The Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) on Wednesday, May 4 announced the extension of the 100% Penalty Waiver introduced to cushion beneficiaries from the impact of Covid-19.
The waiver dubbed ‘Kamilisha Malipo ya Helb’ was originally slated to run from 1st March 2022 to 30th April 2022. It has been extended to 30th June 2022.
HELB urged those paying off their student loans to take advantage of the waiver to clear without incurring any penalties. The board stated that the waiver was extended on account of numerous requests from loanees.
The initially scheduled end of the waiver coincided with the resumption of learning in institutions around the country.
HELB CEO CPA Charles Ringera sought to explain why the waiver was introduced and highlighted several challenges.
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“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Kenya like many other countries globally has experienced a slowing down of the economy over the last two years. We acknowledge that unemployment and underemployment as well as a challenging environment for loanees to start and run businesses, has affected HELB loan repayment.”
“This, coupled with inadequate funding from the Excheqeur (The National Treasury) has inadvertently created a funding challenge for students seeking HELB loans,” he asserted.
While urging beneficiaries to make lumpsum payments, Ringera disclosed that 75,000 students were at risk of not receiving Helb loans this year.
“We also take this opportunity to remind beneficiaries to honor their repayment obligations as stipulated in the loan application terms and conditions to enable us to empower the dreams of the 75,000 students who are at risk of not being funded this year,” he stated.