According to the Kenya SACCO Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA), the SACCO licensing body in Kenya, 176 Deposit-Taking SACCOs (DTSs) and 185 Non-Deposit Taking SACCOs (NDTs) are licensed to operate in 2023. Given the sundry options, it may be hard to tell the best SACCOs in Kenya.
Some of the best SACCOs in the country include Nyati SACCO, Magadi SACCO, Tower SACCO, and Mombasa Port SACCO, whose recent dividend on share capital was 20% or more.
These SACCOs are, however, not the only ones. As we will see later in our list, there are at least 20 amazing high-dividend SACCOs in the country that you can go for.
While the dividend is one consideration when picking a SACCO, it’s not the only important consideration. You must also consider the membership requirements, loan accessibility, share capital, investment opportunities, SASRA regulation, and reputation, among other factors, which we’ll also discuss.
But just a snippet, here are the things I’ll cover:
- What’s a SACCO?
- Why invest in a SACCO?
- What are the downsides of SACCOs?
- Is it good to invest in a SACCO?
- What are the best SACCOs in Kenya?
- How do you invest in a SACCO?
- How do you choose the best SACCO in Kenya?
Let’s dive in!
In a hurry? Below is an overview of the top 20 SACCOs with the best dividends in Kenya at the start of 2022:
An Overview of SACCOs with Best Dividends in Kenya
|–||SACCO||Registration Fee||Minimum Monthly Contribution||Share on Capital||Max Loan Multiple||Dividend on Share Capital||Interest in Member Deposit|
|1.||Nyati SACCO||Ksh 500||Ksh 1,200||Ksh 9,000||3||21%||11%|
|2.||Magadi SACCO||Ksh 2,000||–||Ksh 20,000||3||20%||14%|
|3.||Tower SACCO||Ksh 500||Ksh 500||Ksh 10,000||3||20%||13%|
|4.||Mombasa Port SACCO||Ksh 500||Ksh 1,000||Ksh 40,000||4||20%||12.5%|
|5.||TransNation SACCO||Ksh 500||Ksh 400||Ksh 10,000||3||18%||13.1%|
|6.||Biashara SACCO||Ksh 2,000||Ksh 2,500||Ksh 50,000||5||18%||13%|
|7.||Bandari SACCO||Ksh 1,000||Ksh 1,500||Ksh 10,500||–||18%||11.5%|
|9.||Hazina SACCO||Ksh 1,000||Ksh 1,000||Ksh 16,000||4||18%||10.6%|
|10.||Kenya Police SACCO||Ksh 2,000||Ksh 1,000||Ksh 20,000||4||17%||10.8%|
|11.||Unison SACCO||–||Ksh 2,000||Ksh 1,000||5||16%||12.5%|
|12.||Sheria SACCO||Ksh 1,000||Ksh 2,000||Ksh 20,000||4||16%||9%|
|13.||Nation SACCO||Ksh 1,000||Ksh 2,000||Ksh 10,000||2||15%||9%|
|14.||Kimisitu SACCO||Ksh 1,000||Ksh 2,000||Ksh 30,000||4||15%||8.5%|
|15.||Stima SACCO||Ksh 500||Ksh 1,000||Ksh 25,000||5||14%||11%|
|16.||Imarika SACCO||Ksh 1,000||Ksh 1,000||Ksh 30,000||2||14%||8%|
|17.||Imarisha SACCO||Ksh 360||Ksh 1,000||Ksh 30,000||5||13.9%||11.2%|
|18.||Mwalimu SACCO||Ksh 2,000||Ksh 2,000||Ksh 30,000||6||13%||9.3%|
|19.||Safaricom SACCO||Ksh 1,000||Ksh 3,000||Ksh 40,000||3||13%||8.2%|
|20.||Waumini SACCO||Ksh 500||Ksh 300||Ksh 15,000||4||19.25%||–|
What’s a SACCO?
A SACCO, short for Savings and Credit Cooperative, is a financial institution established to mobilize funds and offer different credit solutions to its members.
SACCOs are founded to help members with similar interests save and procure loans. For example, we have SACCOs for teachers, matatu owners, farmers, bankers, business people, women, accountants, and doctors.
Most SACCOs in Kenya offer Front Office Service Activity (FOSA) and Back Office Serve Activity (BOSA) services.
