As an individual or business owner, you may encounter situations where you require swift financial assistance to address unexpected and urgent personal or business needs. Obtaining such assistance through traditional financial systems can be arduous. Often, loan approvals may take up to a week, burdened by suffocating bureaucracy, leading to significant delays between application and receipt.
Consequently, meeting your immediate financial requirements becomes a daunting task. If you find yourself in such a predicament, exploring alternative solutions that can provide faster access to funds is vital, allowing you to tackle your pressing financial demands promptly.
By opting for more agile and efficient financial options, you can overcome these challenges and secure the necessary support when you need it the most. So, what alternative do you have? Mobile Phone Loan Apps.
Simply put, a loan app as a mobile phone application you can download, sign up for, and get loans on your phone. According to the Central Bank of Kenya In Kenya, there are 22 digital credit service providers that you can access to obtain credit quickly and conveniently.
In this article, we will dig into a few of the top loan apps in Kenya, unpacking all the necessary information you need. You will learn about their unique features, eligibility requirements, interest rates, repayment options, customer reviews, and more.
If you want a quick mobile loan, hang on as we empower you to decide on the loan app to go for based on your needs and requirements. Let’s get started.
Understanding Mobile Phone Loan Apps in Kenya
A loan app is an application on your phone that you can use to borrow loans. Most of them are easy to use and simple to navigate.
Types of Mobile Phone Loans
Many mobile loans are available in Kenya and can be categorized based on who provides them.
1. Mobile Loans Provided by Safaricom
Safaricom is one of the largest telecommunications companies in Kenya. Despite being a communications service provider, it has diversified its services and offers mobile loan Facilities.
The company offers loans through:
- KCB M-pesa
2. Mobile Loans Provided by Banks
To eliminate the suffocating bureaucracy in requesting loans, banks in Kenya have developed apps to ease credit access. Some such banks include:
Loan Facility Provided
NCBA Loop Loans
Pesa Pap Loans
MCo-op Cash Loans
3. Downloadable Mobile Loan Apps
Any bank or Safaricom does not own several loan apps but still provides stellar credit facilities to its customers. These can be downloaded from the google play store or app store. Some of such include
- Tala loan app
- Zenka loan app
- Branch loan app
Popular Loan Apps In Kenya And Their Features
Here is a list of mobile loan apps you can use to get quick and convenient loans.
1. Hustler Fund Loans
This is one of Kenya’s most recent phone loan app services. Launched on 30th November 2022, you can get credit facilities for personal finance, start-up micro-businesses, and SMEs. It is a Kenyan Government backed initiative that aims at providing quick loans to Kenyans.
For individuals, you can get credit facilities from Ksh. 500 up to Ksh. 50,000. Start-ups and SMEs also have access to loans of up to Ksh. 50,000. Registered groups can access up to Ksh. 10 million from the loan app.
The amount you will be eligible for initially may not be much, but your suitable amount will increase with continuous, timely repayments.
Getting a loan from the Hustler Fund doesn’t need you to meet many requirements. Most of them are easy to meet. For example, you should be a Kenyan Citizen living in Kenya, above 18, and possess a registered phone number under your name.
You won’t need to worry about being on the CRB watchlist; you can still get a loan there.
Upon a successful application, you’ll receive the money, less 5%. This deduction is allocated to savings.
Hustler Fund Loan app charges an 8% annual interest rate on loans with a 14 days repayment period. However, past the 14-day, the interest rate rises to 9.5%, and the repayment period extends up to 30 days.
2. Tala Loan App
Launched in 2014, the Tala loan app has extended over $3.4 billion to its customers to start businesses, pay fees and bills and build better financial lives. It is CBK regulated, so you are protected as a borrower.
You can access up to Ksh. 50,000 in loans at a daily interest rate of 0.3% per day. Tala also charges a one-time fee per loan of 15% which reduces to as low as 5% as you build your credit history with the app.
The repayment period for the Tala loan app is 61 days. You can repay in whole or in instalments as long as you’ll have made full repayment by your chosen due date.
