HELB to Use Community Informers to Catch Loan Defaulters Defaulters

  • The Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) has devised a new tactic to that will see the board find defaulters hiding abroad and various parts of the country.

    Data held at HELB shows there were at least 78,000 'hardcore defaulters' who still owe the board Kshs.8.2 Billion.

    According to HELB CEO Charles Ringera, a majority of the loanees are graduates who left the country to study abroad and settled overseas.

    [caption caption="HELB boss Charles Ringera at a press conference (PHOTO/Courtesy)"][/caption]

    Ringera noted that some of the Kenyans pursuing PhD and Masters degree courses outside the country had forgotten that they are yet to repay their loan.

    "One of the biggest challenges we have is the recovery of loans. Some of these guys take the loan, graduate and move to further their studies abroad, they settle there and even forget about the loan. We're talking to more people and they are heeding our calls. Whether you're in America today, you should own up and clear the debts," stated Ringera.

    He noted that the board has now considered using community leaders to identify people through community mobilization in a bid to help recover the money.

    "Even some of the guys in the HELB database, we do not know them and neither do we know people who know them. By using the community we can give a list of the people from a specific area and ask the locality who they are and therefore we can reach the individuals," divulged Ringera.

    In recent days. HELB has stepped up strict compliance and enforcement strategies.

    with the help of corporate firms, private companies and State agencies, the board saw its recovery improve from a paltry Kshs5 million in 1995/1996 financial year to Sh3.99 billion in the 2015/2016 period.

    In the 2017/2018 period, the board targets to grow recovery to Kshs20 billion so that it can meet the expanded mandate of financing education for students undertaking certificate, diploma and degree courses at middle-level colleges and universities.

    [caption caption="An appeal to HELB beneficiaries to seek repayment (PHOTO/Courtesy)"][/caption]

    Among other strategies, HELB has also considered blocking defaulters from accessing credit services with the help of Kenya Revenue Authority.

    The board roped in KRA and gives defaulters' details to credit reference bureaus, thereby ensuring they are blocked from accessing credit from financial service providers.

    Here is the video courtesy of NTV: