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Helb to list names, photos of student loan defaulters

Monday November 18 2019

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Student loan applicants at the Higher Education Loans Board offices in Nairobi on September 19, 2014. The agency says it will publish the names and photos of beneficiaries who have failed to repay their loans. FILE PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

OUMA WANZALA
By OUMA WANZALA
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Did you clear the university study loan you received from the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb)?

If not, you may be one of the 85,000 Kenyans the board says it is going to name and shame in 30 days.

Helb, which has been smoking out defaulters in every possible hideout, says it will also publish photos of the men and women who have failed to repay their loans, now standing at Sh50 billion.

In a statement on Sunday, the board said defaulters will have 30 days to come forward and explain how they will repay the loans.

The national higher education financier says it requires the cash to help other poor Kenyans realise their dream of acquiring degrees and diplomas.

LEGAL ACTION

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Helb said some of the beneficiaries in default have not responded to previous communication, therefore hindering financial support to other deserving Kenyans.

“The names and pictures of Helb loan beneficiaries who have defaulted repayment of the loan from 1975 to date shall be published in the leading newspapers after expiry of 30 days from the date of this notice and thereafter legal action may be taken against each defaulter,” added the statement.

The board has now asked beneficiaries who are not servicing their loans are to get in touch with it for particulars of their loan account.

Last year, Helb recovered more than Sh500 million following a two-month amnesty that was issued by the government.

According to Helb, it cannot trace 17,000 defaulters, while by last year 85,000 loan defaulters were owing the agency.

A total of 169,909 graduates had fully repaid their loans worth Sh13.2 billion by September 2017, while some 136,783 beneficiaries were servicing loans worth Sh20.7 billion.

Since 1974, the university loan scheme has supported over 645,000 Kenyans to pursue higher education at a total cost of Sh72 billion.