Top 20 Easy Loan Apps in Kenya

Loan Apps in Kenya

Have you ever been in a tight spot and desperately needed money?

Envision this: Your bills are due at the end of the month. All the plans you have to settle them go tits-up, and you’re pretty sure everything will fall apart.

Don’t fret. Most Kenyans have been aboard the broke train. And one of the fastest ways to get off it is by downloading an instant loan app – a mobile tool designed to help you access a quick loan without visiting a bank.

Factually, a majority of us survive through mobile loans because it’s so easy to get caught up in unpleasant situations—salary delays, business deals have gone bad, accidents, and the unbelievably high cost of living.

But before you run to a loan app to borrow cash, do your homework. Countless lenders and fintech companies offer emergency loans to Kenyans, so it’s best to familiarize yourself with their features to know what you’re signing up for. 

Besides, find out everything about loan apps in Kenya to make an informed borrowing decision. You can start by reading this comprehensive guide that dives into the following:

  • The various types of loan apps Kenyans can easily access
  • What to factor in when looking for the best loan apps
  • Your top 20 go-to options when you need emergency loans
  • Safety tips when using loan apps
  • How to borrow money responsibly

20 of the Best Loan Apps in Kenya

As of this writing, 100+ loan apps lend money to Kenyans in need. How can you pick the right one for you?

Well, we know it can be confusing, so we did extensive research to help you narrow down your options. 

These are Kenya’s top 20 best mobile loan apps based on features, online reviews & reputation, trustworthiness, interest rates, loan terms, and support.

Zenka Loan App

Image of the zenka loan app home page

The Zenka loan app should be among your first options when you badly need money. It self-describes itself as “one of the most flexible personal loan platforms on the market,” which is true because it already has 5M+ downloads on the Google Play store.

Install the Zenka app on your phone to borrow between Ksh 500 to Ksh 30,000. You must be at least 18, with a registered Safaricom sim card and valid national ID. Once your loan is approved, the cash is sent to your M-Pesa account.

Branch Loan App

Branch is among the country’s most popular mobile loan apps, with 10M+ downloads on Google Play.

This loan app is trusted and secure and has a straightforward application process. Upon your loan’s approval, you’ll receive cash in your M-Pesa account, and you can repay it within 61-180 days. 

Branch mobile money services allow Kenyans to borrow as little as Ksh 250. And if you have a great small business idea and a positive credit history, they can lend you up to Ksh 100,000.

Tala Loan App

The Tala loan app blew up when it first hit the digital lending market in 2011. Over a decade later, it still has millions of users in Kenya and other countries, thanks to its reliable mobile money services.

If you’re applying for your first loan, Tala can lend you between Ksh 1,000 and Ksh 5,000. Should you repay it on time and build a positive credit history, you can borrow as much as Ksh 50,000 and receive it in your M-Pesa within a few minutes.

Okash Loan App

The Okash lending app lets you access quick loans worth Ksh 1,500-Ksh 500,000. When the lending app was first launched in 2012, it had a maximum loan limit of Ksh 100,000, but it later increased it when it grew more popular. 

As with most loan apps embracing Kenyans, Okash has strict payment terms. For example, if you repay your loan late, they charge you a 2% daily fee. A two-week repayment period comes with a 14% interest rate, while a 21-day repayment period attracts a 16.8% interest rate.

Berry Loan App

If you’re looking for a loan with a low interest rate, the Berry loan app should be at the top of your list of options. Their interest rates are between 8% to 15%, and you can borrow up to Ksh 50,000. But as expected, the amount you’re eligible for comes down to your credit score.

The Berry loan app system approves loans instantly. You’ll receive the money via Mpesa, which you should also use to repay the cash.

DirectCash Loan App

With 1M+ downloads on Google Play, DirectCash is undoubtedly one of the best loan apps in Kenya. While the minimum loan limit is Ksh 1,000, you can borrow as much as 50,000 to be repaid within 91-365 days, depending on the money you receive in your M-Pesa account.

