Best Instant Loan Apps in Kenya

Advancement in technology means that nowadays you do not have to go to a bank for you to get a loan. Currently, there are a good number of instant loan apps in Kenya available for both Android and iOS.

These mobile loan apps usually send instant loans to people immediately after signing up and applying for the loan usually by just using a smartphone. This becomes very helpful especially during emergencies as one does not have to go through a lengthy bank loan process that usually requires guarantors and collateral security.

I tried and tested some of the most popular instant loan apps in Kenya with the aim of creating this unbiased review. This review aims at guiding people who are interested in obtaining instant loans in Kenya to help them make the best decisions.

Instant Loan Apps in Kenya

Am going to show you some of the best mobile apps you can get instant loans in Kenya in a few minutes some taking less than 5 minutes for you to get the money in your M-Pesa. Most of these loan apps do not require a registration fee and CRB check.

Some of the best instant loan apps in Kenya include Tala, Branch, Zenka, iPesa, Zash Loan, Mshwari, and KCB M-Pesa. They dispense loans to people immediately in less than 10 minutes usually directly to M-Pesa.

The maximum loan limit (the highest amount one can get) depends on one’s credit score and borrowing history and the limit usually increases with time after borrowing and repaying on time. For some loan apps like Branch, the maximum borrowing limit is as high as Ksh. 100,000.

Below is an unbiased list of genuine loan apps in Kenya that provide instant loans.

Top 7 Best Instant Loan Apps in Kenya

  1. Branch

This is one of the top instant loan apps in Kenya. Branch qualifies to be the best mobile loan app due to its high maximum loan limit (Ksh. 100,000), extended loan repayment period (up to 52 weeks), a favorable interest rate ranging from 1.7 -17% per month, and no late /rollover fees. One can get a loan from Ksh. 250 to Ksh. 100,000 which is sent to M-Pesa when processed.

Branch loan app

Anyone qualifies to apply for a loan from Branch as long as they have a national ID and M-Pesa phone number.

Branch loan app is owned and run by Branch International Limited, a fintech company that was founded in 2015 to provide lending services in emerging markets.

Branch Loan App Review

Branch is very fast at processing instant loans in Kenya and I found it to take less than 5 minutes for one to apply for a loan and receive money in M-Pesa. This is faster than other loan apps like Tala which usually take a bit more time for one to answer some questionnaire.

The loan limit on Branch usually grows with time but it usually takes more time to reach a certain loan limit e.g. Ksh. 20,000 as compared to other loan apps like Tala.

Branch Loan sample

Branch guarantees data security for its customers and they do not sell customer data nor share customer contacts with third parties.

It also promises ethical loan collections and they do not tolerate any aggressive debt collection measures like some new loan apps in Kenya e.g., Okash. Branch never calls the debtor nor send threatening messages before the due date. They also do not call one’s contacts demanding the repayment of the loan.

This abides by the new directive by the Central Bank of Kenya where digital lenders were stopped from calling customer contacts demanding loan repayment. Branch was already practicing ethical collection before this directive.

Branch loan app has very flexible repayment schedules from weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly with the repayment period spanning from 4 weeks to 52 weeks (1 year). This makes Branch loan app very ideal for emergency loans in Kenya via Mpesa.

When you apply for a loan from Branch using the Branch loan code H9QM8Y you will get Ksh. 500 off your first repayment.

Branch does not have M-Pesa Express for repayment and one has to use a PayBill number when paying back the loan which comes at a cost. However, they make the process a bit easier by having a pop-up that lines next to M-Pesa on SIM Toolkit making it easier to copy and paste and complete the process as shown below.

You can get Branch Loan App here and get Ksh. 500 on your first loan.

Advantages of Branch Loan App

  • Relatively high maximum loan limit (Ksh. 100,000)
  • Fast loan processing at less than 5 minutes
  • Flexible repayment schedules from weekly, monthly, or bimonthly
  • Practices ethical collections

Disadvantages of Branch Loan App

  • The loan limit grows a bit slower
  • Does not have M-Pesa Xpress for repayment and one has to use PayBill


  1. Tala

This is, without doubt, the second-best instant loan app in Kenya based on personal experience and research. Tala gives out loans in Kenya from a minimum of Ksh. 500 to a maximum of Ksh. 30,000 (at the time of making this publication) at an interest rate (service fee) starting at 5%.

Tala Loan app - instant loan app in Kenya

Tala is classified as a financial technology that lends money to emerging markets. Their lending app allows people who have little or no borrowing history to take affordable loans.

Tala app does not require collateral security or guarantors when one is applying for a loan. One is only required to provide their details including their name, ID number, phone number (Safaricom/M-Pesa number), and email address.

Tala Loan App Review

The initial loan limit one can get from Tala depends on credit score and other factors. The loan limit usually grows with time and the maximum loan limit for Tala is currently at Ksh. 30000.

