The Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) has rejected the BBI proposals to have the grace period for the repayment of student loans extended to four years.
According to HELB CEO, Charles Ringera, on Sunday stated that the proposed bill would affect other students benefiting from the same program. Instead, he proposed that the board adopts other measures in order to cope with the myriad challenges.
BBI proposed that the grace period given to the beneficiaries before they are expected to make payments are extended to four years from the date completing their studies.
The report also suggested that graduates be allowed to request exemptions from repayment until they secure jobs.
HELB CEO, Mr. Charles Ringera argued that if the bill was to take effect, then the grace period extension would adversely affect the operation of the board, which would have a ripple effect on the students as well.
He added that the only remedy would be to either reduce the number of student beneficiaries or reduce the amount allocated to each student
HELB boss was speaking in a virtual conference on the State of Higher Education Organization by the Commission for University Education.
A conference meeting was held to analyze the preparedness of the education system in regards to the pandemic period, strategies on technology innovations as well as strategies to employ to advance the sector.
According to the BBI proposal on HELB Loans, the amendment seeks to give loanees a grace period of four years from the date completion of their studies. After this, they can commence repayment of loans advanced to them
At the moment, students’ beneficiaries are allocated a sum of 43,000 shillings to 68,000 shillings from the board. This sum is meant to cater to the students who need financial aid in order to complete their studies.
Thousands of Kenyans whose education was funded through HELB loans have in the past seen their facilities accumulate high penalties since they start attracting interest immediately, irrespective of their employment status.
Thousands of former beneficiaries have also been listed with the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB), limiting their chances of accessing loans from financial institutions.