Have you been looking for a loan in Kenya? Well, read through this list of the best local apps. I’ve tested them all and have firsthand experience with their quality, so today, we will be taking an honest look at what’s available on mobile money lending in Kenya.
In a report by the Communications Authority of Kenya, Kenya’s number of active mobile subscriptions in 2021 was over 59 million.
With a total population of 51.39 million, more Kenyans own mobile phones than any other gadget (Computer, TV, radio, etc.).
More Kenyans are likely to subscribe to mobile loan apps because of the ease of access to these services compared to traditional lenders, like banks and MFIs.
What is a mobile loan?
Short answer: A loan you get on your mobile phone. For example, when you use your phone to borrow from a lender to sort out your financial situation, you have taken a mobile loan.
The most common mobile loans in Kenya are from loan apps, but recently, some lenders offered loans through USSD, which is part of the mobile loan providers.
So, which mobile loan apps are genuine in Kenya?
Types of Loans Apps in Kenya
Here is a list of the best loan apps in Kenya under different categories:
1. Mobile Loans offered by Safaricom
They offer these loans directly on Safaricom, and you don’t need another app to access them. They include:
- KCB M-Pesa
2. Mobile Loans offered by Banks
Banks have used mobile lending and developed products offering loans to the public or their customers. These are the safest loans and have low interest since these providers are regulated.
The mobile loans offered by banks in Kenya include:
- Timiza – By ABSA Bank
- NCBA Loop–You must save and use the app for some time to qualify for a loan.
- HF Whizz–You will have to use it for some time and undergo the KYC process to qualify.
- Eazzy App by Equity
- KCB Vooma Loan–If you are a customer of KCB Bank, you are eligible.
- PesaPap Wallet Loan by Family bank
- MCo-Op Cash by Co-op Bank
3. Loan apps downloaded on Google Play
Here are the traditional mobile loan apps found on Google Play. I will only list genuine loan apps in Kenya. Although, some have questionable practices even though they give out loans. They will invade your privacy and call your contact list if you default.
We had a list of the top 20 loan apps in Kenya. However, we have since revised the article and only have the top loan apps in Kenya. Most mobile loan app lenders had closed and removed their apps from Google.
Back then, when you needed a quick cash loan, there were limited options, from going to banks (which is not fast) to turning to family and friends for help.
Luckily, you can do almost anything on your smartphone these days, including accessing a fast loan. There are many best instant loan apps in Kenya where it will take you less than 5 minutes to get a loan to your M-Pesa.
Best Loan Apps in Kenya
The first loan app in Kenya to review is Branch Loan. It is a popular app introduced to Kenyans in 2015 by Branch International. After Tala, the branch loan app is Kenya’s second oldest online mobile lending platform.
The Branch loan app is available in Kenya and can also be found in Tanzania and Nigeria. The mobile lending app gives its users loans up to KES 70,000. To get started on Branch App, you download it from Google Play, use Facebook to sign up, and log in, and automatically you will know if you qualify for a loan. If they approve you for a loan, you will receive it through M-Pesa.
2. Tala Loan: Best Loan App in Kenya
I initially knew it as Mkopo Rahisi and rebranded to Tala. Tala Loan App is among Kenya’s best and oldest mobile loan applications. Over the years it has existed in Kenya, Tala has grown to be the most trusted mobile loan provider and one of Kenya’s best instant loan apps.
They offer loans up to 30,000 and disburse the loan through M-Pesa. They pride themselves on giving loans in less than 5 minutes, and you will build your credit up to the maximum amount by repaying your loans in time.
Tala App has over 5 Million downloads on the Google store and is one of Kenya’s most popular money-lending apps. To get a loan from Tala, you must download it to your smartphone and create an account. If they do not list you on CRB, you will get your first loan to choose the payment terms.
3. Timiza Loan
Timiza is an online Mobile money app by Absa group, formerly known as Barclays Bank Kenya, one of the local banks in Kenya. As mentioned earlier, the lending app craze in Kenya has forced mainstream financial players to innovate. Unlike other apps from banks, the best thing about Timiza is that they do not limit it to the bank’s customers alone but are instead available to all Kenyans.
Apart from offering loans, the Timiza app also serves as a bank account to manage their account.
How to access a mobile loan from Timiza App:
- Download and Install the Timiza app from the Google Play store
- Fill in your registered M-Pesa number.
