Nairobi News


#CancelHelbPenalties: Jobless Helb defaulters want to be cut some slack

Kenyans online are urging the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) to wave penalties accrued by loan defaulters.

Using the hashtag #Cancelhelbpenalties, tweeps have been sharing circumstances that led them to default paying their education loans that have now attracted huge penalties.

Most defaulters blamed unemployment and gap years, arguing that the loans board should not victimise them for financial circumstances beyond their control.

A grace period of one year after completion of studies is given to each loanee before penalties of Sh5, 000 per month start accruing.

Big Sam wrote on Twitter; “I was penalized a whooping 30k just coz I wasn’t employed for some months. It wasn’t my fault that I was not employed immediately after I finished school. #CancelHelbPenalties.”

Kennedy Rotich stated; “#CancelHelbPenalties there is more way interest and penalties exceed principal amount. You took 210k and now they demand 750k. @HELBpage. Duplum rule must apply.”

Kenneth Mwenda protested; “My principal was 120k back in 2012. It’s now close to 400k!!! Have always paid my monthly repayments but instead of bringing my totals down,they increase exponentially! @EduMinKenya @George_A_Magoha #CancelHelbPenalties.”

Dan Magabe lamented; “I received loan just once and someone advised me to avoid it if I could. My principal was 37k. @HELBpage told me to start repaying last year June. I began making monthly instalments. They forwarded my name to CRB. #CancelHelbPenalties.”

Bravin wrote; “There is a guy who had a HELB Principal of 200k, he has been unemployed for over 5 years and the Penalties plus the Compound interest has escalated the Loan to now 1 Million. How is this guy supposed to clear that loan? His Name is in CRB. #CancelHelbPenalties.”

Mike Griffins stated; “Stay jobless for 1 year, penalty accrues to 120,000. Assume you then start paying up 5,000 monthly, it takes 2 years + to clear the penalty (Graduate salaries seldom enables this). Meanwhile the principal in untouched and the interest keeps coming fast #CancelHelbPenalties.”

Eric Odhiambo lamented; “HELB loan is a true definition of impunity… I was given 300,000 Loan, both Undergrad and Postgrad. So far I have paid about 600,000 and my balance is still around 400,000. HELB wants me to pay literally more than triple what they gave to me #CancelHelbPenalties @HELBpage.”