow and other operations and consequently profitability.

This problem is now being faced by Saccos with check-off-systems as it was/is mostly reported in Saccos that do not have check-off-system. Saccos with check-off-systems are Saccos that receive the members’ monthly contributions/loan repayments/interest/savings from the employer(s) through a single cheque paid to the Sacco Society’s account. Saccos without check-off-systems, are Saccos that do not have a common bond as a single employer or more than one employer and these Saccos are mainly formed by business people, farmers, matatu operators, church members, women groups and youth groups. They are sometimes referred to as Rural Saccos and those with check-off-systems are called Urban Saccos.

The rural Saccos and some Urban Saccos have circumvented this challenge through the formation of “cells” within the society. These cells are groups of between 10-30 members. The members in a cell guarantee one another and are all responsible for loans advanced by the society to individual members within the cells. This means that, if there are 20 members in a cell, then an individual taking a loan has to be guaranteed by 20 guarantors! It also means that if one or more members in a cell defaults on his/her obligations, then the whole cell is taken to account.

How are these cells formed, managed and grown?

If a society has each cell with minimum of 15 members, the cell is allowed to recruit new members until the cell membership reaches 30 where it is split into two. The split cells now will have 15 members each and allowed to recruit more members and the cycle continues. Cells are formed and given names like Nairobi, Nakuru, Pamoja, Tumaini, etc. Each cell has a cell coordinator and a cell secretary where all issues are discussed, recorded and some solved within the cell and those that need the attention of management committee are presented to them by the various coordinators. All members of the society must belong to a cell for them to qualify for a loan. The normal loan application process applies.

Another important aspect of these cells is that of membership recruitment. All new members of the society, must be endorsed by the cells for them to be accepted by the society. New members are introduced into the cells by a member and supported by two witnesses who attest that they know him/her. The person is interviewed by the cell and if by majority votes they agree, then that member is endorsed. The management committee then will accept the new member after ensuring that he/she meets all other qualifications for membership.

Through meetings of the cells, which can be every month or when need arises, members socialize with one another and therefore it becomes easier to accept guaranteeing new members of the society. This is unlike where cells are not available, where one is not able to attend annual delegates meeting or any other meetings organised by the society. Also societies hold one or two general meetings in a year which is not sufficient for members of the society to socialize and know one another sufficiently so as to act as guarantors.

CELLSOne of the major challenge of cells is that management committee/board of directors and supervisory committee have to belong to the cells and therefore act as guarantors and therefore contradicting the policy that states “No executive officer, management and supervisory committee member shall act as endorser, guarantors for borrowers from the society.” In cells, the management committee/board of directors and supervisory committee are not allowed to be coordinators or secretaries of the cells. They are in the cells as members of the society and not management committee/board of directors or supervisory committee members. It will be difficult for these committee members to be guaranteed within the cell given the cell rules if this policy was to be enforced. It is therefore important that these committees members be allowed to act as endorsers or guarantors only through the cells.

It is high time Saccos must become innovative and introduce cells or come up with other ways of assisting their members access their products. It will be useless for one to belong to a Sacco and not being able to get a loan more that his/her shares and deposits. I am a member of a Sacco and I went through this and I almost immediately withdrew my membership and move to another Sacco within my “area of operation” where I know I could get guarantors easily. It is a world of competition out here, you can no longer sit in your cocoons offer the same services the same way and expect to grow in membership and surplus. IT CAN’T HAPPEN.

Ask yourselves, what happens when I am transferred to another region where I am not known? What happens when I am the only member of the society in a whole sub-county/district? Can society allow me to scan my filled loan application form to members of the society that I know who can act as guarantors and who can send to Sacco the forms on my behalf or send me back for me to forward to the Sacco? These must be answered….probably 🙂

If Saccos are wondering why their membership is not growing, then look no further.




