How HESLB plans to recover 185 billion shillings from beneficiaries
Dar es Salaam. The Higher Education Student Loans Board (Heslb) has developed a new campaign to help it raise around 185 billion shillings as repayment from loan recipients in fiscal year 2021/22 , revealed the institution to The Citizen yesterday.
Baptized by the Swahili name “Sifurisha” which means forcing beneficiaries to fully pay off their debts (bring down to zero), the campaign follows the government’s abolition of various levies that were considered a burden on loan recipients.
From July 1 of this year, the Ministry of Education decided to remove some charges on education loans as part of the implementation of President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s new guidelines on loans to the Higher Education.
The six percent charge on value retention was removed as Heslb’s board of directors was ordered to also remove the 10 percent penalty imposed on loan recipients for late servicing of the loan.
This decision meant that thousands of debtors, who had to pay millions in return, were now relieved. However, it was inevitable that Heslb had to devise new methods that would allow him to maintain the same pace of debt collection in order to help expand the scope of loan allocations each year.
“This campaign is triggered by the many debtors who intend to fully pay off their debts after the withdrawal of the levy, so we have found an easy way to motivate them and others to settle their remaining arrears,” he said. revealed Ms. Veneranda Malima, Head of Communication at Heslb. in an interview.
She said they planned to have branches in different parts of the country to help beneficiaries with answers on how they can repay their debts.
“We will have branches in each region starting with Dar es Salaam and Arusha in the first quarter of the campaign before expanding to other regions. It will be specifically for loan repayments, ”she said.
Ms Malima said Heslb was not prepared to enforce her strict debt collection rules but aimed to build relationships with her clients in an effort to make them understand the importance of paying off all their debts.
“We can’t enforce the law now, but through these campaigns we want beneficiaries to be accountable and pay off their loans to help maintain the reach of the funding as there are no more levies now,” she declared.
However, Ms. Malima explained that given the current fundraising situation, they are confident they will meet the target and possibly exceed the target of 185 billion shillings by the end of fiscal year 2021/22.
“We remind employers to be responsible and send 15% of the monthly income from the salaries of their employees who are our clients and have not paid their debts,” she reiterated.