Best Mobile Loan Apps To Borrow Money In Kenya

I have used most of the available loan apps in Kenya and love the convenience their fast mobile loans offer.

Over a long time of using them, I have identified the best loan apps in Kenya among the many I borrowed money from. I have also researched extensively and viewed their verified user reviews on Google playstore and apple app store.

Based on my experience with each app and also verified user reviews on play stores, I am giving my overview of the best loan apps to borrow money from in Kenya considering the following factors:

  1. loan limits
  2. Interest rates
  3. Loan charges and penalties
  4. Repayment period
  5. Time a loan app takes time to disburse loans
  6. Customer support service offered
  7. Playstore verified user reviews.

Please note that I am not affiliated with or benefit from listing any loan apps in this post. This post is based on my views and research, and links and sources are meant to help you find more information.

An Overview Of Loan App In Kenya

Loan apps have become a common source of fast unsecured mobile loans in Kenya. DW reports that according to research by the CBK, about 80% of the Kenyan adult population uses mobile loan apps.

In this year, 2023, 32 mobile loan apps in Kenya are licensed by CBK, however, only 22 lenders are listed on the cbk list.

As DW reports, borrowers should be careful when getting credit from mobile loan apps.

Uninformed use of fast credit from loan apps might accumulate bad credit, access private data by loan apps and even extortion by fake loan apps.

Below, I have compiled a list of tips to help you use mobile loans responsibly and safely.

  • Have a plan for using and paying back money before borrowing.
  • Revoke access to private data for loan apps you are not using.
  • Avoid the debt trap by loan apps by borrowing only amounts you can pay back.
  • Avoid taking loans from multiple loan apps at the same time
  • Use only licensed loan apps by the CBK to avoid falling victim to fake loan apps. I have included a pdf copy of loan apps approved by the CBK below.

Best Loan Apps In Kenya Comparison

IndexLoan AppInterest RateLoan LimitTime To Disburse LoanRepayment PeriodFees And Penalties
1Branch1% to 17% per monthMinimum: 250 shillings
Maximum: 70,000 shillings
5 minutes to 3 hoursMinimum: 1 week
Maximum: 2 months
– No fees or penalties
2Timiza1.25% of the total loan amountMinimum: 500 shillings
Maximum: 150,000 shillings
1 day or lessMinimum: 1 Day
Maximum: 1 Month
Facilitation fees: 5%
3Mshwari1.5% of the total loan amountMinimum: 100 shillings
Maximum: 1 million shillings
Under 5 minutesMinimum: 1 day
Maximum: 1Month
– Facilitation fees: 7.5%
4Tala4% of total loan amountMinimum: 500 shillings
Maximum: 50,000 shillings
5 minutes to 1 dayMinimum: 1 day
Maximum: 2 months
– Application fees: 15%
– Late repayment penalty: 8% of the remaining amount
5Zenka9% of the principal amountMinimum: 600 shillings
Maximum: 50,000 shillings
5 minutesMinimum: 1 Month
Maximum: 2 Months
– Processing Fees: 45 shillings to 5,800 shillings
– Late repayment penalty: 10% of the total unpaid amount
Best Loan Apps In Kenya Comparison Table

How To Get Loan Apps And Apply For Mobile Loans In Kenya

To download the above loan apps, use Google playstore apps or the Apple App Store or use the USSD codes below.

After downloading, follow the app prompts to register and apply for a mobile loan.

  • Branch app has no USSDcode; get the app from Google playstore
  • Timiza – *848#
  • Mshwari – *334#
  • Tala SMS code 21991
  • Zenka – *841#

Best Mobile Loan Apps To Borrow Money From In Kenya

Below is a detailed list of Kenya’s best mobile loan apps to borrow money from.

1. Branch Loan App (My favorite best loan app to borrow money from in Kenya)

My experience with the branch loan apps has been the best because it has no penalties.

Branch is the best loan app without a loan processing fee.

