Are you looking for a loan in Kenya? Well, read through this list of best loan apps in Kenya. We are living in exciting times where you can get everything from the palms of your hands, including obtaining credit. This article will review the popular money lending apps available today.
In a report by the Communications Authority of Kenya, the number of active mobile subscriptions in Kenya was 46.6 million. This was 3 years ago. With a total population of 51.39 million, more Kenyans own mobile phones than any other gadget (Computer, TV, Radio, etc.)
That is why more Kenyans are likely to subscribe to mobile loans because of the ease of access to these services compared to traditional lenders like banks and MFIs.
From this part, I will be answering some of the common questions asked regarding mobile loans in Kenya.
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.
In Kenya, the most common mobile loans are from loan apps, but recently some lenders are offering loans through USSD, and they are part of the mobile loan providers.
How can I get a loan for my phone?
To get a loan from your phone, you need a smartphone and internet access most of the time. I know most mobile loan lenders prefer you have a Safaricom line with M-Pesa enabled. Then you need to have a good credit score for you to qualify. As I have mentioned, others offer loans through USSD, so in this case, you don’t need to have a smartphone or internet access.
Which is the best mobile loan app?
It depends since different users have different experiences. To answer this question, I will have to differentiate the types of lenders that lend through mobile. These are regulated lenders and unregulated lenders. When I say held, I mean those lenders that the CBK regulates, and most of them are banks.
The best mobile loan app in the list of regulated loan apps is Timiza because you don’t have to be a customer of Absa bank to get a loan from this app. Their interest rates are reasonable too.
In this list, I can add Fuliza by Safaricom, Mshwari, and KCB Mpesa, which are readily available if you have a Safaricom line with M-Pesa enabled.
Unregulated lenders are the ones who introduced mobile lending to Kenya, and in this list, I can single out the best based on my experience. These are the Tala loan app and Branch Loan App.
The rest are good but not best for user experience and interest rates charged on their loans.
Where can I get a mobile loan in Kenya?
I think by now I have answered your question from the previous question above. The most comfortable place to get a quick loan in Kenya is right there on your phone. You can start with Fuliza, a service that allows you to complete your M-PESA transactions if you have insufficient funds in your M-PESA account.
Then check Mshwari, and if you need more, go to KCB Mpesa. But note, you must have saved a certain amount to qualify for a loan from KCB Mpesa.
You can try the unregulated mobile lenders if you want, but it better start with Branch or Tala. (Don’t rely on these apps too much).
Now that I have answered the most popular questions let us go through the list of mobile loans in Kenya, as I had promised at the beginning of this article.
List of Mobile Loans Apps in Kenya
Here is a list of mobile loan apps in Kenya under different categories:
1. Loans offered by Safaricom
These loans are offered 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 taken up the mobile lending space and have developed products that offer loans to either the public or their customers. In my opinion, 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 have to save and use the app for some time for you 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 Mobi Loan – If you are a customer of KCB Bank, you are eligible.
- Pesapap 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 the ones that I know are genuine and offer loans. Although, some have questionable practices even though they give out loans. They will invade your privacy and call your contact list if you default.
Here are some of them:
We had a list of the top 20 loan apps in Kenya. However, we have since revised the article and only have the top 10 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 quick) to turning to family and friends for help.
Lucky are we that these days you can do almost anything on your smartphone, 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 in 2021
1. Branch Loan App
The first loan app in Kenya to review is Branch Loan. It is a popular app that was introduced to Kenyans in 2015 by Branch International. The branch loan app is the second oldest online lending mobile platform in Kenya after Tala.
The Branch loan app is not only available in Kenya but can 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 signup, and log in, and automatically you will know if you qualify for a loan or not. If you are approved for a loan, you will receive it through M-Pesa.
2. Tala: Best Loan App in Kenya
Tala was initially known as Mkopo Rahisi and rebranded to Tala. Tala Loan app is among the best and oldest mobile loan applications in Kenya. Over the number of years it has existed in Kenya, Tala has grown to be the most trusted mobile loan provider.
They offer loans up to 30,000, and the loan is disbursed 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 more than 5 Million downloads on the Google store and is considered one of the most popular money lending apps in Kenya. To get a loan from Tala, all you have to do is download it to your Smartphone and create an account. If you are not listed on CRB, you will get your first loan to choose the payment terms.
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. The best thing about Timiza, unlike other Apps from banks, is that it is not limited to the bank’s customers alone but instead available to all Kenyans.
It’s worth noting that 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 Timiza app from 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 is a loan app that enables the co-operative bank of Kenya customers to access the bank services, including emergency loans. It gives customers’ account balances and transfers cash from their MCo-op cash account to Mpesa, Airtel.
It also allows the bank customers to purchase airtime from the MCo-op cash account, among other services. With MCOOP Cash App, you can apply for up to a maximum of 200,000 shillings of 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, then you have access to KCB M-Pesa. Since it is already on your mobile phone, you do not have to go through the pains of download and install the application.
One only needs to click on the KCB Mpesa tab under loans and savings and then select Loan. That’s it. No registration or further details are required 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 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, have a solution for mobile loans dubbed Mshwari. It operates on the principle of saving for accessing a loan. They can increase your limit depending on how you keep on Mshwari and how you repay your past loans.
To qualify for a Mshwari loan, all you need is to 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.
7. HF Whizz Loan
HF Whizz is more than a lending app, and it offers so much more where you can do most of your digital transactions on the app. These include: Paying for goods directly from your HF account, money transfer, Saving on the App, Buying airtime, and, most importantly, applying for a loan. Here is how to get an HF Whizz Loan.
The 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. Currently, the Okash loan app is one of the most popular lending app being used in Kenya.
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 app will charge an 11% interest fee if you repay your loan on time.
Moreover, 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 made known to you during application. As a result, your loan cost is made to be 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 then 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.
- Make sure to repay your loan on time to increase your loan limit.
Mobile Loan Apps in Kenya Conclusion
That is it; I hope you learned one or two things regarding mobile loan apps in Kenya, and you can be able to make informed financial decisions. Let me know what you think in the comments or if you have any questions.
Watch out for my next article.