It is good to note that applying for a loan on Tala takes a couple of minutes (approximately 5-10 minutes) to fill in some general questions such as what the loan will be used for, personal income figures among others as shown in the image below. This is different from Branch which does not present one with questions during the application process.

Tala Loan App questions

However, from a personal experience, the loan limit usually grows faster on Tala than Branch and there is a high possibility you will reach the maximum loan limit sooner.

Tala Loan app maximum limit

Tala has 3 loan limit categories:

  • Bronze: This is the beginner level where most people whose credit score is not high start from. The principal loan amount here ranges from Ksh 500 to Ksh 4,999.
  • Silver: This is the intermediate level where people with an average credit score. The minimum principal loan limit ranges from Ksh 5000 to Ksh 9,999
  • Gold: This is the top level where people with high credit scores fall. The minimum principal loan limit varies from Ksh 10,000 to Ksh 30,000

Tala has a flexible loan repayment period which usually varies between 15 to 61 days. The borrower can change the repayment period which in turn changes the interest rate (service fee) as shown below.

Tala has received international recognition including the attention of the likes of Melinda Gates and featured on such renown media as WIRED.

You can get Tala Loan App here and get Ksh. 500 on your first loan.

Advantages of Tala Loan App

  • Relatively easy and fast to apply for a loan
  • They do not contact people in one’s contact list about the loan
  • A flat interest rate
  • Doubles one’s borrowing limit every 2 months

Disadvantages of Tala Loan App

  • The maximum loan limit in Kenya was reduced to Ksh. 30,000 from Ksh. 50,000


  1. Zenka

This happens to be the third-best instant loan app in Kenya due to its favorable terms especially that it gives interest-free loans (up to Ksh. 5,000) for every first-time user with a repayment duration of up to 61 days.

Zenka loan app

Normally, Zenka usually charges an interest rate of 9% to 39% depending on the amount and the repayment period. You can download Zenka loan here and enjoy the first loan interest-free.

Zenka mobile loan app is a product of Zenka Kenya which is owned by Pata Mkopo Company Limited. It is available on both Google PlayStore for Android users and Apple Store for iOS users. It has more than 1 million downloads.

Zenka Loan App Review

Zenka is a fast loan processor and it typically takes less than 5 minutes to get approved and receive money through M-Pesa.

The qualifications required to apply for a loan on Zenka include being above 18 years, owning a smartphone, a registered Safaricom SIM card, and a national ID.

Filling in personal details for the first time on the app takes less than 3 minutes and waiting for the loan to be processed takes less than 2 minutes.

Zenka loan limit ranges from Ksh. 500 to Ksh. 30,000 when applying through their mobile app. When applying via USSD, the maximum loan limit is Ksh. 10,000.

The initial loan limit depends on one’s credit score but the limit usually increases with time mostly after making timely payments. However, I found the loan limit to grow a bit slower as compared to Branch and Tala loan apps.

One unique thing about Zenka Loan is that it offers borrowers the option to extend the loan repayment duration or date if they cannot manage to repay on the due date. However, the extension comes at an interest which I think is better than other measures taken by some unethical companies.

You can download Zenka Loan app here and use the Promo code 5CLBT for the best offers.

Advantages of Zenka Loan App

  • No processing fee or interest for the first loan
  • Fast loan processing
  • Does not require one to outline how they are going to spend the money
  • There is the option to extend the repayment period

Disadvantages of Zenka Loan App

  • The loan limit takes longer to grow
  1. iPesa

This is another fairly good instant loan app in Kenya that lends without collateral. The loan limit for iPesa usually starts small and grows with time.

iPesa Loan App

iPesa loan app is owned and run by Osome Fintech Company which is based in Kenya. It is a popular loan app in Kenya having more than 1 million downloads on Google PlayStore with an average rating of 4.3 stars (at the time of publishing this) which is very decent.

The app uses algorithms to evaluate someone’s creditworthiness and present them with a loan limit depending on their credit score.

iPesa Loan App Review

iPesa loan limits start from Ksh. 500 to Ksh. 50,000 depending on the borrower’s credit score and repayment history.

The repayment duration varies from 14 days to 180 days and the maximum Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is 36% (interest per annum) which translates to about 3% per month.

Their loans usually start at a limit of Ksh. 2000 (despite one having a good credit score) and grows with time. This is quite low as compared to top apps such as Zenka where the loan limit usually starts from Ksh. 5000 or Tala where the loan can start at Ksh. 8000 for people with an average credit score.

Advantages of iPesa Loan App

  • No collateral is required for a loan
  • No hidden charges
  • The loan limit increases up to Ksh. 50,000
  • Good customer support

Disadvantages of iPesa Loan App

  • The loan limit starts usually states very low as compared to top loan apps


  1. Zash Loan

This is another fairly okay instant loan app in Kenya. Zash Loan app was created by KopaKash Developer and can be downloaded on Google Play Store.

