The Kenyan loan app market is both competitive and innovative. You’ll find numerous reliable loans apps to choose from, each with unique features and benefits. The best mobile lending apps provide financial assistance ranging from small emergency loans to larger amounts for more substantial needs.
The loan app craze in Kenya has forced mainstream financial institutions to adapt to the changing times and roll out their own mobile applications. This has further set the ball rolling for mobile loan services, providing Kenyans with much-needed financial assistance at their fingertips.
While there are several homegrown loan apps in Kenya, in 2023, the app craze has also attracted the attention of international mobile loan providers. These providers have recognized the potential of the Kenyan market and have entered the scene offering their own digital lending services.
We can’t finish this list without mentioning a Safaricom innovation called M-Pesa which is the backbone of the instant mobile loans landscape in Kenya.
Table of Contents
List of Best Mobile Loan Apps in Kenya 2023
Tala Loan App
Tala was the first loan app in Kenya to give instant loans. It is a trusted mobile loan app with a simple loan application and approval process. You can receive loans between Ksh 1,000 and Ksh 50,000. Tala offers flexible repayment options, with loan terms ranging from 21 to 30 days and interest rates as low as 15%.
Branch Loan App
Another popular loan app in Kenya to review is Branch especially for those seeking quick loans. Branch provides loans ranging from Ksh 250 to Ksh 70,000. It has a user-friendly interface, making it easy for you to access the financial support you need. The repayment period varies from 14 days to 6 months, the interest rates can be as low as 13%.
Zenka Loan App
As a newcomer in the Kenyan loan market, Zenka has quickly gained popularity with its impressive offerings. With Zenka, you can borrow up to Ksh 30,000. Get your first loan free with the introductory interest rate of 0%, for first-time borrowers. However, the repayment period is short, at just 1 to 12 weeks. After the first free loan, interest rates range between 11 to 13%.
Hustler Fund Loan
Hustler Fund Loan is a financial service specifically designed for Kenyans. It offers a competitive interest rate, convenient loan application process via USSD code *254# and provides a wide range of loans from small to higher limits, based on an individual’s financial profile and creditworthiness.
Okash Loan App
Okash is a user-friendly loan app that allows you to apply for and receive loans from Ksh 500 to Ksh 50,000. The application process is quick and easy. However, the loan term is limited to a range of 91 to 365 days, and the interest rates can be as high as 36%.
Timiza Loan App
Timiza is a loan app from Absa Bank Kenya Plc (formerly Barclays Bank Kenya). It is among the best loan apps in Kenya offering loans, ranging from Ksh 100 to Ksh 150,000. The best thing about Timiza is the flexible repayment options of up to 30 days and interest rates as low as 6.08%, Timiza is a top choice for those looking for convenient short-term financial support.
HF Whizz Loan App
Finally, HF Whizz by Housing Finance Company Ltd (HF) is a reliable option for accessing loans in Kenya. Offering loans between Ksh 1,000 and Ksh 50,000, HF Whizz provides a convenient way to receive instant financial support. The repayment period is 30 days, and the interest rates are competitive, with rates starting from 7.725%.
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Get a Loan – Application Process
Before starting the loan application process, it’s important to be aware of the eligibility requirements for the specific loan app you choose. Typically, loan apps in Kenya have a few common requirements, such as:
- Owning a valid Kenyan ID card
- Having a registered and active M-Pesa account
- Possessing a mobile phone with internet access
In addition to these general requirements, some loan apps might have specific criteria, such as minimum age and residency status. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with these requirements to ensure you qualify for a loan.
Once you’re confident that you meet the eligibility requirements, the next step is to submit your loan application. Here’s a brief outline of the process:
- Download the loan app: Download the app from Google Play Store for Android or App Store for iOS and install it on your phone.
- Create an account: Register for an account using your personal details, such as name, phone number, and email address.
- Provide necessary details: Fill in the required information, which may include your Kenyan ID number, M-Pesa credentials, and details about your employment status or source of income. Provide valid details to ensure you are approved for a loan.
- Submit the application: After providing all the necessary personal details and meeting the eligibility requirements, submit your loan application for review.
