NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 4 – A survey conducted by Ipsos among Kenyans living in informal settlements has revealed that 44 per cent of Kenyans had loans in June with 55 per cent of respondents saying they found it hard to pay the loans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The survey conducted between June 18 and 25 revealed that borrowing was higher in the rural areas at 45 per cent compared to urban areas whose residents accounted for 42 per cent.
Kenyans living in the North Eastern region had the lowest loan uptake at 25 per cent with the rest of the regions averaging 40 per cent.
Only one percent of the 2,214 respondents said repaying the loans during the COVID-19 pandemic was easier than before while 10 per cent said they were unable to pay loans.
Twenty four per cent of respondents indicated they were repaying their loans on time while 55 per cent were making late repayments or defaulting.
“Fifty-three per cent of the respondents indicated that the frequency of borrowing had increased, remained the same (20 per cent) and reduced (27 per cent) during COVID-19 compared to before,” the survey added.
The findings further revealed that that 52 per cent of those who took loans were employed while 47 per cent of the respondents were self employed among them 27 per cent who identified identified as students.
The survey found that 87 per cent of the respondents obtained loans from one provider while 13 per cent sought loans from multiple providers.
Fifty-seven percent of Kenyans sourced loans from digital lenders compared to 22 and 17 per cent whose sources of loans were banks and Saccos respectively
Majority of the respondents took the loans to start a business while 25 per cent and 24 per cent took to buy food and pay schools fees respectively
Thirteen per cent said they took the loans to pay medical bills while three per cent took a loan to construct a house.