The difference is that FOSA allows the members the advantage of convenient savings, deposits, and cash transfers. Meanwhile, BOSA promises non-withdrawable savings but allows borrowing against one’s savings at competitive rates.
Why Invest in A SACCO in Kenya?
Joining a SACCO has several advantages, which include the following:
- Higher return – Savings in SACCOs earn compound interest, and dividends are paid out at the end of the year, contributing to a much higher return on investment. As shared, most SACCOs pay more than 15% dividends on share capital which is pretty good.
- Saving culture – With SACCOs, you learn how to save almost compellingly since you’ve to make the minimum monthly contributions. And if you decide to automate savings, the process becomes nearly seamless. What’s more, your withdrawals are limited.
- Shared ownership and wealth – A SACCO allows you to own shares depending on your investment, and shares are a representation of ownership. And as you know, shares represent wealth – the more shares, the wealthier you are.
- Loan accessibility – One product that SACCOs are known to offer is credit access. With them, you can borrow and pay later under flexible terms. It’s only that the claiming process can be a little ugly when you default.
- Investment opportunities – SACCOs expose you to different investment opportunities depending on their members’ problems. For example, most SACCOs invest in land and REITs in Kenya, while others allow members to own these investments individually.
- Longevity – Unlike Chamas, SACCOs are long serving. They run for the long term, meaning you can save longer and enjoy their benefits unless it collapses.
- SASRA oversight – The role of the SACCOs Societies Regulatory Authority (SARSA) is to weed out rogue SACCOs and direct you to the safest options. So, by going to a SARSA-certified SACCO, you avoid losing your money or exploitation by a SACCO. If anything like that happens, you can always raise it with SASRA.
What Are the Downsides of SACCOs in Kenya?
Just as much as SACCOs have some benefits, they also have some downsides, which may prompt you to rethink if they are worth it. These downsides include the following:
- Less liquidity – You can’t withdraw from your SACCO account anytime you want. While this encourages saving discipline, it denies you the opportunity to become liquid when you hit rock bottom and need cash urgently.
- Borrowing limit – Yes, you can borrow from your SACCO, but there are limits. You cannot borrow beyond a certain amount, meaning there are financial projects you can accomplish using SACCO loans.
- Tough borrowing restrictions – Though SACCOs promise easy credit access, the process can be vigorous since you often need to provide a guarantor or collateral. You may have a problem securing a loan without the security.
- Accountability opaqueness – Though SACCOs are SASRA-regulated, they lack the transparency that banks and other financial institutions enjoy, so fewer people trust them.
- Painful loan recovery – Once you default to pay a SACCO loan, the lender is not the merciful type. They’ll go to whatever extent to claim their money, even if it means selling what you placed as security and holding the guarantor accountable.
- Poor management – SACCOs lack proper regulations, so the management is often poor. A lack of financial competence makes it hard to trust most SACCOs.
- Internal wrangles – SACCO’s internal conflicts are messy, and you wouldn’t want to be a part of that. Part of the reason there are always internal wrangles is a lack of transparency.
Is It Good To Save In a SACCO?
Undeniably, harsh borrowing restrictions, credit limits, and less liquidity concern borrowers. The Lack of opaqueness, internal wrangles, and poor management are equally concerning, and SACCO’s loan recovery antics are just a sign you shouldn’t borrow if you can’t pay.
So, regarding getting a loan, SACCOs are only a good choice when borrowing within your payment threshold. But again, a loan is a loan, and we, as Cent Warrior, don’t recommend loans as they get you in debt.
So, we recommend SACCOs as a savings alternative instead. Considering their colossal dividend payouts and high interest, consider them your saving option. So, yes, it’s good to save in a SACCO. Just ensure you do your due diligence before investing.
How To Invest in SACCOs in Kenya
Here are the quick steps to joining and investing in a SACCO:
Step 1 (Fill out the application/membership joining form)
Ask for the application or membership joining from the SACCO you want to invest in and fill it out.
Step 2 (Submit the necessary documents)
You usually only need an ID and a copy of your KRA pin. You’ll need to submit these documents with the application form.
Step 3 (Pay the joining fee)
Depending on the SACCO, pay the joining or registration fee, which is about Ksh 500 – Ksh 2,000.
Step 4 (Wait for approval to start saving)
If you register in person, the approval is usually immediate, but you may have to wait a day or so if it’s online
Step 5 (Make minimum monthly contributions)
Now that you are a registered member, make at least the minimum monthly contribution.
