75,000 Students Risk Missing HELB Loan.
The Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) is concerned that 75,000 students who rely heavily on state funding may be unable to access the funds.
Thousands of students who benefited from the funds, according to HELB CEO Charles Ringera, have failed to repay nearly Ksh10 billion, forcing the Board into a financial crisis.
Ringera claims that they have given beneficiaries until June, when the amnesty window closes, to repay their loans.
Ringera stated that HELB is in a difficult situation because 107,000 students have defaulted on their loans, making it impossible to finance students who are currently in need of financial assistance.
The HELB CEO stated that there is a problem with students who are migrating as well as those who have openly refused to pay even after a waiver was announced.
“Some of them have faced challenges such as Covid, unemployment and underemployment are also very real challenges to them. But we have also seen a tendency of migration for greener pastures, particularly in Northern America,” he stated.
“If you don’t repay the loan or come for a discussion with us, the law says we charge your account a penalty of Ksh5,000 for being in default and also not being where you are,” he added.
Ringera urged the defaulter to use the penalty waiver period, which ends on June 30.
On March 1, Ringera issued a statement announcing that Helb had resolved to waive all penalties for all loanees.
The waiver period lasted from March 1 to April 30, 2022. According to Ringera, the new campaign is an expression of gratitude to the beneficiaries for their efforts in repaying their loans despite the difficult economic conditions caused by the pandemic.
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The move is also intended to encourage loan recipients to make lump sum repayments during the waiver period.
Ringera emphasized the importance of beneficiaries repaying their loans so that other needy students can benefit from the funds as well.
“It is important for all beneficiaries to honour their obligation as stipulated in the loan application terms and conditions so as to empower the dreams of another needy student,” Ringera reiterated.