Best mobile loan apps in Kenya
Image courtesy: Quartz

15 Best Loan Apps in Kenya for Quick Cash (2024)

Gone are the days when bank loans felt out of reach. Thanks to mobile money and FinTech, accessing instant loans in Kenya is easier than ever! This guide explores 15 of the best mobile loan apps, empowering you to:

  • Get fast and convenient loans: Skip lengthy processes and bank visits – get approved and receive funds directly on your phone.
  • Explore flexible options: Find loan amounts and repayment terms that fit your unique needs and budget.
  • Benefit from competitive rates: Enjoy lower interest rates compared to traditional lenders, many regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).

Remember: Responsible borrowing is key! Before diving in:

  • Read the fine print: Understand terms and conditions, including interest rates and repayment fees, for each app.
  • Protect your data: Only use trusted and reputable apps, being cautious about sharing personal information online.

Top 15 Mobile Loan Apps in Kenya

Before we dive into some of the best loan apps in Kenya, here’s a quick comparison of their key features:

#AppLoan RangeInterest RateRepayment TermUnique Features
1KCB M-PesaKsh 1,000 – 1M8.85% one-time fee30 daysHigher loan limits with low rates
2BranchUp to Ksh 70,00014.57% (lower with larger loans)VariesNo late charges, flexible terms
3TalaKsh 500 – Ksh 30,0007% – 19% (30 days), 5% – 14% (21 days)21 – 61 daysFast approvals, flexible repayment options
4ZenkaKsh 500 – Ksh 30,0009% – 30% one-time fee61 daysZero-interest offer for first-time users
5M-ShwariKsh 100 – varies7.5% p.m. one-time feeVariesEarn interest on savings
6TimizaKsh 50 – Ksh 100,0007.283% p.m. one-time feeVariesNo upfront fee deductions
7Mco-opCashVaries (salaried employees)8% – 12% one-time fee1 – 3 monthsBusiness loans available
8Eazzy LoanKsh 100 – Ksh 200,0002% – 10%30 daysHigher loan amounts with Eazzy Plus
9Berry LoanKsh 500 – Ksh 50,0008% – 15%91 or 180 daysZero processing fee
10StawikaKsh 500 – Ksh 70,0007% – 21%VariesEmergency loans, fast approvals
11Hustler FundUp to Ksh 50,0008%14 weeksGovernment-backed loan
12OkashKsh 1,500 – Ksh 500,00014% – 16.8%VariesGrowing loan limits with good credit
13HFC WhizzKsh 1,000 – Ksh 50,0007.725%30 daysSavings account option
14UbaPesaKsh 500 – Ksh 70,0008% – 14%VariesPeer-to-peer lending platform
15iPesaKsh 500 – Ksh 50,00036% (lowers with good credit)7 – 180 daysLower repayment terms for new users

Important Note: Interest rates and fees may change. Always check the app’s latest information before applying.

Which loan app best suits your needs? Buckle up as we explore each option in detail!

1. KCB M-Pesa

KCB M-Pesa open savings account and borrow loan

Need cash fast? KCB M-Pesa offers convenient access to funds. Here’s what to note:

Pros:

  • Borrow directly through M-Pesa: Apply easily via the familiar M-Pesa menu or *334# USSD code.
  • Large loan range: Get from Ksh 1,000 to a whopping Ksh 1 million (if eligible).
  • Transparent fees: One-time facility charge of 8.85%, no extra transaction fees.
  • Potentially lower interest: Enjoy low interest rates if you have good credit history.

Cons:

  • Short loan term: Repay within 30 days, which might be challenging for larger loans.
  • Eligibility matters: High loan limits depend on your creditworthiness.
  • Not for everyone: Interest rates can still be higher than some competitors.
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KCB M-Pesa tailors its high loan limits to your individual creditworthiness, so you can potentially access a larger sum if you have a good credit history.

2. Branch Loan App

Need a quick loan without worrying about late fees or rollovers? Branch might be your answer. This reliable mobile app offers instant loans up to Ksh 70,000, delivered straight to your M-Pesa.

But here’s the catch: While Branch lets you avoid penalty charges, their interest rates can be higher than other options. The starting rate is 14.57% for a Ksh 500 loan, but it decreases as you borrow more.

Here’s what makes Branch unique:

  • Fast Approvals: Get your loan decision within minutes.
  • No Late Fees or Rollovers: Breathe easy knowing you won’t be penalized for late payments.
  • Flexible Repayment: Choose a repayment plan that fits your budget.
  • Lower Rates for Larger Loans: Borrow more and see your interest rate drop.

3. Tala

Tala loan app, register, apply, repay loan, interest rates, increase limit.