How to Choose the Best SACCOs in Kenya?
There are so many rogue SACCOs out there that you should avoid. Some were once registered but not anymore but are still running, while others have poor terms and rates.
We did our homework, and here are the factors to consider when looking for a SACCO to invest in:
a) SASRA Approval
Only go for SACCO Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA)-approved SACCOs. The reason is that SASRA guarantees protection from exploitation by SACCOs and investment loss. Once there’s an issue, you can raise it with SASRA, and they’ll pick it up.
SASRA also allows you to identify SACCOs that have collapsed in Kenya, such as the Kiambu Hustlers SACCO, Nitunze, and Moi University SACCO, and stay off.
b) Membership Requirements
Consider a SACCO with members with the same interest as you. For example, go for a business-leaning SACCO if you are a business person or a farmer SACCO if you are into farming.
Then consider the registration requirements, such as the joining fee and the minimum contributions.
c) Dividend Payouts
One of the benefits of joining SACCOs is the dividend payout. Dividends are usually calculated as percentages from members’ savings. In Kenya, most SACCOs pay a 10% dividend on average, so the higher the rate, the better, which translates to a higher income.
d) Share Capital
Share Capital refers to the amount that allows SACCO members to enjoy equity ownership and earn dividends annually. The amount is not withdrawable but transferred or sellable during exit. So, you’ve to consider it when picking a SACCO.
e) Product Accessibility
Another reason you would want to invest in a SACCO is the product it offers. That includes credit/loans and savings.
For example, if you are looking for SACCOs in Kenya selling land, go for Kimisitu SACCO, Stima SACCO, Kenya Police SACCO, Afya SACCO, or KMA SACCO.
Overall, your SACCO of choice should make credit access and savings easy.
f) Customer Reviews and Referrals
Given that so many SACCOs in the country have the reputation of exploiting their members and others have been deregistered, you can avoid them by reading customer reviews and asking for referrals from people you know.
g) SACCO Reputation
A good name is everything in the business sector, and you want a SACCO with a proven record. So, consider those that enjoy a good reputation among their customers. Simply, look for well-established SACCOs.
h) Technology Use
Thanks to mobile and internet banking innovations, you don’t have to bodily wait in line to be served at a SACCO branch. Others offer ATMs, and all these technologies are a top consideration.
i) Payment Tenure
One advantage SACCOs have over most lenders is that they offer longer loan terms. All SACCOs are not the same, however. So, if you plan to borrow once you are eligible, you should get a SACCO that offers more extended repayment periods.
j) Customer Service
You want a SACCO you can quickly reach when you have a concern. So, good customer support is critical, which you can tell from the referrals and reviews you read.
You need a SACCO that you can easily access when you have an issue or want to make an in-person loan request or withdrawal. So, it makes sense to consider a SACCO within your locality.
l) Exiting Policy
You don’t expect to save in a SACCO forever. You may want to exit it at some point, so knowing the exit policy beforehand is advisable. At Least understand what happens to your share capital when you want to opt-out.
Which Is The Best Saving SACCO in Kenya?
Below is a list of 20 of the best SACCOs in Kenya in terms of dividends:
1. Nyati SACCO (the Highest Dividend Paying SACCO in Kenya)
Nyati SACCO is currently the highest dividend-paying SACCO in the country. In 2021, this SACCO paid a 21% dividend on share capital while relishing an 11% interest on member deposits.
To be a member, you must pay Ksh 500 as the entrance fee, Ksh 9,000 share on capital, and Ksh 1,200 monthly contributions. Nyati pays attractive dividends and offers larger loan limits of up to 3 times one’s savings, which is a big plus.
Nyati SACCO comprises employees from G4S security, Tandu Alarms, and organized community groups, among other partners and their families.
2. Magadi SACCO
Magadi SACCO was founded in 1977 to cater to the credit and saving needs of the Magadi employees. Its membership has grown over the years from 50 to more than 7,000 today, and the SACCO is now open to all.
Its 2021 dividend in share capital and interest on members up to 3 times your savings. Magadi expects you to pay a one-off registration fee of Ksh 2,000. The minimum shares are 200 at Ksh 100 per share, bringing the minimum share capital to Ksh 20,000.
3. Tower SACCO
Tower SACCO was founded in 1976 initially as a primary school teachers’ SACCO. Today, they are open to all TCS employees, Kenya defense, Kenya prisons, non-teaching and teaching staff, parastatals, and hospitals.
The signup fee is Ksh 500; the same goes for the minimum monthly contribution. Meanwhile, as of 2021, the dividend in share capital was 20%, while the interest on deposit was 13%.
On the other hand, the share capital was Ksh 10,000, and Tower offers loans up to 3 times.
4. Mombasa Port SACCO
Mombasa port SACCO is open to individuals, businesses, cooperatives, Chamas, self-help groups, and companies. Now members can register with Ksh 500 and make a minimum monthly contribution of Ksh 1,000 (for individuals) or Ksh 5,000 (for groups/companies).
The minimum share capital is Ksh 40,000, and members can get loan limits of up to four times their contribution. As of 2021, the dividend on share capital and the interest on deposit were 20% and 12.5%, respectively
5. TransNation SACCO
Formerly the Tharaka Nithi Teachers SACCO, the TransNation SACCO recorded a dividend on share capital and interest on deposit rates of 18% and 13.1%, respectively, in 2021.
This SACCO allows new members to join with Ksh 500 registration fee and Ksh 10,000 share capital. The monthly contribution is Ksh 400, and you can borrow up to 3 times your deposit amount.
6. Biashara SACCO
Biashara SACCO promises business loans of up to 5 times the members’ savings at an annual interest rate of 10%. The registration fee is Ksh 2,000, while the monthly deposits are Ksh 2,500.
The nominal shares are 50 at a rate of Ksh 100 per share, bringing us to a Ksh 50,000 minimum share on capital.
Additionally, Biashara SACCO charges Ksh 200,000 development fee and Ksh 100 maintenance fee. In 2021, Biashara recorded an 18% dividend on share capital and a 13% interest on member deposits.
7. Bandari SACCO
The Bandari SACCO attracts not only the Kenya ports employees but also sole proprietors, Chamas, companies, and individuals. Becoming a member takes a registration fee of Ksh 1,000 and a minimum share capital of Ksh 10,500.
You, however, must make a minimum monthly contribution of Ksh 1,500 (or Ksh 50 daily). Bandari SACCO enjoys an 18% dividend on share capital and 11.5% interest on member deposits.
8. Mafanikio SACCO
Established in 1976, Mafanikio SACCO draws interest from the teachers’ fraternity, the ministry of education, the SACCO employees, and the president’s office.
The SACCO enjoyed an 18% and 11% dividend on share capital and interest on members’ deposits rate, respectively, in 2021.
9. Hazina SACCO
Hazina SACCO is one of the country’s fastest-growing SACCOs, promising salary-based loan limits of up to Ksh 4 million and shares/deposits loans of up to Ksh 30 million.
You can get up to 4 times your savings on shares in terms of loan multiples. Hazina expects you to make a monthly contribution of Ksh 1,000 and similar joining fees.
As of December 2021, the minimum share capital was Ksh 16,000. Hazina SACCO is open to individuals, corporates, and Chamas.
10. Kenya Police SACCO
The Kenya Police SACCO is open to not only police officers in Kenya but also the business community, salaried employees, and civil servants. The entrance fee is Ksh 2,000, while the minimum monthly contribution is Ksh 1,000.
Meanwhile, the minimum share capital is Ksh 20,000, making you eligible for various credit and savings products. In 2021, the Kenya Police SACCOs dividend on share capital and interest on member deposits were 17% and 10.5%, respectively, and the SACCO allows you loans of up to 4 times your deposits.
11. Unison SACCO
Unison draws its members from the civil service, TSC, private schools, the business sector, and corporations. Currently, the SACCO has more than 30,000 members.
As of 2021, the dividend on share capital and the interest on member deposits were 16% and 12.5%, respectively. Unison allows its members to get loans of up to 3 – 5 times their savings.
The minimum shares are 100 at Ksh 10 per share, bringing the minimum share capital to Ksh 1000.
12. Sheria SACCO
The Sheria SACCO pools its members from the Kenya judiciary, attorney general chamber, and other government headquarters, and lately, business persons have been joining the SACCO.
You require a registration amount of Ksh 1,000 and an additional Ksh 700 for the FOSA account opening and burial benevolent fund registration.
Sheria SACCO enjoys a Ksh 20,000 share on capital, 16% divided in share capital, and 9% interest on deposit (as of 2021). Moreover, you can get a loan of up to 2 – 4 times your savings, and the minimum monthly contribution is Ksh 2,000.