If you are listed in the CRB, worry not. You are still eligible for a loan from the Tala loan app. What matters is your repayment behaviour once you take your first loan.
According to the google play store, the Tala loan app has a 4.5-star rating, showing that most customers are satisfied with the service they get from the app.
3. Branch Loan App
This is one of the most trusted and go-to loan apps. According to the google play store, it has a stellar 4.6-star rating.
Here you can get loans from Ksh. 500 up to Ksh. 300,000 with a monthly interest rate of between 1.7% – 17.6%. The loan term for Branch loans is between 9 weeks – 52 weeks.
Branch loan charges zero late/rollover fees. If you need to get a loan from the Branch loan app, you need not worry about being listed in the CRB since the app uses different methods for credit scoring.
4. Zenka Loan App
Want your first loan free? Zenka loan app, one of the most flexible loan apps in the Kenyan market, extends your first loan at a zero interest rate.
Subsequent loans attract an interest rate of 9-39% for a 61 days loan term. The app charges a one-time processing fee for the loan between Ksh. 45 – 5,800.
Zenka has no minimum repayment period, so you can repay your loan at any time after your loan has been disbursed.
According to the Google play store, Zenka has a rating of 4.1%, and from customer reviews, previous customers marvel at the goodness of the app.
5. Timiza Loan App
Timiza app is a product of ABSA Bank, so its customers can access it. You can still access it even though you are not ABSA’s customer, so long as you meet the eligibility criteria.
From the app, you can borrow a minimum of Ksh. 1,000 and a maximum of Ksh. 150,000. This makes it one of the loan apps in Kenya with the highest loan limits.
Timoza loans attract an interest rate of 1.29%—additionally, a 5% processing fee and a 20% excise duty on the processing fee. The Timiza loan repayment period for the loans is 30 days.
6. KCB Mpesa
This is a mobile loan facility due to a collaboration between Safaricom and KCB Bank. It comes integrated into your Mpesa menu, so you only need to use your Mpesa app.
The minimum amount you can get from KCB Mpesa is Ksh. 50, while the maximum amount is Ksh. One million making it one of the highest-limit mobile loan service providers.
With KCB Mpesa, you enjoy repayment periods of up to 30 days. The interest rate on the loans is 8.85%.
This mobile loan facility also comes integrated with the Mpesa app. You only need to register for Mshwari to get the loans.
The minimum amount you can get a loan is Ksh. 100, and the maximum is Ksh. 50,000. The loan will be deposited into your Mpesa account upon successful application and approval.
Mshwari loans are extended at a one-time interest rate of 7.5% and an additional 1.5% excise duty on amounts borrowed. The loan term is 30 days.
Additionally, you can save your money with a Mshwari account. The savings attract an annual interest rate of 6.5%.
8. Fuliza Mpesa
Fuliza is another mobile loan facility integrated into your Mpesa application. It is designed to assist you complete transactions whenever you don’t have enough money in your Mpesa account. You can use it to top up funds for sending money or buying goods.
There is no minimum amount you can access from Fuliza, but the maximum amount you can access is Ksh. 70,000.
A 1% access fee is charged on all amounts borrowed plus an interest rate between Ksh. 0-25 per day.
9. MCo-op Cash Loans
This loan app is a product of the Cooperative Bank of Kenya. In addition to extending credit facilities to the bank’s customers, it allows them to access other banking services, such as cash transfers.
The minimum loan amount you can get from the app is Ksh.1,000, while the maximum amount you can apply for is Ksh.500,000. The loan is extended to you at an interest of 1.083% and 3% appraisal fees.
Mco-op Cash loan allows you to choose your repayment period. You can choose to repay in 1, 2, or 3 months. The total loan cost will vary depending on the repayment period you choose.
10. Okash Loan App
This is another popular loan app in Kenya. It was developed to tap into the growing money lending market in Kenya.
With Okash, you can borrow between Ksh. 1,500 up to Ksh. 50,000. You can increase this to Ksh. 500,000 as your credit score improves.
