Young MPs oppose HELB’s bid to name, shame defaulters

A group of young parliamentarians has emerged to voice their opposition to the Higher Education Loans Board’s bid to name and shame individuals who have defaulted on their student loans.

According to the legislators, the move is a breach of privacy that could ruin employment opportunities for young graduates that are yet to repay their student loans.

In a notice published Monday, the higher education loans board announced that it would publish the names and photos of all individuals who have defaulted on repayment of student loans since 1975. 

The board says at least 85,000 individuals have refused to pay back HELB loans of up to 52.1 billion shillings since 1975.

That proposal to name and shame loan defaulters has however been opposed by a group of young parliamentarians who have blamed the defaults on rising youth unemployment.

The MPs now want the government to wipe the slate clean on unpaid student loans.

The MPs contend they will push back on HELB’S plan to publish the names and photos of defaulters if need be.

According to HELB, 215,778 beneficiaries have cleared their loans to the tune of 21.5 billion shillings as of 2019. For now, HELB loan defaulters have 30 days to pay up or have their identities revealed in what is now emerging into a last-ditch attempt to rid HELB of bad debts

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