I find the app easy to use. Once you download the app from the google play store, register using your details as required, then apply for a loan based on the limit you are given.

Below is what to expect from Branch loan app.

  • The maximum loan amount limit of branch loan app is 70,000 shillings. The first loan limit amount starts from 250 to 5,000 shillings. Once you borrow and pay on time, the loan limit keeps increasing.
  • It takes 5 minutes to be approved and receive a branch loan to Mpesa account, but it can take 3 or more hours if your registration details have issues.
  • Branch does not charge loan application fees.
  • 1% to 17% per month. The rate reduces as you transact and maintain a clean credit record.
  • No penalty fees for late loan payments. Learn more about branch interests and other details on their faq page.
  • Weekly and monthly loan payment periods. The maximum monthly repayment period is 2 months.

What I like about Branch loan App

  • I like the branch loan app because they do not charge a loan application fee or late repayment penalty fees.
  • They also have weekly and monthly repayment plans that allow space for choosing the best option.
  • Also, the maximum loan limit of 70,000 shillings is higher than Tala’s, which is 50,000.
  • Other users show satisfaction with the services, too, as I saw on the branch application reviews on Google playstore. Marcy Jerry, a verified user, says the following in her review on playstore:

Branch is just the best… Though need more improvement on the loan offer. It’s usually small amount. Please do something about it. Secondly, the idea of rejecting a customer’s loan application because the person is owing another platform is a bad way of managing a business. You don’t know what is the reason why the person defaulted, most of the online lending platforms make things difficult for the customers. As long as the person does well with your platform, you should be considerate.

Marcy Jerry’s review on google playstore branch app page

What I dislike About Branch

Getting a loan approved on a branch loan app is tough, especially when you have negative credit records with other loaning apps. Mercy Jerry also says this in her sighted review above. See a list of loan apps without crb check here.

2. Timiza Loan App (Best fast loan app for mobile phone loans in kenya )

Timiza loan app gives fast mobile phone loans in Kenya. Here is what Timiza offers:

  • Maximum loan limit of 150,000 shillings and a minimum of 1,000 shillings
  • Loan repayment period of 1 month
  • The interest rate of 1.25% and a loan application fee of 5%
  • 5% fee for a 30-day loan repayment period extension.
  • Apply for Timiza mobile loan via USSD or the Timiza mobile loan app
  • Timiza loan is sent to a Timiza mobile loan account. Withdrawal to Mpesa costs 25 shillings service fee.

More details about timiza are found on their website here.

What I like about The Timiza loan app

  • Application is flexible, that is, via USSD or mobile app
  • Timiza offers the highest maximum loan limit of 150,000 shillings compared to zenka, tala, and branch loan apps.

What I dislike about Timiza

  • High loan interest rate of 7.5%
  • Timiza does not send a qualified loan to Mpesa, instead, the amount is sent to Timiza account, and you have to pay extra charges to transfer to M-Pesa.

3. Mshwari Mobile Loan (Best instant loan from Mpesa savings account)

I have used M-shari mobile loan for 2 years now. It is the best mobile lending platform for a savings loan.

  • Mshwari gives loans based on the savings you have made on Mshwari over time.
  • The lowest loan amount is 100 shillings, while the maximum loan limit is 1 million shillings.
  • Mshwari loan repayment period is 1 month. If you default for more than 2 months, your mshwari loan limit shall reduce. Learn how to increase your mshwari limit in this post.
  • 7.5% facilitation fees
  • An interest charge of 1.5% of the principal amount. More information about M-shwari loan terms and charges can be found here.
  • Mshwari offers the best customer support service via Safaricom toll-free mobile number, 100.

What I like About M-Shwari

Mshwari offers the possibility to borrow big loans on mobile money savings, which I find helpful. However, it takes a long time and savings discipline to achieve a big loan limit on mshwari.

What I dislike

Mshwari cannot help when I need a fast emergency mobile loan since they want me to save for a long time before I qualify.