Okash charges a 14% interest rate on 14 days loans and 16.8% for 21 days loans. These interest rates are charged at the application, so you get the loan amount less the interest rate. Late repayments attract a daily 2% fee.
HF Whizz provides more services apart from lending services. You can pay for goods, transfer money, and savings.
The maximum loan amount on the Whizz app is Ksh.50,000. The interest rate is 7.7% with a 30 days repayment period. You can repay the loan via the Whizz loan app or the Whizz Paybill number.
12. Opesa Loans
This is one of the older loan apps popular among Kenyans. The minimum amount you can get from the App is Ksh.1,500, while the maximum amount you can get is Ksh.50,000.
The app’s interest rate is 16.8%, with a repayment period of 65 – 91 days.
13. iPesa Loan App
This app charges extends credit worth between Ksh.500 and Ksh.50,000, deposited to your Mpesa upon the successful application process. The amount you can apply for depends on your transaction history and repayment records.
iPesa charges 18-36% interest on the loans. Your first loan from the app has a repayment period of 15 days, but for subsequent loans, the repayment period is 91 days.
14. Eazzy Loans
This loan is a product of Equity Bank. It offers mobile loan facilities to its customers quickly. Once you apply for a loan here and it is approved, the funds are deposited into your Equity Bank account.
The maximum amount of loan you can get from the Eazzy loans is Ksh.3,000,000 and an effective interest rate of 18%.
The Eazzy loans allow you a flexible repayment period of up to 24 months.
How To Choose the Right Loan App
Mobile loan apps vary, so the service you get from one may not be the same as the service you get from another. However, the baseline is they all extend quick credit facilities. Some factors you need to consider include:
Interest Rates and Fees
Generally, all loan apps in Kenya charge higher interest rates and fees. This is because of the increased risk associated with issuing collateral-free loans.
Nonetheless, some apps charge higher interest and fees, so if you want to spend little on interest rates and fees, scout for loan apps with lower interest rates and fees.
Loan Term And Repayment Options
Before accepting the loan’s terms, ensure you have read them and understood everything. Some loan apps may have unfavourable terms of loans that may not sit well with you. Be sure to read between the lines.
Additionally, the loan apps have different repayment options. Some are more flexible and easy to use than others, so ensure you know the repayment options the loan app provides before settling on it.
Reputation And Customer Reviews
A loan app’s reputation is another crucial factor to consider. You do not want to end up with a loan from an app that will charge you exorbitant hidden fees or bully you around because they lent you some cash.
One way you can know about a loan app’s reputation is by going through the customer reviews section in the google play store or apple store. This will give you a feel of what the previous customers say about the app.
App’s User-friendliness And Customer Support
Because different people develop these loan apps, some will be more difficult to navigate than others. It is imperative to have an app that is easy to use so that you know exactly how to navigate it whenever you want to borrow some cash or repay your loan.
Additionally, loan apps that have quick customer support are better. In case you have any concerns, they will be addressed fast.
Advantages of Using Loan Apps
Some of the benefits of using a loan include:
Unlike traditional financial systems, getting a credit facility from loan apps requires essential documentation. These include proof of identity and address.
At any time you need the credit service, you can access it. So long as you have your mobile phone and you have the loan app in it, you can get the loan.
Mobile loan apps extend credit facilities very fast. Some loan apps even approve your loans within less than a minute if you meet all your eligibility criteria.
To get a loan from the loan apps, you don’t have to specify the reason for your borrowing. You can borrow a loan from the apps to carter for any purpose, including medical expenses, bills, capital, etc.
Final Thoughts on Loan Apps In Kenya
There are numerous loan apps in Kenya from which you can borrow quick loans even as a first-timer. They help meet immediate financial needs that would otherwise be unable to wait for loans from the traditional financial system.
The loan app can be categorized into three clusters:
- Those provided by Safaricom
- Those provided by banks
- Downloadable loan apps
Whichever cluster a loan app belongs to, you can be sure to get quick financial service. However, it is essential to consider what each loan app offers before settling on one to ensure your financial need will be met in the long run.
So as you scout for a suitable loan app, check out this article to get more insight into several loan apps.