Ever since the onset of the corona-virus, the economies of many countries have faced destabilization due to the impact imposed by the virus on key economic sectors.
Such sectors include: tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, health as well as the financial sector.
In addition, mitigation measures like lock-downs and curfews instituted by the various governments also contribute further to the stagnation of informal sectors whereby participants who mostly live from hand-to-mouth face risk of starvation.
In Kenya, whereby the unemployment rate is through the roof coupled with the high living standards brought about by inflation, the virus has led many businesses to their knees.
In some instances, employers have been forced to offer salary cuts, unpaid leaves or worse-off, termination letters to their employees. This has in turn led majority to seek loans for survival thereby creating an upsurge in mobile loan applications.
However, borrowers were in for a rude shock after majority of the mobile lenders suspended their services or significantly reduced their loan limits citing risk of collapse occasioned by the withdrawal of investors or the forecast of repayment defaults.
Luckily, not all lenders have left borrowers out to dry during this pandemic. Below are the few who continue with their operations and still offer loan support during Covid-19.
M-Fanisi is a mobile loan product offered by Maisha microfinance bank. It is accessible via the code *281# for Safaricom users and *222# for Airtel users.
Alternatively, one can also download the M-Fanisi app available in the playstore.
M-Fanisi loan amounts range from Ksh200 to Ksh25,000 at a one-off facility fees of 10% exclusive of excise duty to be repayable within 30 days.
Ubapesa is a product of Ubapesa Ltd. It is an automated peer to peer lending and borrowing platform whereby users offer each other loans through preset criteria that both the lender or borrower have to meet in-order to get automatically matched.
Alternatively, lenders may also manually assign loans to their preferred choice.
Ubapesa loans range from Ksh500 to a maximum of Ksh70,000 with rates of between 10.17% to 15% depending on the repayment duration. The maximum period being 60 days with options of a one-off payment or 3 payment installments.
Applicants in need of Ubapesa loans can download their Ubapesa app from the playstore.
Pezesha is another peer to peer platform offered by Pezesha Africa Ltd. Pezesha loan amounts range from Ksh500- Ksh20,000 with loan increments being dependent on historical timely loan repayments.
Interest fees charged range between 8% – 25% and is highly dependent on the loan amount.
Pezesha loans are to be repaid within a period of 30 days from the date of disbursement.
Applicants can access Pezesha loans either by texting the word ‘Pezesha’ to 22235 or downloading the Pezesha app from the playstore.
OkoaMia is a USSD based loan service provided by OkoaMia Ventures through dialing *628#
Likewise, applicants can also send Ksh5 to Paybill 519608 and use your ID number as the account name and you will immediately receive your Ksh100 loan via M-PESA.
The loan amounts offered range from as low as Ksh100 to a maximum of Ksh900 with an interest of 10% on the value of the principal applied for and a Ksh15 transaction cost.
M-Shwari is a mobile loan service formed through a partnership between NCBA and M-PESA.
One can access loan limits from as low as KShs100 and up to KShs50,000 at a fee rate of 7.5% repayable after 30 days.
The loan service is accessible from the SIM toolkit by accessing the M-PESA menu, selecting ‘Loans and Savings’, selecting M-PESA then clicking ‘Activate’.
Fans of android apps can as well get M-Shwari via the MySafaricom app available in the playstore.
Kuwazo loan app is offered by Kuwazo Capital Ltd. The lender offers a minimum loan amount of Ksh 500 and a maximum amount of Ksh 30,000 with each loan increment being dependent on a variety of factors including Kuwazo repayment history.
The interest rates range between 14% to 20% depending on the loan amount as well as the repayment terms. Kuwazo loans have a maximum duration of 60 days until repayment is due.
Applicants can access Kuwazo loans through the Kuwazo loan app downloadable from the playstore.
L-Pesa is a by-product of L-Pesa Microfinance. Loan limits vary with a minimum of Ksh100 and the maximum of Ksh70,000 with interest rates ranging between 13%-29%
L-Pesa loans are to repaid through weekly installments. The L-Pesa app is available in the playstore.