Helb to publish names, photos of defaulters who hold Sh50b

Monday, November 18th, 2019 20:42 |

The Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) yesterday threatened to take legal action against beneficiaries of the facility who have defaulted on repayment.

In a notice, Helb said it would publish names and pictures of over 80,000 loan beneficiaries who have defaulted from 1975 to date upon expiry of 30 days.

The board may also consider legal action against each defaulter as stipulated in the Helb Act, as it seeks to recover at least Sh50 billion that is yet to be repaid.

 “Helb wishes to notify the general public and loan defaulters that the Helb student loan is a government debt which should be repaid as per the terms and conditions on which it was advanced,” read the notice.

“Please take note that the names and pictures of Helb loan beneficiaries who have defaulted repayment of the loan from 1975 to date shall be published in the leading newspapers after expiry of 30 days from the date of this notice and thereafter legal action may ensue against each defaulter as stipulated in the Helb Act,” the notice added. 

The loans body regretted that some defaulters have not responded to previous communication addressed to them yet the funds received from loan repayment are used to support the current needy students. This means that  sustained default hinders funding of other deserving Kenyans’ education.

Since the inception of the Students Loan Fund in 1974, Helb has issued loans to more than 837,965 students and disbursed over Sh92 billion.

Data from the board also indicates that as at June 30, this year there were 436,892 mature loan accounts worth Sh52.1 billion as compared to 396,329 mature loans holding Sh46.9 billion in the last financial year, 2017/18.

Clear loans

A total of 401,073 loanees holding Sh39.9 billion had not matured.

“Out of the mature loans, 160,076 accounts valued at Sh24.5 billion are repaying their loans compared to 144,075 loanees holding Sh22.5 billion who were in repayment at the end of June last year,” Helb indicated.

Some 61,038 loanees holding Sh6.1 billion are in default compared to 61,700 holding Sh6.55 billion at the end of June last year. The loan book performance as at June 30,this year was 72.4 per cent compared to previous year of 70 per cent as at June 30, last year. 

When a 100 per cent penalty waiver was announced between May and July last year, 9,920 loanees cleared their loans worth Sh780.1 million contributing to the reduction of accounts in default from 78,000 valued at Sh8.1 billion to 61,700 records holding Sh6.6 billion.

Article 26 of Helb Act states that the court may order any person convicted of an offence to pay to the Board, as the case may be, the amount of any outstanding loan repayments and interest or any other sum, together with any penalty, found to be due from such person to the Board, and any sum so ordered shall be recoverable as a fine and paid to the Board.

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