Should you decide to borrow money from DirectCash, beware that the origination fee sits between 1% and 9%. If you apply for a loan with 91-day payment terms, the origination fee is 8%. So, for example, if you borrow Ksh 20,000, you’ll pay back Ksh 21,600.

Mshwari Loan

A product of Safaricom and the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), Mshwari is a lifesaver for many Kenyans. The qualifications are easy—you only need to be an active M-Pesa user for six or more months and save on the reg.

Mshwari’s minimum loan limit is Ksh 100. With a positive credit history, you can access up to Ksh 50,000 to spend however you want.

Even so, this mobile money service requires you to repay your loan within 30 days, a condition many Kenyans cannot meet.

The HFC Whizz Loan App

is available for iOS and Android users, the HFC Whizz loan service is another app you can turn to when you need money for personal or business needs. Thankfully, the service lets you do more than just borrow cash from Housing Finance; you can purchase items, pay your bills, and track expenses using the app.

This loan app is a bit similar to Mshwari since the maximum loan limit is Ksh 50,000, payable in a month.

HF Whizz instant loans have an interest rate of 7.725%, making the service friendlier than many other loan apps on Kenya’s digital lending market.

KCB M-Pesa Loan

You’re eligible for this loan if you have a KCB M-Pesa account, an M-Pesa account active for at least six months, and are 18 or older. It’s suitable for all borrowers, so whether you need a payday, business, or personal loan, it should be in your pool of options.

KCB M-Pesa loan amounts range between Ksh 50 to Ksh 1M. 

Fuliza Loan

Despite only being launched in 2019, Safaricom’s Fuliza has grown to become one of the most popular loan services in the country. 

In 2022, The Standard revealed that Kenyans borrow at least Ksh 1.6 billion daily, which could be because of Fuliza’s straightforward loan application process and flexibility.

You only have to dial *334# on your phone to opt in to Fuliza. The loan comes with a 1% access fee and is automatically deducted from your M-Pesa balance.

Eazzy Loan

The Eazzy mobile loan service is a product of Equity bank. You can only access it if your Equity bank account has been active for at least six months before your loan application. 

What’s more, you need the bank’s mobile app or an active Equitel Line to apply for an Eazzy loan.  If you lack either, dial *247# from any phone number.

More often than not, the Eazzy loan appeals to entrepreneurs because they can access up to a whopping Ksh 3M. The loan facility allows you to repay the money as a one-time lump sum or in twelve monthly installments. 

Stawika Loan App

Here’s another great app providing loans to Kenyans today. With it, applying for a loan is hassle-free since the entire process takes five minutes or fewer. And contrary to banks, you don’t have to fill in any paperwork, so it saves you time.

You must download the Stawika app to borrow cash. If your loan request is approved, the money is instantly transferred to your M-Pesa wallet.

Absa Timiza Loan App

Timiza app is offered by Absa Bank, previously known as Barclays Bank. You must be an active M-Pesa user for over six months to qualify for a loan of any amount. Moreover, you need an excellent credit reference bureau (CRB) score and a good rating by Safaricom’s Okoa Jahazi.

If your Timiza loan is successful, the money is disbursed to your Timiza account, which you can transfer to your M-Pesa.

Shika Loan App

This loan app is quick, easy to use, and transparent, which could explain why over a hundred thousand Kenyans have downloaded it at some point. You can borrow between Ksh 500 and Ksh 20,000, which you’ll receive in your M-Pesa if you’re successful.

The Shika loan app requires you to repay your loan in a month, which is ideal for most borrowers. However, it’s only available for Android users as of this writing.

iPesa Loan App

With a rating of 4.7 out of 5 and 1M+ downloads on Google Play, iPesa deserves to be in this round-up of the best mobile loan apps for Kenyans. One of its main allures is the simple loan application process that only requires you to register with your M-Pesa number.

iPesa offers loans of as little as Ksh 500. But if your credit limit is high, you can get a whopping 50,000 repayable in at most six months.

