HELB grants 100% waiver to all loan defaulters

The waiver runs between March 1 and April 30

HELB CEO Charles Ringera photo/courtesy

The Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) has announced a 100% penalty waiver to all debtors who clear their loans in the next 60 days.

In a statement released on March 1, HELB CEO Charles Ringera said the economic disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic affected loan repayment adding that the tough business environment could not allow for debtors to find gainful employment.

“Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, Kenya just like many other countries globally experienced slowing down of the economy. The unemployment and underemployment as well as a challenging environment for loanees to start and run businesses affected HELB loan repayment,” Ringera outlined in his statement.

The campaign waiver dubbed #kamilishamalipoyaHELB will be running from March 1 to April 30, Ringera reminding beneficiaries to honor their commitment to pay off their loans.

“It is important for all beneficiaries to honor their obligation as stipulated in the loan application terms and conditions so as to empower the dreams of another needy student,” he stated.

A similar campaign HELB in 2013 and again in 2018 realised Sh1.3 billion and Sh870 million respectively in loans paid off by defaulters.

This year more than 75,000 university entrants missed the government loans after the agency ran out of cash. The body said that those that missed the funding will have to wait till September when the National Treasury would have released Sh3billion disbursement.

Reports indicate that over 100,000 previous beneficiaries defaulted on their repayments during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic mostly due to salary cuts and retrenchments.

Legislators have also been pushing for the extension of the grace period for loan repayments from one year to five years which allows the graduates to be stable and avoid blacklisting with the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB).

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