Zash Loan app


The requirements to apply for Zash Loan include age between 18 and 60 years, national ID, and active Safaricom /M-Pesa number.

Zash Loan App Review

This app sends the loan amount directly to M-Pesa in less than 10 minutes. Zash Loan offers a minimum loan limit of Ksh. 500 and a maximum of Ksh. 10,000. However, on average the loan limit usually starts low at Ksh. 500 and grows with time.


It is good to note that the amount received in M-Pesa for this loan app is usually less than the loan limit since the loan app deducts the loan fees from the loan limit (principal amount). For example, for a loan limit of Ksh. 3500 the user usually ends up getting about Ksh. 2,625 where Ksh. 875 is charged as loan fees for a 2 weeks repayment period.

One shortcoming with this app’s system is that after a loan limit of Ksh. 6000 the amount repaid to Zash is usually lower than the amount dispensed on the next loan. For example, after repaying Ksh. 8600 the amount dispensed on the next loan is Ksh. 7500 (with a loan limit of Ksh. 10,000) as shown below.

Zash Loan Loan limit increase

According to their terms, late loan repayments attract a penalty of 2% for the first 15 days and 3% for the next 15 days. They claim to report someone to CRB after 30 days of non-repayment.

You should also expect a call and a couple of not-so-professional messages from Zash Loan a day before the loan’s due date which is unexpected of them. However, upon repayment no more messages nor calls.

Advantages of Zash Loan App

  • Fast loan processing in less than 10 minutes

Disadvantages of Zash Loan

  • The loan fees are deducted from the loan limit


  1. M-Shwari

This is a collaboration between Safaricom and NCBA Bank to offer loan products under MySafaricom app and M-Pesa app. It is based on savings for the evaluation of the loan limit.

M-Shwari Loan

Depending on how long one has used Safaricom M-Pesa and M-Shwari savings and the repayment of previous loans, the loan limit varies from Ksh. 1000 to Ksh. 50,000 with a repayment period of 30 days.

M-Shwari Review

If one has a very good history with M-Pesa, one can qualify for an instant loan from M-Shwari. The loan limit usually increases with time but at one point it may stagnate.

To get an M-Shwari loan, one has to have used M-Pesa for 6 months, saved on M-Shwari, and used other Safaricom services like data and voice.

The interest on the M-Shwari is currently charged at 9% with 7.5% being loan fees and 1.5% excise duty.

To access M-Shwari on MySafaricom App; go to the M-Pesa page, then click on Loans & Savings, and then click on M-Shwari. You can access M-Shwari on the SIM toolkit and M-Pesa app too.

Depending on whether you have been using Safaricom App for more than 6 months, M-Shwari can be considered to be an instant loan in Kenya or otherwise.

Advantages M-Shwari

  • It is already integrated into MySafaricom and M-Pesa apps
  • The interest is a bit lower compared to other mobile loan apps
  • Very ethical in collections

Disadvantages of M-Shwari

  • One needs to have used M-Pesa and Safaricom for more than 6 months and saved on M-Shwari


  1. KCB M-Pesa

This is another mobile loan product from Safaricom but this time in partnership with KCB Bank. Any registered M-Pesa user has access to KCB M-Pesa and can obtain a loan.

KCB M-Pesa

The product is already integrated into the M-Pesa app and MySafaricom app and thus one does not have to go through the tedious process of downloading an app and filling in personal details.

To access KCB M-Pesa on the M-Pesa app, click on GROW followed by KCB M-PESA and then Activate. No further registration is required.

The minimum KCB M-Pesa loan is Ksh. 1000 and the maximum is Ksh. 1,000,000. However, for one to qualify for the max loan limit, they ought to have a very good transaction history and credit score.

The loan currently comes at a rate of 8.64% and a repayment period of 1 month. A smartphone is not required to apply for a KCB M-Pesa loan since one can use the SIM Toolkit on any phone.

The starting loan limit for KCB M-Pesa loan is usually lower than M-Shwari for the same credit score and the limit usually grows slower than M-Shwari.

Advantages of KCB M-Pesa

  • High maximum loan limit at Ksh, 1M
  • Easy to apply for Safaricom M-Pesa subscribers
  • Lower loan fees compared to other new loan apps in Kenya
  • One does not require a smartphone to apply

Disadvantages of KCB M-Pesa

  • Does not offer a discount on early repayment
  • Has a lower starting loan limit

Closing Remarks

The above are among the top 20 loan apps in Kenya. These are some of the best instant loan apps in Kenya and include Branch, Tala, Zenka, iPesa, M-Shwari, and KCB M-Pesa among others.

These loan apps usually come in handy especially during emergencies since they dispense loans directly to M-Pesa usually in less than 10 minutes.

Phone loan apps in Kenya have revolutionized the finance industry making it easier for people to access funds for various uses whether business, personal, emergencies, or even medical expenses.

I tested most of the loan apps covered here in order to give an unbiased review and thus believe whichever you chose depending on your preferences you know what to expect.

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