Student loans board mulls a sacco type fund

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Parents will soon be able to save with the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) towards meeting the cost of their children’s university and college education.

Helb Chief Executive Officer Charles Ringera said the initiative will run like a savings and credit cooperative society.

“If by the time your child is joining campus you have saved with us Sh100,000, we will multiply that by three and give you a loan for the amount, on top of giving you your loan entitlement,” Mr Ringera said in an interview with the Nation.

Saying education savings products and education lotteries are all geared towards increasing the revolving fund kitty, Mr Ringera cited alternative funding for Helb as part of its five-year strategic plan.

He said the board will ensure no student drops out for lack of funding.

“We want to rebalance our balance sheet, which is now 60:40 funded by the Treasury and loan recoveries, respectively,” he said.

The CEO disclosed that this year the board will close with Sh300 million from counties and constituencies.

He praised donors, citing USAid’s Sh300 million for health workers’ training.

He added: “We want to serve our clientele more digitally so that services are delivered online; hence our pillar on business process re-engineering, which is heavily investing in technology.”

To address its myriad challenges, the board wants a review of the law for a more progressive Act that will allow it unfettered access to credit information or tracing of loanees.

“We are sharing data with KRA, NHIF, NSSF, NTSA, Immigration, etc and we want this anchored in law.”

Recently, Helb sought the services of more credit reference bureaus in tracing loan defaulters.

Locally, 70,000 past beneficiaries owe Helb Sh11 billion while Sh2.5 billion is held up in the diaspora

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