COVID-19 Cash Crunch? Instant Mobile Loan Apps
With Covid-19 disrupting our daily lives, many Kenyans are worried about the effects on their personal finances. Being told to sit on your hands and wait while uncertainty surrounds you can exacerbate your stress levels.
The economic downturn spurred by businesses shutting down, though meant to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, has been devastating. Many Kenyans have lost their jobs and some are on unpaid leave. If you’re one of the many Kenyans facing a cash crunch and in need of a quick loan, here are mobile loan apps that might be of help.
*We urge you to take extra caution with mobile app loans. Many have a reputation of being predatory. Only borrow what you need and make sure you have a solid payback plan (anticipated income).
Mshwari is arguably the most popular mobile loan platform in Kenya. It’s used by millions every month. This service is exclusive to Safaricom customers only. The minimum loan amount you can borrow is Ksh 100 and the maximum loan limit is Ksh 50,000 to be re-payed within 30 days. To qualify for this loan, you’ll need a registered Safaricom SIM card that has been in use for at least 6 months.
You can access your Mshwari account on your Mpesa menu-you do not need internet. The processed loan is deposited to your Mpesa account balance. To advance your loan limit, you need to borrow more, make prompt loan repayments as well save more on your Mshwari savings account.
Mshwari will charge a 7.5% facilitation fee for each loan for 30 days. This levy fee will double up in the following month in the event of a default. Loan disbursement is done through Mpesa and processed in less than five minutes.
Another loan service exclusive to Safaricom customers is KCB Mpesa loan. It has a minimum loan limit of Ksh 50 and a maximum of up to Ksh 1,000,000.
You can access your KCB Mpesa loan on your Mpesa menu. Once the loan is processed, it is deposited to your Mpesa account balance or if you qualify for amounts exceeding Ksh 125,000 you will need to provide your bank account details to enable funds transfer.
The loan interest is at a rate of 7.5% per month and doubles up if defaulted. You can take out multiple loans if you are well within your limit.
Tala has a flat service fee for each loan you take out with them. They offer a 30-day loan with service fees from 7% to 19%. They also have a 21-day loan with service fees ranging from 5% to 14%.
To obtain a loan from Tala, you need an internet connection and a mobile phone. Download the Tala app from the Google Play Store. Once you download, the app will ask permission to access the data on your phone. This is because Tala scans your SMS folder for Mpesa transaction history as well as voice call patterns all in an attempt to build your credit score. Yikes!
You can obtain a minimum loan of Ksh 500 and a maximum limit of Ksh. 50,000. Loan applications on this digital lending app take 5 minutes to process. Borrowed funds are sent directly to your Mpesa account. Tala mobile loan charges a service fee of 7%-15% for 30 days or 5%-11% for 21 days. Defaulting a loan can attract up to triple the interest rate as penalty.
The Branch Loan app offers loans from Ksh 200 to Ksh 70,000. Loan terms range from 4 – 48 weeks. Interest ranges from 13% – 29% depending on your loan option. There are no late or rollover fees and no collateral necessary. Interest rates are determined by a number of factors, including your credit history and the cost of lending for Branch.