It is January 2024 and most Kenyans will be turning to mobile loans to look for money to pay for school fees for their children. With the rise of mobile loan apps in Kenya, access to credit has become more convenient and efficient. As of 2024, numerous loan apps cater to various needs, ranging from small cash injections for unexpected expenses to more substantial amounts to support one’s aspirations.
This comprehensive guide will explore Kenya’s top 20 mobile loan apps in 2024, delving into their unique features, interest rates, repayment options, and eligibility requirements. Our in-depth analysis, complete with the pros and cons of each app, will empower you to make an informed decision tailored to your financial needs and lifestyle preferences.
I hope this list will help you have a deeper understanding of the top loan apps available in the market.
Mobile Loan Apps in Kenya
In a Communications Authority of Kenya report, Kenya’s number of active mobile subscriptions in recent years was over 66 million as of March 2023. 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, you have taken a mobile loan when you use your phone to borrow from a lender to sort out your financial situation.
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.
Features of the Best Mobile Loan Apps in Kenya
The interest rates, repayment options, and eligibility criteria for each app vary slightly, but here are some features you should be aware of when choosing an app:
- Interest Rates: Most apps offer competitive interest rates, ranging from as low as 1-1.5% per month.
- Repayment Terms: Most apps offer flexible repayment options with short to long-term periods, allowing you to pay back at your own pace.
- Eligibility Criteria: Each app has its eligibility criteria, the most common being a good credit score rating(CRB), mobile number, National ID, and an M-PESA account, among other things.
Pros and Cons of the Best Mobile Loan Apps in Kenya
When choosing a loan app, it is essential to look at the pros and cons of each one.
- Quick & Easy Access: Most apps offer quick and easy loan access without lengthy paperwork or wait times: valid Kenyan ID, an M-PESA account, and a consistent source of income.
- Flexible Repayment Terms: Most apps offer flexible repayment terms with short to long-term periods, allowing you to pay back at your own pace.
- Convenient for small emergency loans: Mobile loan apps are perfect for small emergency loans, as you can get the money quickly without filling out paperwork or waiting in line.
- High-interest rates: Interest rates on mobile loans are often higher than those of traditional banks or other lending institutions.
- Unclear Terms & Conditions: The terms and conditions of some apps can be vague or hard to understand, making it difficult for users to know what they’re getting into before agreeing to a loan.
- Limited Loan Amounts: Most apps offer limited loan amounts that may need more to cover significant expenses.
- Hidden charges: Some apps may have hidden charges, such as loan processing fees or service fees which can add to the overall cost of the loan.
- Low Default Rates: Default rates tend to be lower with these apps, meaning that you may not get approved for a loan if your credit score isn’t good enough.
- Eligibility Requirements: Each app’s eligibility criteria can take time.
- Bad customer service: Some apps need better customer service, making it easier to get help when you need it. Choosing the Right App for Your Needs Choosing the right loan app for your needs can be challenging.
- Invasion of privacy: All apps can read and access your phonebook, messages, contacts, and other personal data.
Types of Loan Apps in Kenya
Various loan apps are available, each with its own set of exclusive features and options to cater to diverse requirements. Below is a compilation of Kenya’s most exceptional loan apps, categorized according to their distinct qualities.
1. Mobile Loans offered by Safaricom
You can access these loans directly on Safaricom without needing another app. The loans offered include:
- KCB M-Pesa
2. Mobile Loans offered by Banks
Mobile lending has been introduced by banks, along with loan products designed for the public or their customers. These loans are highly secure and offer low interest rates, as the authorities regulate them.
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 must 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
I have compiled a list of authentic mobile loan applications on Google Play relevant to Kenya. However, it is important to note that some apps may have questionable practices despite providing loans. In such cases, they may infringe on your privacy by accessing your contacts and calling them in case of a default.
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.
Top 20 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 become 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 available to all Kenyans.
Apart from offering loans, the Timiza app also serves as a bank account to manage their account.