Need a loan in a hurry? Tala might be your answer. This mobile app offers instant loans up to Ksh. 50,000 with flexible repayment periods ranging from 21 to 61 days. Plus, their interest rates seem attractive, starting at 5% for a 21-day loan.

But here’s what to consider:

  • Higher interest for longer loans: While the starting rate is low, it can jump to 19% for a 30-day loan. Make sure you understand the interest you’ll pay before borrowing.
  • Qualifications might not be as simple: Answering “basic questions” may not guarantee approval. Tala uses various factors to assess your creditworthiness.
  • Read the terms carefully: Like any loan, Tala comes with its own set of terms and conditions. Make sure you fully understand them before applying.

Here’s what makes Tala unique:

  • Fast approvals: Get a decision within minutes.
  • Direct M-Pesa deposit: Receive your loan instantly in your M-Pesa account.
  • Multiple repayment options: Choose a term that fits your budget.

4. Zenka

Zenka offers instant loans in Kenya with a 61-day term and loan amounts ranging from Ksh 500 to Ksh 30,000. Sound tempting?Here’s the breakdown:

Pros:

  • Zero-interest first loan: Borrowers new to the app enjoy interest-free borrowing.
  • Flexible repayment: The Zenka Flexi option allows longer repayment periods (up to 12 months) for those with good credit history.
  • Straightforward process: Apply quickly and receive your loan directly in your M-Pesa account.

Cons:

  • High processing fees: Expect a one-time fee between 9% and 30% deducted from your loan amount. This can significantly increase the overall cost of your loan.
  • Limited loan amounts: Compared to other options, Zenka’s maximum loan amount is relatively low.

5. M-Shwari App

Save & Borrow on the Go with Safaricom & NCBA. M-Shwari gives you the best of both worlds: earn interest on savings (7% p.a.) and access instant loans through your phone.

Pros:

  • Savings: Lock away your savings and earn competitive interest.
  • Loans: Borrow from Ksh 100 to your personalized limit based on your saving habits and loan repayments.
  • Convenient: Manage everything through your M-Pesa app.

Cons:

  • Loan interest: 7.5% p.m. (higher than some competitors).
  • Loan limit: Starts low and increases based on your financial activities.

6. Timiza Loan App

Timiza app is owned by ABSA Bank Kenya. Timiza stands out with its transparent one-time fee (7.283% per month), ensuring you receive the full loan amount without upfront deductions. Here’s what makes it interesting:

Read Also:   KCB Mobile Banking: Register and Activate

Pros:

  • Transparent fees: Know exactly what you’re paying with a single fee covering interest, facilitation, and excise duty.
  • No upfront deductions: Receive the full loan amount in your Timiza wallet.
  • Growing limits: Build your creditworthiness and unlock higher loan amounts with timely repayments.

Cons:

  • Higher fee compared to some competitors: The 7.283% monthly fee can be higher than other apps.
  • Loan range: Starts low (Ksh 50) and requires good credit history for larger amounts.

7. Mco-opCash App

Mco-op cash mobile loans, how to apply

Mco-opCash by Cooperative Bank offers flexible loan options for salaried employees and business owners in Kenya:

For salaried employees:

  • Get instant loans ranging from 1 to 3 months.
  • Interest rates vary: 8% for 1 month, 10% for 2 months, 12% for 3 months.
  • Requires your salary to be channeled through Cooperative Bank.

For business owners:

  • Access business loans up to 6 months.
  • Terms and rates specific to businesses, inquire directly with Mco-opCash.

Pros:

  • Flexible loan terms for specific needs.
  • Competitive interest rates for salaried employees.
  • Established bank offering security and trust.

Cons:

  • Limited to Cooperative Bank salary accounts for employees.
  • Business loan details require individual inquiry.
  • Interest rates potentially higher for longer loan terms.

8. Eazzy Loan

Equity Bank’s Eazzy Loan offers convenient mobile loans with flexible options.

Pros:

  • Competitive interest rates: 2% to 10%, potentially lower than some competitors.
  • Loan amounts: Borrow from Ksh 100 to Ksh 200,000 for 30 days.
  • Eazzy Plus option: Access larger loans (up to Ksh 3,000,000) with longer repayment terms (up to 12 months).
  • Convenient: Apply and manage your loan through your phone or Equity Bank channels.

Cons:

  • Limited to Equity Bank customers.
  • Shorter repayment terms for smaller loans (30 days).
  • Interest rates can vary depending on your creditworthiness.

9. Berry

Berry Loan App stands out with competitive interest rates (8% – 15%) and flexible repayment terms (91 or 180 days).