The review process typically takes a short while, and you will receive feedback on whether your loan application has been approved or denied. Get the loan through M-Pesa if you qualify for the loan or through other specified means e.g. to your bank.
It’s essential to understand the terms and conditions associated with your loan, such as interest rates, repayment period, and penalties for late payment. Also, ensure that you use the loan for its intended purpose and commit to repaying it on time to maintain a good credit standing and access larger amounts in the future.
Mobile Loans in Kenya – Amount and Interest Rates
Loan Amount Range
In Kenya, there are various loan apps that provide different amounts depending on your needs and eligibility. The amount typically ranges from as low as KES 500 to as high as KES 250,000. It’s important for you to consider the loan limit offered by these apps to find the right one for your requirements. Some popular loan apps in Kenya, 2023 and beyond, are Branch, Tala, and Zenka.
Rates typically range between 9% and 39% annually, depending on the loan app and the terms of the loan. To make the most informed decision, it’s crucial for you to compare the interest rates offered by different loan apps and select the one with the most competitive and affordable rate. Some loan apps in Kenya offer interest rates as low as 1-1.5% per month, making it easier for you to manage your repayments.
When choosing a loan app, pay attention to the flexibility of the repayment terms as well. This will allow you to repay your loan at your own pace, easing the burden of your financial obligations.
Loan Repayment Terms
Regarding mobile loan apps in Kenya, repayment periods vary depending on the platform, but most offer flexibility. For instance, some apps like Tala offer repayment periods ranging from 2 weeks to 6 months. You will find options for short-term and long-term repayment schedules, allowing you to choose the one that suits your financial needs and capabilities.
Popular mobile loan apps in Kenya typically use mobile banking platforms, such as M-PESA, for repayment transactions. Ensure that you have a registered and functional mobile money account to access and repay your loans without any hassle. Take note of the M-PESA charges for transacting through the platform. Banks may also provide their loan apps and allow repayments through their banking channels.
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Just like with any other loan, late repayments may attract fees, which can add up and affect your credit score. It is essential to understand any penalties or charges associated with late payments before committing to a loan. Remember, maintaining a good credit score is vital for accessing larger loans and better terms in the future.
Some loan apps provide the option to extend your loan repayment period if you are facing challenges repaying on time. However, be aware that extending the repayment period might result in additional fees, known as rollover fees. Make sure to check the terms and conditions of your loan app for any charges related to extending the repayment period, and weigh the pros and cons before deciding to do so.
Features & Benefits of Loan Apps in Kenya
One major advantage of Kenya’s loan apps is the ability to access instant loans with minimal or no paperwork. Unlike traditional financial institutions, these apps do not involve lengthy processes, and you can secure the funds you need in a short time.
Another key benefit of loan apps in Kenya is that they do not typically require collateral. This means you can access credit without having to put up any assets as security. As a borrower, you will find this feature quite convenient, especially if you do not own any property to use as collateral.
Compatibility With Mobile Money
Loan apps in Kenya are designed to work seamlessly with mobile money platforms like M-PESA. With a valid Kenyan ID and an M-PESA account, you can easily access loans from these apps. This compatibility not only simplifies the loan application process but also facilitates faster loan disbursements and repayments. The connection to mobile money platforms is a significant advantage for borrowers in Kenya, as it enables them to manage their loans conveniently from their mobile devices.
Loan lenders with Instant Loans in Kenya
Tala is a popular loan lender in Kenya that offers instant loans through their mobile app. They provide loans ranging from Ksh 500 to Ksh 50,000 with repayment periods of up to 120 days.
Branch is another well-known instant loan apps in Kenya. They offer loans ranging from Ksh 250 to Ksh 70,000 with repayment periods of up to 12 months.
Safaricom in partnership with Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), have a solution for mobile loans dubbed Mshwari. Safaricom subscribers can get instant loans from as low as Ksh 100 to a maximum of Ksh 200,000. The loan is disbursed to your M-Pesa account.
4. KCB M-Pesa
KCB M-Pesa is a loan product offered by Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) in partnership with Safaricom. Get an instant loan to your M-Pesa ranging from Ksh 50 to Ksh 1 million. The loan can be accessed by dialing *844#.