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 Co-operative 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, devised 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.
7. Fuliza overdraft facility by Safaricom:
Like Mshwari, the Fuliza overdraft facility is a partnership between Safaricom and NCBA Bank. It helps you access loans outside your loan limit if you have insufficient funds in your M-PESA account.
For instance, they offer an overdraft facility if you send money and your balance is insufficient. All you have to do is accept, and the remaining balance will be sent to your M-Pesa account.
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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
It also has a unique feature that allows customers to top up their loans if they need more money.
However, the eligibility criteria are quite strict, and applicants must have a good credit score and impeccable repayment history.
In addition, Zenka offers a loyalty program for referrals with rewards such as discounts on loan fees and interest rates.
11. Eazzy loan by Equity Bank
Equity Bank offers this mobile loan app and provides borrowers quick access to loans of up to Ksh 3,000,000.
Applying for an Eazzy loan couldn’t be easier; all you have to do is open an equity bank account, download the app, and fill in the online application form.
Once approved, the loan is disbursed to your bank account in minutes. The app also provides budgeting tools and repayment reminders to help you stay on top of your finances.
12. NCBA Loop
NCBA Loop app is a mobile banking solution from NCBA Bank. It allows users to access financial services with their phones, such as sending money, paying bills, and applying for loans.
Applying for a loan on the NCBA Loop app is easy; you must input your details and await approval. The loan limit depends on your available savings balance, credit score, and transaction history. NCBA Loop also provides customers with helpful financial advice and budgeting tools to help them manage their finances better.
13. iPesa Loan App
iPesa is an online loan app that provides short-term loans of up to Ksh 50,000 with a repayment period of up to 128 days.
The app has a minimum APR of 36% and offers flexible repayment options, including M-PESA or bank transfers. The application process is quick and straightforward; you must fill out an online form, provide basic information, and wait for approval.
Summary of Mobile Loan Apps in Kenya
|Minimum Amount (KES)
|Maximum Amount (KES)
|6 to 36 Months
|HF Whizz Loan
|From 1 to 36 Months
|KCB Vooma Loan
|Mco-op Cash Loan
|1 to 3 Months
|PesaPap Wallet Loan
|15 and 21 Days
Frequently Asked Questions about Loan Apps in Kenya
The following are the most-asked questions on Loan Apps in Kenya:
Which app gives loans immediately in Kenya?
All genuine loan apps in Kenya give loans immediately, depending on your eligibility and credit score. For instance, the Branch app, M-Shwari, and KCB M-Pesa are some of the most popular loan apps that offer instant loans.
Where can I borrow money urgently in Kenya?
Several loan apps in Kenya offer quick loans. For example, Tala, Branch, and M-Shwari provide fast access to funds when you need them the most. Additionally, these apps do not require lengthy paperwork or collateral for approval.
Which are the most reliable loan apps in Kenya?
From my experience, Kenya’s most reliable loan apps are KCB M-Pesa, Branch, Tala, and M-Shwari. These apps offer secure and efficient loan services with quick approval and flexible repayment options. Furthermore, they have competitive interest rates and no hidden fees or charges.
What app gives 50k loans?
Most loan apps claim to offer loans up to 50,000 Ksh depending on your creditworthiness and repayment capability. For instance, the Branch app, Tala, and KCB M-Pesa currently offer up to 50,000 Ksh for eligible customers.
Which is the easiest app to get a loan in Kenya?
Tala and Branch are Kenya’s two most user-friendly loan apps, as they have a straightforward application process and minimal paperwork. Furthermore, both apps provide quick access to loans with competitive interest rates and flexible repayment options.
How can I get an instant loan in 5 minutes in Kenya?
With some of Kenya’s most popular loan apps, getting an instant loan in 5 minutes is possible. For instance, Tala and M-Shwari provide fast access to funds with simple application processes and secure online platforms. Additionally, you can get instant approval if you meet the eligibility criteria set by these apps.
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.