Pros:

  • Lower interest rates: Potentially more affordable than some competitors.
  • No processing fee: Saves you extra charges on top of the interest.
  • Flexible repayment: Choose between 91 or 180 days to repay, depending on your needs.
  • Borrowing range: Access loans from Ksh 500 to Ksh 50,000 based on your financial history.

Cons:

  • Loan approval might depend on your transaction and payment history.
  • Shorter repayment term (91 days) might not suit everyone.
  • Interest rates vary and could be higher for larger loans or new users..

10. Stawika Loan App

Download Stawika loan app and get loan in 5 minutes

Stawika offers emergency loans within 5 minutes, potentially making it a quick solution. Here’s what you need to know:

Pros:

  • Speedy approvals: Get a decision fast if you meet eligibility requirements.
  • No processing fees: Save extra charges on top of your loan.
  • Borrowing range: Access loans from Ksh 500 to Ksh 70,000.

Cons:

  • Interest rates vary: Expect rates between 7% and 21%, potentially higher than some competitors.
  • Focus on emergency loans: Might not be suitable for longer-term needs.

11. Hustler Fund

The Hustler Fund offers affordable loans (7% interest) with flexible repayment (6 months) for Kenyan citizens. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Eligibility: Kenyan ID and registered with M-PESA, Airtel Money, or Tkash.
  • Activate: Dial *254# on your Safaricom, Airtel, or Telkom line.
  • Start small: Initial limit is low, but increases with frequent and timely repayments.
  • Maximum limit: Varies based on creditworthiness.
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12. Okash

Okash offers loans to Kenyan citizens with the opportunity to increase their borrowing limit from Ksh 1,500 to Ksh 500,000 as their credit score grows.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Eligibility: Kenyan citizen with valid ID and mobile money account.
  • Loan amounts: First-time borrowers start with Ksh 1,500 to Ksh 30,000, increasing with good repayment history.
  • Interest rates: APR ranges from 36.5% to 360%, calculated daily based on loan amount and duration. Shorter loans might have lower interest rates than longer ones.
  • Repayment terms: Varies depending on chosen loan amount and interest rate.

13. HFC Whizz App

Need a quick loan? HFC Whizz offers convenient loans for Android and iOS users.

Pros:

  • Borrow: Access amounts from Ksh 1,000 to Ksh 50,000 with a competitive interest rate of 7.725%.
  • Fast & Easy: Apply and manage your loan through the app.
  • 30-day repayment: Clear and manageable repayment period.
  • Save: Open a target savings account and earn interest on your money.

Cons:

  • Limited loan amount: Might not be suitable for larger needs.
  • Short repayment term: May require careful budgeting.

14. UbaPesa

UbaPesa lending and borrowing app

Ubapesa connects lenders and borrowers directly, offering an alternative to traditional loan apps. Here’s what you need to know:

Pros:

  • Peer-to-peer model: Potentially competitive interest rates compared to traditional lenders.
  • Flexible borrowing: Access loans from Ksh 500 to Ksh 70,000.
  • Fast approvals: Get decisions based on your CRB credit score.
  • Instant access: Borrowed funds are credited directly to your M-Pesa.

Cons:

  • Interest rate variations: Rates range from 8% to 14%, potentially higher than some options, especially for longer repayment periods (1 day to 30 days).
  • CRB reliance: Your credit score significantly impacts eligibility and limits.
  • Facilitation fee: Expect a fee deducted upfront before receiving the loan amount.

15. iPesa Loan App

Need a quick loan? iPesa offers instant options from Ksh 500 to Ksh 50,000.

Pros:

  • Fast access: Get loans directly through your phone.
  • Flexible amounts: Borrow based on your financial situation and risk profile.
  • Lowering interest: Rates decrease as you build trust by repaying on time.

Cons:

  • High starting interest: Expect 36% initially, potentially higher than some competitors.
  • Short initial repayment: New borrowers start with only 7 days, which can be challenging.
  • Unclear risk assessment: Details on how your “financial status” and “risk profile” are evaluated are missing.

Conclusion on Best Mobile Loan Apps in Kenya

The above list of reliable mobile apps in Kenya can give you money fast, but remember:

  • They’re not free! You’ll pay interest and fees, so compare apps before choosing.
  • Only borrow what you can truly repay on time. Missing payments hurts your credit and adds extra charges.
  • Read the fine print! Watch out for hidden fees and understand all the terms.
  • Don’t trust unrealistic promises. Do your own research and compare rates.

Important: This info is just to help you understand, not financial advice. Talk to a professional before borrowing!

Bonus Tips:

  • Don’t just rely on info from the app itself, compare yourself!
  • Some apps offer USSD access, but it might have fewer features than the full app.

Remember, mobile loans can be useful, but borrow smartly and safely!