Zenka is a loan lender in Kenya that offers instant loans through their mobile app. They provide loans ranging from Ksh 500 to Ksh 30,000 with repayment periods of up to 61 days.
Okash is an instant loan provider in Kenya that offers loans ranging from Ksh 2,500 to Ksh 50,000 through their mobile app. They have flexible repayment options with loan durations between 91 and 365 days.
Berry is a loan lender in Kenya that provides instant loans through their mobile app. They offer loans ranging from Ksh 250 to Ksh 50,000 with repayment periods of up to 180 days.
Stawika is a loan lender in Kenya that offers instant loans through their mobile app. They provide loans ranging from Ksh 500 to Ksh 30,000 with repayment periods of up to 30 days.
iPesa is an instant loan provider in Kenya that offers loans ranging from Ksh 500 to Ksh 50,000 through their mobile app. They have competitive interest rates and flexible repayment periods.
Haraka is a loan lender in Kenya that provides instant loans through their mobile app. They offer loans ranging from Ksh 1,000 to Ksh 5,000 with repayment periods of up to 30 days.
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Best Loan apps in Kenya without CRB
Impact on Credit Rating
Your credit rating is important when accessing loans from mobile lending apps in Kenya. A good credit rating increases your chance of qualifying for higher loans and better terms. When using loan apps in Kenya, ensure that you make timely repayments, as any late or missed payments may negatively impact your credit rating.
Maintaining a good credit score is essential, as being listed on the Credit Reference Bureaus (CRBs) in Kenya can make it challenging to access soft loans, especially from loan apps operating in the country. The three main CRBs in Kenya are TransUnion, Metropol Corporation, and CreditInfo.
When you use loan apps in Kenya, they submit your repayment information to CRBs, which helps in determining your credit score. If you default on repaying your loan, the lender may report you to a CRB, and your name will be listed as a defaulter. This may lead to difficulties in accessing loans from both traditional and digital lenders.
To avoid being listed on CRBs, ensure that you manage your loan apps responsibly by only borrowing what you can repay and making your repayments on time. It is crucial to be mindful of your credit rating and CRB status, as it affects your ability to access loans in the future.
Regulations and Security
Central Bank of Kenya Regulations
In recent years, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has implemented new regulations to better govern loan apps and digital lenders operating within the country. In 2021, the former Kenyan President signed the CBK Amendment Act, which introduced more stringent regulations for loan apps. As part of these new regulations, digital lenders must now disclose the total charges for their loans, including interest rates, late payment fees, and rollover fees, before disbursing credit to consumers. This requirement aims to protect borrowers from hidden charges and unexpected costs.
To operate legally, loan apps and digital lenders must obtain a license from the CBK. As part of the new regulatory environment, Google has also announced a ban on unlicensed loan apps in Kenya, helping to enforce the CBK’s guidelines.
Data privacy is a critical aspect of the CBK’s regulations, as many loan apps require access to users’ personal information. To protect your privacy, loan apps and digital lenders must comply with strict rules that prevent them from using debt-shaming tactics or making threats, which often involves disclosing borrowers’ personal information.
Other Popular Loan Apps in Kenya
KCB M-Pesa is a mobile lending app provided by Safaricom and KCB Bank. With this app, get loans of up to Ksh 1 million, depending on your credit score repayable in 1 – 12 months.
Mshwari is another mobile lending service provided by Safaricom in partnership with the Commercial Bank of Africa. Mshwari offers short-term loans ranging from Ksh 100 to Ksh 50,000. The repayment period is 30 days, with a one-time facility fee of 7.5%. To qualify for Mshwari loans, you must be an active M-Pesa user for more than six months.
MCo-op Cash, one of the best loan apps, is offered by the Cooperative Bank of Kenya. MCo-op Cash enables users to apply for loans directly from their mobile devices, eliminating the need for long queues and extensive paperwork.
Saida is an innovative loan app that analyzes your M-Pesa transaction history and offers customized loans based on your financial behavior. The loan amounts vary from Ksh 600 to Ksh 25,000, with a repayment period of 30 days. Loan limits depends on positive credit scores and a history of timely repayments.
