Reports that recoveries by the Higher Education Loans Board from former university students have risen by 30 per cent are welcome news. The organisation collected Sh3.3 billion this year from Sh2.5 billion last year after it rolled out several initiatives aimed at catching defaulters, but what seemed to work successfully was a two-month amnesty that Helb gave loan recipients to clear their debts. We have stated before that by initiating measures aimed at ensuring loan repayment, compliance will go a long way in boosting the organisation's coffers. This will see it reduce its reliance on the Treasury for funding. Helb says that it implemented other measures like threats of court action or waiving interest penalties to convince beneficiaries to pay up. The new rule where a clearance certificate from the loans body is required when applying for a public position has also helped. We urge Helb to scale up programmes aimed at enlightening former students to service their loans. A healthy bank balance will ensure that the organisation provides needy students with funds to pursue higher education.
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