FlashPesa Loan App

This reputable mobile money service made it to our list of the top 20 best loan apps in Kenya for all the right reasons. For starters, it allows you to borrow up to Ksh 50,000 with a 0% interest rate. The repayment terms are also convenient since they give you between 61 days and six months to repay the money.

Although the FlashPesa loan app doesn’t require borrowers to pay any interest, they must pay a one-time transaction fee, usually between Ksh 150-600, depending on the amount they borrow.

Utunzi Loan App

This mobile loan app has been on the Kenyan digital lending market for several years. Most new users are eligible for a small amount, like Ksh 500, but those with good loan performance can borrow between Ksh 50,000 and Ksh 1M.

Like most loan apps in Kenya, Utunzi sends you the money instantly via M-Pesa as soon as your loan request is approved. Also, the loan application process is quick and easy, which adds to its convenience.

However, unlike most loan apps, borrowers using this lending app must pay an account management fee of Ksh 400, payable annually. The lender says it’s meant to ward off non-committed users.

Loop Loan App

Provided by NCBA bank, the Loop app is a great choice for those looking for business loans as it offers between Ksh 100,000 and Ksh 3M. You must be at least 18 to apply and access the money. In addition, you must have a valid KRA pin, ID card, or passport.

Whenever you want to use the Loop app to borrow money, visit Google Play or the App Store to download it on your phone. Create your account, and fill in the required details correctly to increase your chances of getting the loan. If approved, NCBA wires the money directly to your Loop account. 

AsapKash Loan App

As many Kenyans can attest, AsapKash is also one of the best mobile loan apps you can access for a quick loan. As of this writing, it has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 on Google Play Store and over a million downloads.

AsapKash allows Kenyans to borrow a maximum of Ksh 50,000. Conveniently, you only need to download the app, provide the required details, and wait to receive your cash in your M-Pesa wallet in a few minutes.

Unlike some loan apps, it doesn’t even request you to provide photos or selfies to approve your loan request.

Apesa

This is another well-known mobile money service providing loans for Kenyans. It’s reliable, given that it has garnered 1M+ downloads on the Google Play Store and a good rating of 4.2 out of 5.

With Apesa, you can access up to Ksh 50,000 if you have a positive credit history. The app doesn’t ask for photos and guarantors but requires access to your M-Pesa transactions and a few personal details, such as your full name and active phone number.

Types of Loan Apps in Kenya

Mobile money lending in Kenya is now more popular than ever. Kenyans are irresistibly drawn to loan apps because most don’t ask for collateral, and they can receive the money shortly after the successful application.

Plus, almost every instant loan app serving Kenyans has an easy application process that encourages borrowing, unlike banks.

The following are some of the common loan types in Kenya: 

Payday Loan Apps

 A payday loan app lends you a small amount of cash under the condition that you’ll repay it as a single payment on your next payday or as soon as you receive your income. 

While these loan apps charge higher interest rates, they instantly send you the money you need. A good example of a payday money lending service is the KCB Mpesa loan.

Personal Loan Apps

These mobile money services will give you an instant loan without making you go through a tedious process. Your loan is approved within 24 hours, so you can spend it however you want. Examples of personal loan apps in Kenya are Berry, Branch, Mshwari, and Zenka.

Business Loan Apps

A business loan app lends you money to fund your large or small business in Kenya. Unlike payday loan apps, the amount you borrow isn’t small; it can be over a million. Money lenders like KCB Mpesa and Equity Bank’s Eazzy loan provide business loans in Kenya.

How to Choose the Best Loan Apps in Kenya

Check out the top factors to mull over when choosing the best loan apps in Kenya.

Interest Rates

Instant loan apps charge borrowers different interest rates depending on their current economic conditions, repayment histories, and credit scores.

