Helb beneficiaries can breathe a sigh of relief after the institution extended the deadline for 100% penalty waiver by one month.
The Covid-19 penalty waiver was to come to an end on April 30 but has been pushed to June 30.
“We acknowledge that unemployment and underemployment and the challenging environment for loanees to start and run businesses has affected loan repayment,” Helb CEO Charles Ringera said.
— OFFICIAL HELB PAGE (@HELBpage) May 4, 2022
Last month, the institution through its CEO announced it had embarked on an aggressive process to recover more than Sh10 billion that beneficiaries had not paid for over 10 years.
Charles Ringera confirmed that the tough recovery measures include prosecuting ‘hardcore’ defaulters. He further described hardcore defaulters as persons who have not been servicing their student loans for at least 10 years since completing their studies.
“It is not until the tenth year – after listing the defaulter with credit reference bureaus and efforts of private debt collectors fail – that Helb takes the extreme measures,” Ringera said.
Helb beneficiaries are required to start repaying their loans a year after completing their studies. Unpaid loans accrue Ksh5,000 penalties per month.
After one year, Helb starts sending reminders to beneficiaries with some honoring their pledges while others choose to ignore them.
Helb, he said, normally sends beneficiaries’ data to private debt collectors on the eight-year of non-payment.
In the past, graduates have decried unemployment as the main reason why most fail to repay their loans.