Eazzy Loans is a service offered through the Eazzy app by Equity Bank. The app provides loans ranging from Ksh 100 to Ksh 3 million, depending on your credit rating. You can repay the loan within a flexible period of one to twelve months. To access Eazzy loans, you need to be an Equity Bank customer and have an active Eazzy app account.
Zidisha is a peer-to-peer lending platform connecting borrowers in Kenya with lenders worldwide. With Zidisha, you can access loans for personal or business use, with flexible repayment terms. Unlike other loan apps, Zidisha allows you to negotiate the interest rate with lenders directly. As you repay your loans on time, your credit limit increases, and you can access larger loans.
User Experience and Reviews
In the realm of loan apps in Kenya, user experience and reviews play a crucial role in determining the popularity and reliability of a particular app. To gauge the user experiences, it’s essential to look at the reviews and ratings on platforms such as Google Play and the App Store.
From these platforms, you can easily browse through customer reviews, observe the overall rating, and get a sense of the app’s performance. In general, loan apps in Kenya have garnered both positive and negative feedback from users. High-rated apps often have a user-friendly interface, quick approval time, and transparent fees.
However, it’s essential to be aware of the potential drawbacks as well. Some users have reported lengthy loan disbursement times, hidden fees, or the inconvenience of frequent app updates which might disrupt the borrowing experience.
To navigate through these mixed reviews and experiences, it’s crucial for you to do thorough research and make an informed decision. Compare various loan apps and carefully consider what they offer in terms of loan limits, interest rates, and repayment terms. Always keep an eye out for any red flags in the reviews or overall app performance.
Digital loan apps in Kenya have become a popular choice for quick and easy access to personal loans. However, as with any financial decision, it’s essential that you weigh the pros and cons before engaging with a loan app. While these platforms provide convenience and a response to the urgent need for funds, they can also come with drawbacks. For instance, some rogue loan apps might resort to intimidating tactics if a borrower defaults, as mentioned in The Guardian. To avoid such issues, ensure that you choose reputable platforms.
Further, loans from these apps can be a great source of money when you genuinely need it, but always remember to evaluate your ability to repay the loan. Be aware of the benefits and risks and make sure you understand how your loan will impact your credit rating. By being knowledgeable and cautious, you can make informed decisions and navigate the digital lending landscape in Kenya with confidence.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I obtain an immediate online loan?
To obtain an immediate online loan in Kenya, you need a smartphone with internet access. Many loan apps provide loans within a few minutes after you complete their application process. Some examples of these apps are Branch and Tala. Make sure to check the terms and conditions before applying for a loan to ensure you understand the repayment schedule and interest rates.
Where can I access urgent financial assistance?
Urgent financial assistance can be accessed through various loan apps in Kenya or from banks that have mobile lending platforms. Some popular options include KCB M-Pesa, MCo-op Cash, and Timiza. Remember to compare offers and choose the one that best suits your needs and financial situation.
What are the legitimate loan apps available in Kenya?
Many legitimate loan apps are available in Kenya. To ensure you are using a reliable and trustworthy app, look for apps that have favorable reviews and high ratings in the Google Play store and Apple App Store.
How do I secure a mobile loan in Kenya?
Securing a mobile loan in Kenya requires you to fulfill certain requirements, such as having a valid Kenyan ID, an M-PESA account, and a consistent source of income. Most loan apps will also need you to provide your phone number and allow access to your phone’s data to evaluate your creditworthiness. Once you complete the application process, your loan will be disbursed to your mobile money account.
Which loan apps are approved by Central Bank of Kenya?
While the Central Bank of Kenya does not specifically approve loan apps, it regulates and supervises the financial institutions behind these apps. Ensure that the loan app you choose is associated with a registered bank or financial institution. Some examples include KCB M-Pesa, Timiza, and MCo-op Cash.
Are there any options for individuals who are blacklisted?
Getting a loan while blacklisted may be challenging, but some loan apps in Kenya cater to individuals with poor credit history. These apps might offer smaller loan amounts and higher interest rates, but they provide an opportunity for you to meet your financial needs and gradually improve your credit history. Be cautious when applying for loans from these apps, and make sure to read the terms and conditions carefully.