Savings and Credit Co-Operatives (SACCOs) have become among the most popular financial institutions in Kenya. Saccos are advantages compared to commercial banks due to their high level of flexibility compared to other institutions in the financial sector.
SACCOs are institutions that allow their members to make savings with them on a monthly basis. The savings are often invested in chosen sectors of the economy such as real estate. The members are then rewarded through dividends, cheaper and more flexible loans, and better interest on the savings.
10 Best SACCOs in Kenya
Basing on their features, the following ranks among the 10 best SACCOs in Kenya:
1. Kenya Police SACCO
Formed in 1972, the Kenya Police SACCO was formed to serve employees of the Kenya Police and is headquartered in Ngara in Nairobi. However, recently the SACCO is currently open to all Kenyan citizens which have enabled it to garner a membership of 52,000 individuals.
With this SACCO, the loan repayment periods are 48 months and they can be as high as 3 times the investment made by a member.
2. K-Unity SACCO
K-Unity is another SACCO that has seen and experienced the financial growth and increase of its members. Its operations are centered in Kiambu and Nairobi counties although members from other areas are free to join it. To be a member, one is subjected to a vetting process based on its membership policy.
Once a member, you’re eligible for loans of up to 4 times the size of your savings. The interest rate on the loans is at a low of 1 percent and at a reducing rate.
3. Maisha Bora SACCO
Started way back in 1974 by the Kenyan employees of Unilever, this Sacco was exclusive to the employees of this firm until just recently when membership was open for all.
Among the strengths of this Sacco is the fact that members are eligible to loans of up to 3 times their savings with the Sacco. Like most SACCOs on this list, Maisha Bora Sacco offers its loans at a 1 percent interest rate each month and on a reducing balance basis. These loans, however, are not allowed to exceed 6 months before they’re fully paid back.
4. Wanandege SACCO
The Sacco has a long history of operation and a great reputation. It was launched in 1977 for people working within the Kenya airline industry. This included pilots and all other employees in this sector.
Today, the Sacco is open to all members of the public and has branches in Nairobi and Mombasa. Its members enjoy loans up to 3 times their initial savings and only incur an interest rate of 1 percent each month and on a reducing balance basis. These loans don’t last for more than 4 years.
5. Imarika SACCO
The Sacco was founded in 1974 by the members of the TSC (Teacher Service Commission). It began its operations in Kilifi and started off with a mere 100 members to grow to a present impressive figure of more than 37,000 members.
The only downside to this Sacco is that it offers loans only up to two times the size of a member’s savings, and charges interest rates of as high as 12.5%. These loans are to be paid back within 5 years from the time of borrowing.
6. Unaitas SACCO
Unaitas SACCO started off as Muramati in 1993 in the present-day Murang’a County. It would quickly rise into one of the most reliable and fastest-growing micro-finance businesses in the country through its funding of small-scale business owners.
Today, the Sacco has members from all around the country. It offers various benefits to its members such as loans at 3 times the size of a member’s savings. It also charges very low-interest rates (between 1 and 1.5 percent each month). The interest areas are also on a reducing balance with the loans to be paid back within 72 months.
7. Stima SACCO
Stima Sacco started in 1974 as a Sacco for the employees of the East African Power & Lighting Company. The Sacco would grow fast owing to its large membership and efficient management to become one of the best SACCOs in the region. Presently, it’s open to all members of the public and has branches in Mombasa, Nairobi, Olkaria, Eldoret, and Kisumu.
The members are eligible to loans of up to two times their savings and are charged interest rates of only 1 percent per month on a reducing balance basis.
8. Waumini SACCO
Waumini Sacco was set up by the Catholic Church to cater to the financial needs of the Catholic faithful across the country. The Sacco boasts of more than 25,000 members across the country.
For membership, the Sacco accepts members of the Catholic Church and current and former employees of Catholic institutions. This is one of the few SACCOs that have strict membership requirements.
The members of Waumini Sacco can borrow up to 3 times the value of their savings and payback with interest rates of 12.5 percent per annum. Technically, this is about one (1) percent interest rate per month.
9. Hazina SACCO
Established in 1971, Hazina Sacco Society is among the most known SACCOs in the country. It was formed back in 1971 to cater to the needs of government employees at various levels. Private sector members are also welcome to become members of this SACCO. Today, the Sacco boasts of at least 15,000 members from across the country.
Loans for Hazina Sacco members are up to 3.5 times their savings. They’re charged at 1 percent interest per month and on a reducing balance basis. The maximum period the loan can remain unpaid is 6 years (72 months).
10. Harambee SACCO
Of all the SACCOs mentioned in this article, the Harambee Sacco has the highest number of members at over 80,000 individuals since its founding in 1970. It also has one of the biggest asset bases at KSh 19 billion.
For you to be a member, you only need to apply for membership to the Sacco. You will then be vetted through the membership policy.
Once you’re approved to be a member, you’ll qualify for loans of up to 3 times your savings. The loans will need to be paid back within 4 years.
These ten SACCOs will offer you the best value for your money if at all you qualify for the membership. They’ve been in operation for a long period of time and have a proven track record.
Benefits of SACCOs
Saving your money in SACCOs has various advantages among them:
- It encourages the saving spirit among members.
- You can easily access loans during emergencies. These loans are pegged to the amount you’ve saved with the SACCO.
- They’re easier avenues of owning property. For example, some SACCOs buy large pieces of land then subdivide them among their members. The members then pay low and periodic amounts.
- They’re easy to join and leave. Most SACCOs don’t have penalties for leaving or huge fees for joining them.
- Your savings earn dividends with the SACCO.
- When you have a loan with a SACCO and you die, most SACCOs will write it off.
These and many others have been the reasons more and more Kenyans flock to SACCOs.
Besides the SACCOs above, the following offers some reasonable returns on investments as well:
- Mhasibu Sacco
- Kimisitu Sacco
- Safaricom Sacco
- Mwalimu Sacco
With SACCOs offering some of the highest returns on savings, they’ve become some of the most favored methods of saving and investing money earned from other sources of income. When choosing the best SACCOs for your money, always take time to read their requirements, benefits, and charges offered and charged. Assess factors including the opinion held by the current members of the Sacco before making your decision.