Unlike old times when bank loans were only accessible to the affluent in society, the rise of mobile money has now made it possible for anyone in Kenya with a national ID card and an active M-Pesa line to get access to instant loans from the comfort of the phone. You can now take a loan from some of the best mobile loan apps in Kenya at low interest rates and flexible repayment terms. Loan apps are licensed by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) before being allowed to operate in the country.
I have compiled a list of genuine and reliable mobile loan apps in Kenya that offer loans in the shortest time possible to eligible borrowers. These loan apps are available on the Google Play Store or through their USSD codes.
It is advisable to take caution when giving out your personal information to online apps without knowing how your data will be used. So remember to read the terms and conditions of the app before installing it.
Categories of Best Loan Apps
There are two categories of mobile loan apps approved by the CBK to operate in Kenya; those owned by banks and those owned by Fintech companies.
Loan apps Owned by Banks
These mobile loan apps belong to major banks in Kenya. They include M-Shwari, Eazzy, KCB MPesa, Timiza, Mco-op Cash, and HF Whizz.
Loan Apps Owned by Fintech Companies
Some of the best loan apps listed here belong to other private credit companies in Kenya. They include Tala, Branch, Zenka, and Berry.
20 Best Mobile Loan Apps in Kenya for Instant Loans
KCB Bank in conjunction with Safaricom offers very affordable instant loans to registered M-Pesa users with active accounts. KCB M-Pesa loans can be accessed through the MPesa menu or by dialing *334# and selecting Loans and Savings.
Upon your first registration, your initial loan limit will be based on your Mpesa usage and transactions. You will have a good loan limit if you transact often on KCB M-Pesa and repay your loans on time. You can keep on topping up your KCB M-Pesa loan so long as you are still within your loan limit.
KCB M-Pesa is one of the best mobile loan products because you are guaranteed of higher loan limit in a short time and with a low interest rate.
KCB M-Pesa loan ranges between Ksh. 1,000 to 1M and comes with a one-time facility charge of 8.85% payable within 30 days. The loan does not incur any transaction charges when you send it from the KCB Mpesa account to your MPesa wallet.
The branch app is a genuine mobile loan app in Kenya and gives you access up to Ksh. 70,000 instant loan. You will not incur late charges or rollover fees with the Branch mobile loan app.
Their interest rate is 14.57% for Ksh. 500, and the good thing is that the more you borrow, the lower the interest rate charged.
Tala has a flexible payment period of 21 days to 61 days. Tala interest rates range from 7% to 19% for a 30-day loan and 5% to 14% for a 21-day loan.
You can easily qualify for an instant loan by answering basic questions about your financial status. Once the loan is approved, it is sent directly to your MPesa account.
Zenka is a genuine mobile loan app in Kenya that has a loan term of 61 days and a one-time processing fee between 9 and 30%. Zenka has a zero-interest offer to first-time users of the app.
Your loan limit can vary from Ksh. 500 to Ksh. 30,000. The Zenka Flexi option allows those with good credit and payment history an option to repay their loans for up to 12 months.
5. M-Shwari App
M-Shwari is owned by the NCBA bank in conjunction with Safaricom. M-Shwari has a feature where you can open an account through your phone and lock your savings to earn interest from 7% p.a.
Mshwari charges a one-time interest rate of 7.5% p.m. on your loan and you can borrow from 100 shillings to a maximum depending on your repayment history and saving habit.
You can improve your Mswari limit by transacting more on M-Pesa, saving in your MShwari account, and repaying your loans on time.
Timiza is owned by ABSA Bank and is one of the top mobile loan apps in Kenya. Timiza has a one-time total charge of 7.283% per month (1.083% interest, plus a 5% facilitation fee and 20% excise duty).
Timiza does not deduct the charges beforehand but allows you to repay them together with your loan. This means if you apply for Ksh. 4,000, you will get exactly that in your Timiza wallet.
With Timiza you can borrow from Ksh. 50 to Ksh. 100,000 depending on your CRB score and credit history. Your loan limit rises very fast as you borrow and repay the loan in time.
This is a product of the Cooperative Bank of Kenya that offers flexible 1 to 3-month instant loans to salaried employees. It also offers business loans of up to 6 months to business owners in Kenya.
For salary advance loans, your salary should pass through Cooperative Bank to qualify for the loan. McoopCash’s one-off interest rate of 8% for one, 10% for two months, 12% for 3 months, and an insurance fee of 0.034% p.m.
These charges are deducted immediately from the loan before it is disbursed into your MCoop Cash mobile account.6.
8. Eazzy Loan
This is an Equity Bank product that enables the bank’s customers to get access to mobile loans at interest rates between 2% and 10%. You can borrow from 100 shillings to 200, 000 shillings for 30 days.
The Eazzy Plus option gives you access to a maximum of Ksh. 3,000,000 payable up to 12 months.
Berry loan app charges interest rates between 8% to 15%. You can borrow from Ksh 500 to 50,000 depending on your transaction history and payment records.
