EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is a part of our Money254 Partner series and is produced in partnership with LendPlus Kenya. Our partners may suggest topics they would like readers to know about but do not influence what/how we write about it. Money254 remains committed to providing objective information to our audience. For more on Money254’s editorial policy, read here.
The LendPlus Digital Loan App is a recent entrant into the Kenyan market having only launched operations two years ago in 2021.
As of December 20, 2022, the app had over 100,000 downloads and a 4.1-star rating out of 5 stars. This is from a total of about 4,310 reviews.
In this article, we take a look at this relatively new digital loan app in the Kenyan digital lending market, its features, what we like and what we think could be improved upon to help you decide whether it is a good option for your short-term borrowing needs.
LendPlus is a FinTech company in Kenya launched by the Aventus Group that began operations in 2021. It offers instant digital loans with a fairly high limit of Ksh30,000 at a daily interest rate of 2% for a maximum tenure of 30 days with an option to extend repayment.
To be eligible for a LendPlus App Digital Loan, you have to be a Kenyan citizen of 21 years and above, be employed or self-employed with a steady income, have a valid mobile phone number with the M-PESA mobile wallet, and have a national identity card.
LendPlus does not lend to Kenyans in some professions such as those in the army, police, or the security sector. There are also some counties that LendPlus is yet to begin issuing loans to. You also need to have a credit history and generally be aged between 21 and 60 years to be eligible for a LendPlus digital loan.
The LendPlus digital loan app offers first time borrowers a loan limit of up to Ksh15,000 which is impressively high. Eligibility for this amount is dependent on the borrower's credit history and a raft of other factors that the lender considers internally - which means not all new borrowers can qualify for this amount.
Once you have successfully paid your first loan, you stand to qualify for an upper limit of Ksh30,000 on the LendPlus Digital Loan App. This is a pretty decent amount to be of good benefit to even a small business in need of a quick cash injection and a faster growth in your loan limit than offered by many lenders in the market.
We had one of our editorial team members test the app out to see how difficult it is to reach the Ksh30,000 limit. He qualified for a Ksh3,000 first loan which he paid back within one day.
His loan limit was increased to the maximum after repaying which indicates that it is possible to reach this high loan limit. But as LendPlus tells us, individual credit history, income and other customer-specific factors can affect your limit. Early or on-time payments is one of the factors that can contribute to qualifying for higher limits.
One standout feature of the LendPlus digital loan app is the ability to extend your repayment several times by up to the number of days your loan was due. No other digital lender so far reviewed by Money254 seems to offer this useful option of extending one’s repayment period when a borrower finds themselves in a situation where they cannot repay the loan by the due date.
However, note that the extension also attracts a daily interest rate of 2%. You will still be required to pay the interest accrued, but the interest will roll over. See the "Interest Calculation on LendPlus Loan Repayment Extension" section here for a detailed breakdown of how the extension works.
The only documentation you need to provide to be considered for a LendPlus loan is simply your National Identification Card (ID Card) number. You no longer need to upload a picture of your ID Card. The lender from November 25, 2022, also removed the requirement to upload a selfie image as part of the application process in response to customer requests.
The LendPlus app loan with its quick disbursement time, ability to extend repayment periods, and relatively high loan limits can be an option for anyone looking for a short-term loan quickly to sort out an urgent need while being confident they can repay it back in a relatively short time.
Here are some of the ways to use your LendPlus app loan
Like other short-term unsecured credit facilities, the LendPlus digital loan app, has a relatively high interest rate. Charging a 2% interest rate per day, the APR translates to 730%.
Note, however, that high interest rates are a general characteristic of digital app loans available in the Kenyan market today.
For the Ksh3,000 LendPlus Digital App loan our colleague took while testing out the app, he was charged an interest of Ksh600 since he had selected a tenure of 10 days. Which brings us to the second thing we think the LendPlus Digital Loan App can improve on.
This one is common to most lenders in this category and so not a major issue once you are aware of it.
If you remember, our colleague repaid the Ksh3,000 loan within the same day. But had to still repay the full Ksh600 interest that he would have needed to pay he waited until day 10.
As such, if you choose to repay the loan early, you still have to pay the full amount of interest for the tenure that you had selected on application. For example, if you apply for a 10-day loan and pay within two days, you will still have to pay the entire interest amount that you would have paid if you repaid in 10 days.
LendPlus tells us that early repayment, nevertheless, is beneficial in that it can help you increase your loan limit.
This, from our review, unfortunately seems to be standard practice across the digital lending space in Kenya currently. It is a manageable product trait if you are clear on why you needed the funds, know exactly how much it will cost you and want to hold it for the entire duration you selected.
The LendPlus customer support service is only available during the say; Monday-Saturday (8am-6pm and for Sundays (8am-5pm) which may be a challenge for anyone needing assistance outside these hours. We must say though, when we did reach out to their customer service line, they were very responsive.
LendPlus also occasionally runs promotions that offer discounts on the interest rates as a reward to its loyal customers. We’re not fully sure when and how often discounts are offered but here’s what LendPlus advises.
“We often do SMS mailings with promo codes for loans. Make sure you receive our SMS and use our promo code to get a discount on the interest rate,” LendPlus says.
Following LendPlus on social media should also increase your chances of catching wind of a promotion such as this 4-day sale that ran from November 2022.