Why Millions of Kenyans Have Big Appetite For Loans

File image of Kenyan bank notes
File image of Kenyan bank notes

A survey released by the Digital Lenders Association of Kenya (DLAK) now indicates that the more than 80 per cent of Kenyans would rather take up credit facilities offered on digital platforms despite the exorbitant rates.

The survey further shows that Kenyans would rather go for digital loans as opposed to credit facilities from other sources such as banks or even family members. 

“62 percent of these borrowers go to digital lenders as their first option, then to family and friends,” the survey indicates.


The survey is an indication of a significant shift from the conventional channels such as banks, Sacco’s and Micro-finances which were the go to credit solutions for a majority of the population.

When asked, 62 per cent of Kenyans confirmed that digital platforms were their first option for quick and easy credit followed by family and friends at 22.1 per cent, while financial institutions came in third at only 15.9 per cent.

DLAK data further shows that contrary to perception, a significant chunk of the credit received through digital platform put into business, with borrowers mainly taking credit to buy stock for their businesses and taking care of unforeseen expenses.

According to the data borrowing for business, unexpected expenses and school feels topped the reason for credit at 55.5 per cent , 24.8 percent and 13 per cent respectively.

“Digital loans are helping many businesses and households to settle their bills on time,” the report noted.

Noting that the tough economic situation was among the main reason why most Kenyans would miss their loan repayment deadline- especially when businesses are not performing well.

The report has revealed that 65.7 per cent of Kenyans reported improved economic situation of their families compared to the last six months.

While another 13  per cent of the 1,000 digital clients surveyed said the economic situation had worsened while only  20.9 percent said their  situation was unchanged.

“Digital lending in Kenya has entered a phase of professionalization and institutional strengthening. This transformation can be broken down in three parts: the responsiveness to market demands, diversification of products and the increasing and innovative use of new technologies to provide financial services,” the report read in part.

This comes as concerns continue to emerge over credit consumption in the country which has been on the rise since the advent of mobile and digital lending.

Mobile banking services in Kenya
Mobile banking services in Kenya
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