In Kenya, SACCOs are popular due to the low-interest rates they charge their clients compared to other financial institutions.
To join a SACCO you will need to make regular contributions and build equity in the Sacco. You will be earning dividends annually from your share capital contribution. There is a minimum share capital that you have to meet before you start earning dividends.
SACCOs are also ideal for chamas as they formalize saving groups and give more options for collective investment and borrowing.
Things to consider when joining a SACCO
- Check that the SACCO is registered by the SACCOs regulator in Kenya, SASRA.
- Shop around for the best SACCO for you before you settle on one. Low lending rates coupled with low contribution targets make a SACCO attractive. Interest rates calculated on a reducing balance are also a key feature of SACCOs one would be interested in joining.
- Becoming a member will require you to fill in membership forms, attach copies of your national identity card and coloured passport photos along with your KRA PIN number.
The following are some of the top SACCOs to join IN Kenya, based on favourable lending rates, and low contribution requirements.
This is one of the most popular SACCOs in Kenya with a wide portfolio of loan services available to its members. It has branches in most major towns across Kenya. Registration fee to join is Kshs 500 and a monthly contribution of Kshs 1,000 with a share capital of Kshs 25,000.
It offers fixed deposit savings rates of 5% and above to savings from as low as Kshs 5,000.
Its normal loan rate is 12% per annum. Most of its other loan products are at 14% annually and one can access up to 4 times their savings in loans. Stima Sacco is both accessible and easy to use. Visit a branch near you and start saving today.
Although this SACCO is not open to the public- you need to be introduced by a member to join- it is still one of the best SACCOs to belong to.
You will need to contribute Kshs 3,000 in deposits each month and Kshs 3, 400 towards your share capital which stands at Kshs 40,000. The registration fee is Kshs 1,000.
Members are eligible for loans after 6 months at a 1% monthly interest rate on reducing balance.
You get rebates every year and it is calculated annually against your deposit contribution.
Kenya Police SACCO
Initially set up for members of the police fraternity in Kenya, it has opened up its membership to the public. Share capital is Kshs 50,000, and it is non-refundable to the member upon exiting.
It has a mobile banking service known as M-TAWI. It offers a fixed savings account of 5% and above on amounts starting from Kshs 10,000. Their normal loan is issued at 12% on reducing balance at three times the members’ deposits. This SACCO also purchases and sells property to members at discounted prices.
This is open to professionals in the accounting field as well as members of other professional bodies, and their immediate family. Students studying finance or accounting may also join the SACCO. One becomes a member by paying Kshs 1,000 membership fee, a minimum monthly contribution of Kshs 1,600 and a minimum share capital contribution of Kshs 10,000, and filing in the membership form.
With Kshs 10,000, one can earn an interest of 8.5% annually on a fixed deposit account with the SACCO. You can also save for your dream vacation on their Holiday Scheme.
Members can borrow up to 4 times their savings and can also borrow against their own deposit contributions, otherwise known as self-guarantee. Their primary loan product known as Gold Loan can be accessed at 14% over a period of six years.
A feature that is unique to this Sacco is that members pay a mandatory Kshs 1,200, a contribution towards a risk fund. In the event of death, the next of kin is refunded 200% of the contributed deposits. a last expense of Kshs 150,000 is paid towards burial costs. When a member dies or becomes disabled, their active loan is cleared by the insurance company.
One can open a savings account with as little as Kshs 5,000. For those between 18-24 years, one can open a transactional account dubbed ‘My Chumz’ and start earning interest from Kshs 1,000.
One of its loan products has a repayment period of 6 years, one of the longest repayment periods for SACCO loan products.
United Nations Society SACCO
This SACCO has savings accounts that calculate interest monthly depending on prevailing market conditions.
With its offices in Gigiri near the UN complex, this Sacco has most of its loan interest rates stand at 12% per annum, on reducing balance. Members can access loans after three months of contribution.
The SACCO relies mostly on your payslip to recover the amount of money it has advanced to you. This then means you would have to channel your salary through the SACCO or have a direct debit agreement with the SACCO.
To be a member, one must raise a minimum share capital of Kshs 50,000, a joining fee of Kshs 1,000 and commit to contributing 2,300 every month. You can also become a member by transferring your contributions from another SACCO.
This SACCO also provides its members with safe custody services, where they can keep their valuables over a period of time.
Your Workplace SACCO
Most organizations have internal SACCOs that are largely informal and not regulated by SASRA but by the human resource policies of that company. Joining your company’s SACCO is a great first step to understanding SACCO finance and saving.
So should you join a SACCO?
Choosing whether or not to commit your savings to a SACCO is not a simple decision. However, there are few savings options that make better fiscal sense. If you do, remember that if you wish to withdraw your savings in a SACCO, you will be required to give 60 days’ notice in most SACCOs or pay a fee.
You can also sell your shares to a new member willing to join the SACCO but cannot leave a SACCO if you guaranteed someone a loan and they have not cleared it.
To access loans you will need two or more guarantors depending on the SACCO. This can be a challenge if you do not have a relationship with other members.