Most of us are aware of the following in our various Sacco Societies concerning loan security:

  1. GuarantorAll loans must be secured by at least three guarantors. All guarantors should be members of the society, must have a good track record of repaying their own loans and not be guarantors of another outstanding loan which is in default.
  2. The total deposits of the guarantors should be equal to or more than the loan applied for.
  3. A borrower or guarantor may apply to the credit committee for a change of guarantors.
  4. The obligation of the guarantors shall cease when the loan granted has been repaid to equal or less than the loanees total deposits.
  5. The obligation of the guarantor may also cease upon alternate guarantors acceptable to the society being substituted.
  6. No executive officer, management and supervisory committee member shall act as endorser, guarantors for borrowers from the society.
  7. The committee may refuse to accept as a guarantor a person who is himself in receipt of a loan, and may decline to grant a loan subsequently to a member while he remains liable as a guarantor.
  8. Other than the usual deposits of a member, certain loan categories or loan amounts shall be secured from pledges in form of articles as share certificates, land title deeds or insurance policy up to their surrender value may be accepted.  The Society must deposit such articles in a bank for safe custody but must be handed back to the members immediately the loan balance equals the deposits.  Confirmation as regards the validity of the articles so pledged from the issuing authority must be obtained before such documents can be admitted as security for the loan.  Mortgage in real estate can be taken as a security for a loan not exceeding two thirds of the mortgage value.
  9. Upon the death of a guarantor, the loanee is required to find a replacement within a period of 30 days.
  10. Loanees who do not contribute their deposits through check-off system shall seek guarantors from members within the check-off system. However, where the loanee fails to get guarantors and the loan applied for is below his or her deposits, the loan shall be granted.
  11. A member’s deposits pledged as security for another member’s loan shall not be surrendered to offset his/her outstanding loan unless the former provides and alternative guarantors.

So what happens when you cannot get guarantors for one reason or another?


Security for Loans

•   Unless the loan applied for is equal or less than a member’s total savings, it must be secured by guarantors.  The total shares and deposits of the borrower and those of the guarantors must be equal to or more than the loan applied for.

Why don't we take this relationship to the next level and you lend me some money? :-)

Why don’t we take this relationship to the next level and you lend me some money? 🙂

•   The society may still require a member to have his loan application secured by guarantors even though what is applied for may be less than or equal to his savings if those savings have been pledged as security for other members loans.

•   No member will be allowed to guarantee more than three loans. All guarantors must be members of the society.

•   Members of the management and supervisory committee shall not guarantee loans among themselves.

•   The obligation of the previous guarantors shall cease upon change of guarantors subject to the new guarantors being accepted by the society.   the obligation of the guarantors shall also cease when loans guaranteed have been reduced to less than the members total savings.

•   The society shall maintain a record of all guarantors in each members file.

Other Security

•   The society officials approving loans may ask for such additional security as it deems
necessary.    Pledges in the form of articles like share certificates, land title deeds, vehicle log books and insurance policy up to surrender value may be accepted as security.

•   Confirmation as regards the validity of the articles so pledged has to be obtained from the issuing authority before such documents can be accepted as security for a loan.

•   All expenses related to valuation and charging of security shall be met by the applicant.

Procedure for Recovery of Defaulted Loans

In case a loan is not repaid for a month, the society shall inform the borrower/loanee     immediately in writing with copy to each of the guarantors. if no repayment is effected
during the second month, the guarantors shall be informed of this fact and notified that
they will be called upon to honour their obligations if no repayments are effected at the end of three months.  However, the society will still maintain efforts to recover the defaulted loan from the loanee.

Withdrawal from Membership

•   Where a member wishes to withdraw from the society’s membership he may be required to give the society at least 60 (sixty) days written notice of his intention to withdraw.

•   No member shall be allowed to withdraw from the society membership unless the member’s loan is repaid in full or the loan balance can be fully offset by the member’s savings. Such member will also have to satisfy that all loans guaranteed have been paid in full or the balance does not exceed the savings of the members whose loans were guaranteed.

•   A member who voluntarily withdraws from the society membership and wishes to rejoin later will be required to pay a rejoining fee of 2,000.00 to the society.


•   the loan policy may be amended by the management committee from time to time, provided that such amendments are communicated to all members before taking effect.

•   Any difficulties encountered in the implementation of this loan policy shall be referred to the management committee for clarification or interpretation.

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