Beneficiaries of the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) student loans have received a boost following the extension of a full waiver on penalties.
Dubbed ‘KamilishaMalipoyaHelb’, the 100 percent Covid-19 penalty waiver on student loan repayment took effect March 1, 2022, and was set to run until April 30.
On Wednesday, May 4, the higher education loans body extended the waiver period by two months to June 30, 2022.
HELB CEO Charles Ringera noted they received numerous requests to extend the waiver.
“You spoke and we heard you, so we have now extended the Covid-19 Penalty Waiver by 60 days until 30th June 2022!” reads a tweet from the HELB Twitter account.
Mr Ringera acknowledged the challenges facing loanees as a result of the pandemic and a slowing down of the economy over the last two years.
“We acknowledge that unemployment and underemployment as well as a challenging environment for loanees to start and run businesses, has affected HELB loan repayment.
“This, coupled with inadequate funding from the Exchequer, has inadvertently created a funding challenge for students seeking HELB Loans,” Ringera observed.
He encouraged loanees to take advantage of the waiver, noting that up to 75, 000 students are dependent on the loans to further their studies.
“We wish to sincerely thank the loanees who have since responded to our Covid-19 Penalty Waiver Campaign and have repaid their loans in full.
“We also take this opportunity to remind all beneficiaries to honour their repayment obligations as stipulated in the loan application terms & conditions to enable us to empower the dreams of the 75,000 students who are at risk of not being funded this year,” Ringera said.