If you have run out of data on your phone and do not have airtime to purchase a new bundle, you can borrow data from your mobile network. MTN, 9mobile, and  Airtel offer data loan services to customers who have been active on their networks for at least 3 months. For Glo, the active period required is 4 months. In addition to that requirement, such customers should have an average monthly recharge of ₦200. If you have the requirements aforementioned, you will only be able to loan data from the network.

How much can you borrow? 

The amount of data you can loan depends on how much your monthly is and your credit history with the mobile network. This means that the more you recharge and the more you use the loan service, the more data you can borrow. 

The least amount you can borrow from either MTN, Airtel, Glo or 9mobile is 25MB. Other loan options include 50MB, 100MB, 500MB, 1.5GB, 2 GB, and more. 

How long will the data loan last? 

The data loan comes with expiry dates. The expiry dates for loans are always shown alongside loan options. Some loans are valid for only a day, some for 2 days, 3 days, 5 days, or 30 days.

If you do not exhaust the loan before the expiry date it will no longer be available for use but you will still have to pay back your network provider the full value of the loan.

How to pay for the data you borrowed

The data loans have respective airtime values. When you want to pay your network provider for the loan, it is this airtime value that will be deducted from your airtime balance.  The repayment of loans is always automatic. Your network provider will deduct the airtime value of your data loan upon your next recharge. If your next recharge is not equivalent to the amount you owe, the entire top-up will be credited to your network provider and the remaining balance will be automatically deducted upon your next recharge.

Transaction fee

Your mobile network provider is not offering you these loans for free. Each loan is issued with a service fee. In Nigeria, the service fee for the networks is the same—15% of the airtime value of the data bundle

This means that, when it is time to pay back, your network provider will deduct the airtime value of the data and 15% service charge.

How To borrow data 

You can loan data from your mobile network by using a USSD code. The steps for borrowing data are similar across all mobile networks. However, Each mobile network has its USSD code dedicated to taking airtime or data loans.

How to borrow data from 9mobile

If you use a 9mobile sim, you can borrow airtime by following these steps:

  1. Dial *665#.
  2. Select “Borrow Data”. The network will display on your device screen the bundle that you are qualified to borrow.
  3. Choose the data loan of your choice.
  4. Follow the prompts to confirm your loan.

How to borrow data from MTN

  1. Dial *606# and select XtraByte.
  2. You can then select your preferred data plan from the list of available data loans.
  3. Choose your preferred data plan and confirm the transaction.

How to borrow data from Airtel

  1. Dial *500#.
  2. Select the option to borrow data.
  3. A list of data bundles you qualify for will pop up. Select the bundle of your choice.
  4. Confirm the transaction.

How to borrow data from Glo

  1. Dial *321#.
  2. A prompt will ask you to choose to borrow airtime or borrow data. Select the borrow data option.
  3. A list of data bundles you qualify for will pop up. Select the bundle that works for you.
  4. Follow the prompts to confirm the transaction.

Get the best African tech newsletters in your inbox