Before applying for a loan online, ensure the interest rate on it is reasonable and that you’re comfortable with it. Otherwise, you might repay way more money than you borrow.

Repayment Terms

The repayment conditions of the loan app you’re planning to download on the Google Play Store also matter. Before using a lending app, confirm the convenient repayment period, preferably between a month and a year. There should also be no unreasonable penalties if you delay repaying the money and hidden fees.  

Eligibility Criteria

You should also consider a loan app’s eligibility criteria to decide if it’s the best option for you. For example, an app might require you to have a credit score of 900 to qualify for a loan. If yours is below that, you have to look for an alternative.

Customer Service

Another aspect to factor in when borrowing money from a loan app in Kenya is customer service. You want a loan facility available via call, email, and social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

The app’s support team should be reachable around the clock, respond quickly and respectfully, and help you whenever you need assistance.

Loan apps whose websites have live chat facilities are ideal since you can get fast responses to your queries.

Tips for Using Loan Apps Safely and Responsibly

Online fraud cases in Kenya are on the rise, begging the need to be cautious when using loan apps.

Remember, these mobile tools require access to your M-Pesa transactions, and personal details, such as your name, contact details, and ID number. And you don’t want such important information falling into the wrong hands to make you a victim of data phishing and online money theft.

At the same time, other loan apps are predatory. They give out mobile loans at low interest rates but increase them later so that you can repay more money than initially agreed.

Kenyans also have access to other mobile loan apps that constantly harass you to pay back your loan before the repayment period elapses. Others hire third parties to contact your close relations to shame you if you don’t repay the money soon enough.

So, how can you ensure the loan app you download from Google Play Store or any other online platform is safe? These practical tips will help.

Ensure the Loan App Has a Secure Website

The first thing to look out for to know if a loan app is legitimate is a secure site. Typically, secure URLs start with “https” instead of “http”.

In addition, the website must offer full details about its loan services, including the following:

  • The loan amount you can borrow
  • The parent company (if it’s a subsidiary)
  • Loan terms and interest rates
  • Whether you need collateral or not
  • Privacy policies and how the loan company guarantees user security
  • Loan application process
  • Physical address
  • Contact details (email and phone number)

A loan app without a website and physical location is a major red flag, so avoid it. You should also steer clear of mobile loan services that don’t provide an active phone number and valid email address.

Read Online Reviews

Here’s another tried and tested way to identify fake mobile loan apps and guarantee your safety online. Visit Google Play Store or the loan app’s social media profiles to read reviews by previous borrowers. This lets you in on the type of services to expect once you download the money lending app on your phone.

Online reviews help you discover the following:

  • How the loan app functions
  • If it has any unethical behavior, such as unnecessarily distressing borrowers
  • Whether you should trust the mobile money service
  • What could happen if you fail to repay the cash

As you go through loan apps’ online reviews, pay attention to their ratings too. Low-rated mobile money services could frustrate you after you borrow money from them.

Watch Out for Other Common Red Flags

As you consider using loan apps to break free from a financial problem, beware of typical warning signs that indicate you’re about to be duped. Examples of these are:

  • The mobile money service keeps pressuring you to apply for a loan
  • The loan app asks for confidential banking information, such as your Mpesa pin and bank account password
  • The loan app fails to disclose interest rates or has unrealistically high-interest rates
  • The money lender has hidden fees
  • The loan company insists on loaning you cash you can’t afford to repay
  • The loan app gives you a lucrative one-time offer that is only valid for a short time

Final Take on Loan Apps in Kenya

Any of these twenty best mobile loan apps in Kenya could help you when you’re in a pickle and need cash urgently. Each has a unique set of features, which you should understand to make the most out of the mobile money services.

Also, if you’re applying for your first loan, only borrow an amount you can comfortably repay. This allows you to establish a positive credit history to improve your loan limit and access more money in the future.