HELB Turn to Debt Collectors in Desperate Move to Recover Loans

The Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) has turned to debt collectors in a bid to collect arrears from defaulters.

In a public notice on Tuesday, October 25, the board invited interested firms with experience to apply for debt collection services.

In the notice, bidders were asked to visit the board’s procurement office on the 18th floor of Anniversary Towers for further information on the tender.

Applicants were advised to notify HELB of their participation in the tender process by emailing their contact details to their official email address in case of any further addendum.

“All bidders interested in participating in the tender must notify HELB of their participation in the tender by emailing their contact details to [email protected] in case of any further addendum,” read part of the notice.

The closing date is set for Wednesday, November 9 at 11 am.

In July, HELB announced that the number of former university students defaulting their loans dropped 14 percent following a four-month penalty waiver that ended on June 30.

At the time, loan accounts in default stood at 94,216 from the 109,661 recorded by February, with unpaid loans standing at KSh 10.2 billion.

HELB offered a 100 percent penalty waiver from March 1 to encourage beneficiaries to repay following the impact of the COVID-19 effects on the economy.

“The Covid-19 penalty waiver brought down the hardcore debt from 109,000 to 94,216 loanees valued at KSh 10.24 billion as of June 30,” said Helb chief executive Charles Ringera.

The penalty waiver campaign dubbed ‘Kamilisha Malipo ya Helb’ collected KSh 559.72 million, contributing to the overall KSh 5.2 billion loan recoveries for June 2022.

This was the first time the agency had collected more than KSh 5 billion in loan recoveries.

“The additional amount collected from the penalty waiver campaign enabled us to fund 21,000 out of the 75,000 students who were at risk of not being funded in FY 2021/2022,” Ringera said.

Most loan applicants come from poor households and require financial support from Helb to pay for their tuition and upkeep.