The Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) issued a penalty waiver of 100 per cent due to the economic difficulties as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The campaign dubbed #KamilishaMalipoYaHelb, will run between March 1, 2022 and April 30, 2022 and is aimed at encouraging repayment by recipients of the Helb loans.
The move, according to Chief Executive Officer Charles Ringera, was made to show gratitude to loanees for their resolve to service their loans despite the impacts of Covid-19.
It also aims to persuade borrowers who haven’t started repaying their loans to do so in full, he said.
“Due to Covid-19 pandemic, Kenya, just like many other countries, has experienced a slowing down of the economy. The unemployment and underemployment as well as the challenging environment for loanees to start and run businesses has affected Helb loan repayment,” said Ringera.
According to Ringera, Helb gave a 100-percent penalty waiver in 2013, resulting in 10,110 recipients repaying loans totaling Sh1.3 billion.
In 2018, a similar waiver resulted in 9,998 beneficiaries repaying debts totaling Sh870 million. The CEO stated that the difficulties in repaying the loan, along with insufficient funds from the National Treasury, had created a funding problem.
“Helb recognises that the loan beneficiaries’ repayment capabilities may take some time to stabilise due to the current economic circumstances,” he said.
It is critical for all beneficiaries to fulfill their obligations as outlined in the loan application terms and circumstances in order to help another deserving student achieve their goals.”
Deficit financing every month, Helb loan deductions must be remitted by the 15th of the month. The employer is penalised 5 per cent of the entire amount owed if he or she fails to remit or remits late.
Helb projected to fund 74,438 first-year university students in the fiscal year 2021/2022, compared to 128,073 students placed by Kenya Universities and Central Placement Services.
To overcome the deficit, Helb asked an additional Sh4.9 billion.