The Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) is reaching out to Kenyans resident in the USA by offering an 80% penalty waiver for those with outstanding student loans from the board.
By law, a penalty of Sh5,000 is levied each month that the loan is in default after the one year grace period after graduating, meaning loans that have been left unpaid for years will have accrued huge amounts in penalty.
The penalty amnesty period runs until October 31st, 2016.
HELB currently issues clearance certificates to all loanees who have paid off their loans or are currently making payments in compliance with the terms of the loans. Loan defaulters will not be issued with clearance certificates, lack of which makes the defaulters ineligible to bid for government contracts, get government jobs, run for public office, or obtain get bank loans.
HELB says defaulters, a good number of whom live in the USA and other countries abroad, create a huge shortfall in the amount of money available to loan to current and future students in various Kenyan universities, technical and vocational colleges. Paying off their loans will therefore not only makes the defaulters in compliance with the law but also helps empower current and future students who need to benefit from the loans.