Berry has zero processing fee and you can choose to pay the loan in 91 days or 180 days.
Stawika offers emergency loans, within 5 minutes of installing the app, if you meet the loan’s requirements. Stawika charges an interest rate between 7% to 21% and has no processing fee.
You can borrow from as little as Ksh. 500 up to Ksh. 70,000 on the app.
11. Okash Loan App
Okash gives first-time borrowers the ability to borrow between Ksh 1,500 to Ksh 50,000 with a chance to grow their borrowing capability up to a maximum limit of Ksh. 500,000 as their credit score grows.
Okash has a maximum loan interest of 24% p.a. The interest rate charged depends on the loan duration. A two-week repayment plan carries an interest of 14% while a duration of 21 days charges a 16.8% interest rate.
12. HFC Whizz App
This is a product of the Housing Finance Corporation Bank and is available for Android and iOS users. You can borrow from Ksh. 1,000 up to Ksh. 50,000 at a rate of 7.725%. The loan is payable in 30 days.
You can also open a target savings account on the HFC Whizz app and earn interests on your savings.
13. KCB Mobile Loan
This is different from KCB MPesa loans in that it is available to KCB customers only. To qualify for a KCB mobile loan, you should have a KCB account that has been active for at least 6 months and is registered for mobile banking.
Your KCB account should also have at least 4 deposits within this period.
14. UbaPesa Loan App
Ubapesa is a peer-to-peer mobile loan app that connects lenders and borrowers in a money market way. This means you either lend and earn interest or borrow and repay with interest. This app relies on your CRB credit score to decide your loan limit and eligibility.
UbaPesa charges an interest that ranges from 8% to 14% but can be higher if you choose longer repayment periods (usually from a day to 30 days).
You can borrow from Ksh 500 up to Ksh 70,000. The money borrowed is credited to your Mpesa instantly with the facilitation fee already deducted in advance.
Investors on the Ubapesa platform can lend up to Ksh. 140,000 and earn up to 42.5% of the interest paid by the borrower.
15. Hela Pesa
Hela Pesa gives you access to emergency personal loans from Ksh. 500 up to Ksh. 200,000. The loan is repayable within 3 to 24 months.
The amount borrowed attracts an interest rate ranging from 2% to 15% depending on the risk profile of the customer.
Hela Pesa also offers salary advance loans to salaried individuals. Your loan limit on Hela Pesa depends on your credit history and ability to repay the loan.
16. Zidisha Loan App
Zidisha is an international peer-to-peer online microlending community that directly connects lenders and entrepreneurs needing financial support.
You can access Zidisha loans on their Android app or through their website. The app is open to anyone with a national ID and a source of income to repay the loan as scheduled.
Zidisha charges a service fee of 5% and a credit risk between 5% and 30% which covers the lenders in case of defaults. You can grow your credit history on Zidisha and borrow up to 10,000 US Dollars.
17. Utunzi Loan App
Utunzi offers instant loans between Ksh. 500 up to Ksh. 1 million. The minimum repayment period is 91 days and the maximum loan term is 5 months.
Utunzi charges an interest rate of 12% and an account management fee of Ksh. 400 payable annually. The loan is repayable within 30 days and attracts a total charge of 7.13%.
18. iPesa Loan App
iPesa offers instant loans as low as Ksh. 500 to a maximum of Ksh. 50,000 depending on your financial status and risk profile.
iPesa loan app charges an interest rate of about 36%, which becomes lower as you build your credit profile with iPesa by borrowing frequently and repaying the loan on time.
New borrowers start with a lower repayment term of 7 days which grows to the maximum period of 180 days as they build trust with the iPesa platform.
This is a loan product offered by the government of Kenya to individuals in Kenya with National Identity Cards and registered on either M-PESA, Airtel Money or Telkoms’s Tkash mobile wallets.
The Hustler Fund personal loan attracts an interest rate of 8% and its repayment period is 14 weeks. You can easily activate the Huslter Fund loan on the Safaricom, Airtel or Telkom line by dialing *254# and following simple onscreen prompts.
Initially, you will be awarded a low amount of loan but you can increase your limit by frequently borrowing and repaying your loans on time.
20. KeCredit App
KeCredit offers timely personal loans from Ksh. 2,000 to Ksh. 50,000 to Kenyans registered on M-Pesa mobile money. The interest rate ranges from 16% to 30% and is normally charged based on the borrower’s risk profile.
KeCredit loan repayment period is 91 days and can go up to 365 days depending on the customer’s trust, creditworthiness, and financial status.
Conclusion on Best Mobile Loan Apps in Kenya
In summary, the above mobile loan apps offer reliable instant loans at reasonable interest rates and do not require any registration fees to access their services.
They are easy to set up and once you have followed instructions carefully and filled in the required details as honestly as possible during the registration process, you can get your loan in a short while. Some loan apps like Stawika even offer instant loans within 5 minutes of installing the app.
Additionally, some of the loan apps above have USSD codes allowing you to access their products and services on mobile phones that are not connected to the internet.