The State's higher-education funder said the amount is from 215,778 beneficiaries or nearly half of the total loans

CRB Threat Earns HELB 21 Billion

Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) received Sh21.5 billion in 24 years to June, marking increased compliance by former university students.

The State’s higher-education funder said the amount is from 215,778 beneficiaries or nearly half of the total loans amounting to Sh52.1 billion that have matured in 24 years.

The increased payments are further marked by an increased number of defaulters who have moved in to clear their loans a month after the agency threatened to list 67,093 beneficiaries with credit reference bureaus for defaulting on payments since 1975.

A total of 6,055 defaulters paid their loans following the May listing threat cutting the defaulted loans portfolio by Sh400 million to Sh6.1 billion in a month to June.

“At 30th June 2019, 436,892 loan accounts worth Sh52.1 billion had matured for repayment, while 386,091 loanees holding Sh37.3 billion had not matured.

The loan portfolio is performing at 72.4 percent,” HELB said in a statement.

This means that 221,114 beneficiaries holding Sh30.6 billion in matured loans are yet to complete payments even as the agency steps up efforts to reduce the number of defaulters to compliment Treasury disbursements.

Helb had earlier in the year said that it faced difficulties in tracing about 25,000 beneficiaries, casting doubts on the agency’s ability to recover billions of shillings lent to students.

This has partly contributed to the cash shortage which has weakened its ability to support university freshmen and continuing students, prompting allocation cuts.

Beneficiaries of the loans are expected to start repaying one year after completing studies and risk blacklisting with credit reference bureaus over continued defaulting.

HELB loan beneficiaries are positively listed with CRBs if they are compliant or fully re-paid the loans while those in default get a negative listing hurting their chances of borrowing from commercial banks and SACCOs.

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