13. Nation SACCO
The Nation SACCO has a history stretching to 1975, making it one of the oldest SACCOs in Kenya. This SACCO offers short-term and long-term credit solutions and a variety of savings products to its members.
The entry fee is Ksh 1,000, while the minimum monthly contribution is Ksh 2,000. Meanwhile, the minimum shares are 100 at Ksh 100 per share, bringing the minimum share capital to Ksh 10,000.
The loan limit per group or individual is up to 5 times their savings. As of 2021, nation SACCO had a 15% and 9% dividend on share capital and interest on member deposit rate, respectively.
14. Kimisitu SACCO
Kimisitu SACCO dates to 1985 and currently enjoys 37 years of work experience and over 10,000 active members. In 2021, Kimisitu recorded a 15% dividend share on capital and an 8.5% interest on member deposits.
Kimisitu allows you to get a development loan of up to 4 times your deposit which you can pay for up to 60 months. You only need to register with Ksh 1,000 and make a Ksh 2,000 minimum contribution, but the share capital is Ksh 30,000.
15. Stima SACCO
Founded in 1974 to help Kenya power employees to access credit and investment opportunities, Stima SACCO is nowadays open to the general public.
Individuals and corporations can invest and enjoy impressive dividends. In 2021, the dividend on share capital percentage was 14%, while the interest on share capital was 11%.
The registration amount is Ksh 500, while the minimum monthly contribution and share capital are Ksh 1,000 and Ksh 25,000, respectively. What’s more, you can access loans up to five times.
16. Imarika SACCO
Initially, Malindi Teachers SACCO, Imarika enjoyed 49 years in the SACCO market. Judging by its name, Imarika promises stability in its members’ returns while offering credit and savings services.
Imarika allows you to join by parting with Ksh 1,000 and an equal amount or Ksh 3,000 as a monthly contribution, depending on your savings account. Moreover, you can get a loan of up to 2 times your deposit.
The dividends on share capital and the interest or deposit were 14% and 8%, respectively, as of December 2021.
17. Imarisha SACCO
Imarisha SACCO began as a teachers’ SACCO in 1978 but now welcomes doctors, business people, and other professionals. Driven by transparency, respect, and innovation, Imarisha enjoyed a 13.9% dividend on share capital and an 11.2% interest on member deposits in 2021.
To sign up, you must pay Ksh 360 as a joining fee and make a minimum monthly contribution of Ksh 1,000. The share on capital is Ksh 30,000, and you can get an Imarisha SACCO loan of up to 5 times your contribution.
18. Mwalimu SACCO
Mwalimu SACCO allows Teachers Service Commission (TSC) employees to access credit and savings services. That includes those in primary school, post-primary, and TVET institutions – as well as lecturers and their family members.
Members need to register with Ksh 2,000 and contribute an equal amount monthly. The minimum number of shares one should hold is 1,500 at a value of Ksh 20 per share, and members can get loans of up to 3 – 6 times their contributions.
19. Safaricom SACCO
Safaricom SACCO was founded in 2001 to improve the economic status of its members. This SASRA-regulated SACCO enjoys an asset value of Ksh 8 billion and offers over 35 products.
New members need to buy at least 400 shares at a rate of Ksh 100 per share, bringing the minimum share on capital to Ksh 40,000.
The dividend on share capital and interest on member deposit as of 2021 was 13% and 8%, respectively. On the other hand, the membership and the minimum monthly deposit are Ksh 1,000 and Ksh 3,000, respectively. You, however, can’t borrow more than three times your savings.
20. Waumini SACCO
Waumini SACCO was first registered as a SACCO in 1980 to cater to the Catholic faithful’s financial needs and their families.
2021 saw SACCO registering a 9.25% dividend on share capital. Waumini offers FOSA and BOSA loans where you can get up to 4 times your total deposits.
The registration is Ksh 500, while the monthly contribution is Ksh 300. What’s more, the share of capital is Ksh 15,000, paid in Ksh 500 monthly installments.
Above are the best SACCOs in Kenya today, according to our research. These SACCOs are SASRA registered, thus safe, and have reasonable margins in terms of dividends. Therefore, consider them for saving as you will likely have a better return on investment.
And if you want some more clarification on SACCOs in the country, talk to the Cent Warrior family on social media. We are a chat away from helping you make a suitable investment call.