The Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) CEO, Charles Ringera, on Tuesday, May 9, refuted reports that the organisation usually submits the names of defaulting university students to the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB). 

During an interview on Citizen TV, Ringera maintained that loan beneficiaries were expected to repay credits one year after graduation.

He added that no student was required to offset their loans while still pursuing their studies, noting a timer put on each student’s account.

Ringera asserted that the timer helped the organisation calculate a student’s stay on campus and the loan repayment timelines.

“It is not factual that we request the students to pay the loan before they complete their studies. When we engage with you in the first year of the application, we know the timing of the courses, which is the timer we put on the account.

“When the timer is complete and you are unable to graduate, you can come and tell us. You can even apply for another funding because you could be having a medical case,” he clarified.

Loan Repayment Timelines .

On the other hand, he maintained that the names of loan defaulters were put on CRB six years after graduation.

Nonetheless, Ringera added that there was still a leeway for the defaulters to negotiate with the board over their loan repayment to avoid negative listing.

The CEO acknowledged that many Kenyans faced challenges such as unemployment, and illness after graduation.

Consequently, Ringera intimated that HELB had an open-door policy for beneficiaries and was willing to engage them in restructuring their loan repayment timelines. 

“According to the time stamp, we require you to pay the loan one year after. It takes us up to six years to be able to take your name to CRB. That is what is called hardcore debt.

“Remember you have 10 years to pay but if you are in the sixth year and you have never made any attempt to come and tell us what is happening in your life then it becomes difficult for us to find you,” he stated.

President William Ruto, on March 23, announced that the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) was given enough money for disbursement, in the 2023-2024 financial year.

“I want to confirm that we have ensured HELB is well funded. Those who need HELB loans will get them so that they do not struggle with studies,” the President assured. 

In January 2023, he confirmed that his administration will disband the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) and establish a different formula to finance institutions. HELB, the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) and the University Funding Board (UFB) were earmarked for merging to achieve effectiveness and efficiency.

Sourced from Kenyans