Helb takes loan defaulters to court as it seeks to recover Ksh10.5 billion.
The Higher Education Loan Board (HELB) has started taking persistent helb loan defaulters to court in an effort to recover over Ksh10.5 billion owed by the beneficiaries.
HELB chief executive Charles Ringera said the government agency has pledged to take legal action against 109,000 beneficiaries whose loans are marked “hard-core”, indicating that it hasn’t been serviced for almost ten years.
He further said that the loan board had already registered cases against five hard-core defaulters, despite the fact that it had originally targeted seven.
Ringera pointed out that the HELB takes extreme measures ten years after the defaulters are listed with the credit reference bureaus and private borrowers have failed.
“We chased each other like three years ago, we say this debt is now coming huge. However, if during the intervening period, you really saw us, no one will list you.
HELB is trying to collect at least Ksh4.9 billion, two years after repayment was disrupted due to the economy’s instability due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The loan board said that some beneficiaries choose not to pay their loans despite several attempts by the government agency to recover the amount.
“On KRA, you can see they are paying taxes, on NTSA you can see that they are buying their Subarus. That’s how we are chasing each other. So we think about prosecution. The case gets a little tougher,” explained Ringera.
After the seventh year, HELB forwards the information of a defaulter to the private debt collectors. In 2021, the Student Loan Board notified 85,000 Kenyans that they risk being listed on the CRB if they do not pay their loans.
HELB Communications Director Wavi Muigai hinted that they plans to ensure payments to defaulters.
“They will be listed on the CRB, and the fine, as per the HELB Act, is Ksh5,000 per month. People pay monthly and we keep an eye on those who pay every day,” Muigai said.