- Activate your application by using the pin shared with you
- You can then apply for a loan from Timiza
Timiza loans have a repayment period of 30 days, and one can borrow up to KES 150,000.
4. MCo-op cash
This loan app enables the cooperative bank of Kenya customers to access bank services, including emergency loans. It gives customers account balances and transfers cash from their MCo-op Cash to Mpesa, Airtel.
It also allows bank customers to purchase airtime from the MCo-op cash account, among other services. With MCOOP Cash App, you can apply for up to 200,000 shillings, 1.5 times your net salary.
5. KCB M-Pesa
I believe Safaricom set the ball rolling for mobile lenders, and KCB, in partnership with M-Pesa, came up with a solution. If you are a registered M-Pesa user, you can access KCB M-Pesa. Since it is already on your mobile phone, you do not have to go through the pain of downloading and installing the application.
One only needs to click on the KCB Mpesa tab under loans and savings and select a loan. That’s it. They require no registration or further details from you.
Once the amount you have requested is within your loan limit, they will send the loan amount to your Mpesa. KCB M-Pesa, therefore, ranks on the list of the best online M-Pesa loans in Kenya today.
I could not finish this list without mentioning a Safaricom product. All the other apps work best with M-Pesa. So, just like KCB, M-Pesa Safaricom, in partnership with NCBA Bank, has a solution for mobile loans dubbed Mshwari. It operates on the principle of saving for accessing a loan. Depending on how you keep on Mshwari and repay your past loans, they can increase your limit.
To qualify for a Mshwari loan, you must be an M-PESA subscriber for six months, save on M-Shwari and actively use other Safaricom services such as voice, data, and M-PESA.
HF Whizz is more than a lending app; it offers so much more where you can do most of your digital transactions. These include: paying for goods directly from your HF account, money transfer, saving on the app, buying airtime, and applying for a loan. Here is how to get an HF Whizz Loan.
8. Okash Loan
Opera Software develops Okash to tap into the growing money lending business. The application started with a target of providing loans to at least 100,000 Kenyans for a start. The Okash loan app is one of Kenya’s most popular lending apps.
9. Zenka Loan
Zenka is one of the best, and the best thing is that you get your first loan free. When you apply for 2000, you pay back 2000. Zenka loans start at Ksh 500 and can go up to 20,000. After the first free loan, the Zenka loan will charge an 11% interest fee if you repay your loan on time.
Based on the reviews shared by most of its users, the Zenka mobile loan app has zero hidden costs to its customers.
All the costs you might need to incur while accessing the loan are known to you during your application. As a result, they make your loan cost as affordable as possible.
To access the online M-Pesa loan from Zenka App:
- Download the Zenka app from the google play store or the Zenka Website
- Register your account and fill in the application form with the amounts you need to borrow.
- Once you have submitted your application, they will review it, and once approved. They will send the money to your M-Pesa.
- You can withdraw the money from an M-Pesa agent near you.
- Repay your loan on time to increase your loan limit.
Summary of Mobile Loan Apps in Kenya
|Name||Minimum Amount (KES)||Maximum Amount (KES)||Repayment Period|
|KCB M-Pesa||1000||1,000,000||30 Days|
|LOOP||50,000||3,000,000||6 to 36 Months|
|HF Whizz Loan||1,000||50,000||30 Days|
|Eazzy Loan||1,000||3,000,000||From 1 to 36 Months|
|KCB Vooma Loan||1,001||300,000||30 Days|
|Mco-op Cash Loan||1,000||500,000||1 to 3 Months|
|PesaPap Wallet Loan||1,000||50,000||30 Days|
|Branch loan||1,000||70,000||30 Days|
|Tala loan||1,000||30,000||30 Days|
|Okash Loan||500||50,000||15 and 21 Days|
|Zenka loan||500||30,000||61 Days|
Loan apps in Kenya have seen a surge in popularity in recent years. While there are some concerns about the high-interest rates some lenders charge, these apps can be a helpful way to access credit for Kenyans who may not qualify for traditional bank loans.
In addition, mobile loan apps have helped increase financial inclusion by providing access to credit for small businesses and individuals who would otherwise have found it challenging to get loans.
As loan apps continue to grow in popularity, it will be essential to monitor the industry closely to ensure that borrowers are treated fairly and that loan terms are transparent.
I hope you learned one or two things regarding mobile loan apps in Kenya and you can make informed financial decisions. From the article, now you know which app gives you a loan immediately in Kenya, and the app offers instant loans.