The Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) has announced a plan to publish names and pictures of defaulters in newspapers in a bid to recover money to finance other needy students in the country.
This affects the beneficiaries of the loan from the year 1975 to date.
According to the loans board, some beneficiaries have not responded to calls to repay the monies owed to the government and have made it difficult for other Kenyans to benefit from the program.
“Some beneficiaries who are in default have not responded to previous communication …therefore sustained default, hinders funding of other deserving Kenyan youth,” said HELB in a recent notice that is set to be published in local dailies on Tuesday.
The individuals, according to HELB, have 30 days to start servicing their loans from the date of the notice or have their details published in local newspapers.
After the expiry of the period legal action may be taken against the defaulters.
“Beneficiaries who are not servicing their loans are therefore advised as to get in touch with HELB for particulars of their loan accounts,” HELB added.
According to HELB at least 85,000 defaulters owe the government 50 billion.
The board is paying Ksh11.2 billion to 277,000 students annually with the Treasury providing Ksh7.44 billion.
In the past, graduates have decried unemployment as the main reason why most had failed to repay their loans.
They called on HELB to scrap high penalties amounting to Ksh5,000 per month.
Others even asked the government financier to write off the loans due to tough economic times.
In February, the Ministry of Education announced that the board will be on a mission to recover the Ksh7.2 billion owed by 74,000 defaulters.
Later on, HELB CEO Charles Ringera said HELB terms didn’t specify that one must secure a job to start repaying the student loan.
“There is nowhere actually in that loan application form we have said, you must get a job before paying, what we say is that finish school, we give one year, and settle down…settling can mean going into business, getting married to a rich family our any other way….” the CEO said.