HELB Unable to Trace 17,000 Defaulters as Waiver Deadline Inches Closer

The Higher Education Loans Board cannot trace 17, 000 defaulters as the extended waiver deadline inches closer.

According to the agency, by last year 85,000 beneficiaries were owing the agency Sh9.6 billion.

This year, the agency saw its budgetary allocation fall for the first time in history from Sh. 10.1 billion to 9.6 billion.

The allocation of Sh9.6 billion includes cash recovered from past loanees, meaning that the actual allocation from the Treasury is much lower.

RELATED: Over 55,000 Students to Get HELB Loans this Year

A total of 169,909 graduates had fully repaid their loans worth Sh13.2 billion by September 2017, while some 136,783 beneficiaries were servicing loans worth Sh20.7 billion.

Already Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has extended defaulters waiver for one month after the agency raised Sh500 million by end of June.

Ms Mohamed said the waiver was extended because past beneficiaries were willing to repay their loans.

“Based on enthusiasm that most loanees have shown its imperative that we extend the repayment period so that we give them an opportunity to repay,” she said.

Mr Ringera said Helb had recovered Sh508 million from 9,112 loanees who had paid within the amnesty period which started on May 3 and ended on June 30.

“A total of 5,881 loanees are holding Sh971 million and have expressed willingness to repay in lump sum but they have been unsuccessful in their quest to beat the set deadline,” Mr Ringera said in a letter to Ms Mohamed dated June 29.

Since 1974, the loan scheme has supported over 645,000 Kenyans at a total cost of Sh72billion.

Since 1974, 396,680 loan accounts worth Sh47.5 billion have matured for repayment; while 264,000 loanees holding Sh24.5 billion have not.

Of the 396,680 loan accounts, a total of 175,003 loanees have completed their loan repayment valued at Sh16.7 billion.

In 2016/2017 alone, the Board recovered Sh4.1 billion which accounted for 40 per cent of the HELB student financing budget of Sh10.2 billion for the year.

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