4. Tala Loan App (Best fast loan app in kenya)

I have used Tala for about 6 months now and can say it is one of the best loan apps to borrow money in Kenya because of fast loan disbursement and fast limit increase.

Below is what you should expect when using Tala.

  • Loan amount – Tala offers a maximum loan limit of 50,000 shillings. The first loan limit starts from 500 shillings to 5,000 shillings. As you borrow and repay on time, tala increases your limit. Your limit can grow to 30,000 shillings within 2 months if you borrow more and repay in time.
  • Once you download the Tala loan app from playstore, register, then apply for a loan. A loan application on Tala shall take 5 minutes to be approved if there are no issues with your registration details. It takes 5 minutes on average to receive your loan from Tala and a maximum of 1 day.
  • The repayment period for a Tala loan is one day to a maximum of 2 months
  • Tala loan app charges first-time applicants a 15% loan fee and gradually reduces the charges to 5% as you build a good credit history. There is also a one-late repayment fee of 8% if you wish to extend your loan repayment period.
  • The interest fee for Tala loans is 4%, and the repayment period is 3 months after loan disbursement.
  • Tala’s customer service is good. They are available on mobile numbers and email and allow customers to ask for support from the application.

Advantages Of Using the Tala Loan App

What I like about Tala is:

  • Fast loan limit increase to 30,000 shillings within 2 months
  • Fast loan approval and disbursement time of fewer than 5 minutes
  • Flexible repayment plan of either partial or complete payments at any time within the repayment period of 3 months.
  • The average rating of the Tala loan app on the Google Play Store is a 3+ stars with over 10 million downloads and over 450,000 4.5 star ratings.
  • Wairimu C. Ngugi is one of the verified users of tala who likes it, as she says in the citation below.

The best app I have used great interest rate ,they give you exactly what you ask for and they add their slight interest and to top it all ,of you pay earlier than expected they reduce their interest and not only that no bombarding a person with calls and messages threatening them ,I borrowed 4000 ,got 4000 and paid interest around 300 less ,later they gave me 7000 ,am not uninstalling it,hope it maintain the same services , πŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎ,and I don’t want in tala am just a Kenyan needed it

Wairimu C Muthoni, Tala App User On Google Playstore

Disadvantages Of Using Tala Loan App

One thing I dislike about using tala loan app is the mandatory application need to access and use private data on the phone.

Once you install the app, they request to access private data, including contacts and messages, and if you don’t allow it, you cannot proceed to register.

John Ngugi, a verified Tala application user, complains about the same in his review on Tala app page on Google playstore. Below is a citation of what he says.

Honestly the app offers no productive benefits, it requires lots of personal data for time wastage as you can’t get any loan from it. Sorry Tala, it’s just what it is. πŸ‘Ž

john ngugi, Review of tala app on google playstore.

Zenka Loan App (Fast USSD loan to your phone)

Zenka is a flexible mobile loan app that provides unsecured mobile loans to Mpesa. On the google play store, zenka has 50,000+ reviews and an overall 4+ start reviews, which shows most Kenyans like its services. Zenka offers the following:

  • A payment period of 1 month to 2 months. Zenka also allows for a one-time payment.
  • Late repayment penalty of 10% of the unpaid amount
  • Zeka has a maximum loan limit of 30,000 shillings and a minimum limit of 600 shillings when using the mobile app. USSD loan limit is a maximum of 10,000 shillings.
  • Zenka charges an interest of 9% of the total loan amount.
  • A penalty of 1% of the total loan amount per day for defaulted loans

Apply Zenka loan using USSD code *841# or download the zenka mobile loan app from google playstore and register to apply.

Tips To Get Higher Loan Limits On Mobile Loan Apps

I shall share some of the ways that I use to get higher loan limits from loan apps in Kenya below:

  • Pay loans before the deadline
  • Borrow and pay loans actively
  • Maintain a clean record with each loan app
Best C.B.K Licensed Mobile Loan Applications Without CRB Checks & Registration Fees Kenya

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *