Students with outstanding loans from the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) are now a happy lot after the state corporation announced 100 percent COVID-19 penalty waiver effective March 1, 2022 to April 30, 2022 for those planning to fully repay the loan.
HELB Chief Executive CPA Charles Ringera said the decision was reached after evaluating the effect of the pandemic on employment as well as inadequate funding from the National Treasury in the past two years which equally affected disbursement of loans.
“HELB appreciates the fact owing to the prevailing economic situation, the loan beneficiaries’ repayment ability may take some time to stabilize,” said Ringera.
The waiver, dubbed ‘KamilishaMalipoYaHELB, was an appreciation to the beneficiaries for their commitment in repaying their loans despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and to encourage those who have not begun the process to do so in lump sum.
“It is important for all beneficiaries to honor the obligation as stipulated in the loan application terms and conditions so as to empower the dreams of another needy student,” he added.
The penalty waiver has been witnessed twice in the previous years, 2013 and 2018.
In 2013, the waiver benefitted 10,110 loanees who paid loans valued at Ksh.1.3 billion while that of 2018 saw 9,998 students pay a total of Ksh.870 million.
The 60-day waiver comes at a time when university and TVET students have been on social media with complaints regarding disbursements of funds.
Last year, HELB in collaboration with law enforcement officials announced action against loan defaulters where every loan defaulter was to be fined Ksh.5000 per month.
“We are going to partner with our law enforcement agencies to track those who are employed yet unwilling to be counted as responsible and patriotic citizens honoring the debt,” stated a statement dated 2020.
The approach was to enhance compliance, integrity and credit access to other students.