Finding the right Sacco in Kenya – one that aligns with your goals – is essential, not only for your financial growth but also for the safety of your money. It is, therefore, vital to do your homework beforehand to ensure you’re settling for the best deal.
There are unlimited options of Saccos in Kenya, which is an excellent thing because then you get to choose from the broader scope. However, sometimes, that’s easier said than done.
Of the many options available, how do you find the best Sacco for you? Well, there are no hard and fast rules for this, but the right Sacco for you is the one whose products and services resonate with your needs.
Here are some tips on choosing the best Sacco in Kenya:
Fees and rates
If you’re keen on getting a one-stop-shop, take the time to check the interest rates that you would earn on deposit accounts and the rates you would pay on loans. Use this information to filter the options that you have. Trusted Saccos in Kenya publish the fee schedules and rates on their websites, so it shouldn’t be hard to compare. If you can’t find the information online, you may call their offices for clarification
Saccos tend to have higher annual percentage rates on savings accounts and lower fee schedules than conventional banks. Those that operate virtually offer even better terms since they do not incur overhead charges associated with having numerous physical branches.
Related: How to Open a Savings Account that Enables You to Borrow against Your Savings
With the busy lifestyle, you’re less likely to have time to step into a branch, let alone wait on the long queues to make deposits or withdraw money. Therefore, you may want to consider a Sacco that integrates technology into their systems so you can do your transactions on the go. Checking for must-have features – like the automatic savings plans, budgeting tools, security measures, and the ability to transfer funds easily to family or friends – can assist in narrowing your list down.
The simple fact that you’re looking for convenience doesn’t mean it’s okay to work with a virtual Sacco that has no physical office. Remote banking is just an added advantage. So, before you join a Sacco, conduct a rigorous investigation about them upfront. Check for their reliability – you can do so by visiting their premises and verifying their licensing and registration documentation. Any reputable Sacco will gladly offer or display their certification papers.
Note that there are two kinds of Saccos in Kenya: the Front Office Services Activity (FOSA), and the Back Office Service Activity (BOSA) Saccos. Whichever type of Sacco you settle for, you should ensure that it’s registered, licensed, and regulated. FOSA Saccos are regulated by the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA), while the BOSA Saccos are regulated by the Commissioner of Cooperatives under the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives.
In the internet era, it’s almost impossible for an institution to get away with bad practices. People will flock online to express their frustrations and anger in case they have a bad experience with a provider. They’ll generously express gratitude if they’re pleased with the services too. So before you sign in to a Sacco, spare some time to browse online for customer reviews and find out what the past clients are saying about them. Here, you’ll see the good and the bad side of the institution. The information will help you in making an informed decision.
Websites which are committed to customer reviews in the banking and financial industry can also offer incredible insights to help you select the best Sacco in Kenya. Since the Sacco does not influence the reviews, you can be sure that the information is accurate and true.
The safety of your money
You want to have insurance for your money, the same way you do for your home, your car, and your health. It is, therefore, crucial to find a reliable Sacco in Kenya that’s properly registered, insured, and regulated. This way, you’ll be sure that your money is safe and that your investment is worth the while. You don’t want to wake up one morning, only to find out that the institution is declared bankrupt.
Ask for referrals
The easiest way to find the best Sacco in Kenya is to ask the people around you – like your family, friends, neighbours, and colleagues. You’ll be surprised by how many people are saving their money and applying for loans with Saccos. People in your cycles are likely to give you an unbiased opinion about a Sacco, which is what you need.