Due to COVID-19 and other uncertainties regarding college and tuition, planning for expenses is not as easy as you think. Regardless of whether you attend college or study online, one thing is for sure: you will have to pay all dues. That is where the Higher Education Loan Board (HELB) Kenya comes in.
Now you can pursue your dream of studying in Kenya with less hassle. They offer student loans which provide a convenient and intelligent means of financing your education.
HELB, a state-owned and regulated institution, provides flexible and affordable student loan plans. HELB offers quite a number of different products that can benefit you.
Let us discuss higher education loan board Kenya and all you need to know.
About higher education loan board Kenya
The Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) was legally established in July 1995. It was approved according to the Higher Education Loans Board Act (Cap 213A) of the parliament.
They are the foremost financing institution of higher education in Kenya. HELB is a state institution present in the Ministry of Education, Kenya.
How HELB loans work
- HELB provides financial help to postgraduate and undergraduate students.
- The aid can take the form of loans, bursaries or scholarships.
Who is eligible for helb loans?
All Kenyan students pursuing certificate in Diploma and higher national Diploma are eligible for HELB loans.
The students must be in public universities, selected university colleges in Kenya, public national polytechnics, and approved TVET Colleges under the Ministry of Education.
HELB online sidebars
Different sections on the higher education loan board page are:
- Student portal: it provides loan information for students
- Loan portals: individuals or beneficiaries who need to pay up or check their payment status
- Employer portals: employers seeking to deduct HELB loans from their workers’ salaries
- Institution portal: for institutions to see disbursement status of student tuition fees.
The major functions of HELB
- Offer affordable loans and bursaries to Kenyan students.
- To provide scholarship to Kenyan students from recognized higher education institutions in Kenya.
- Get funds and distribute them to students judiciously.
- Establish, manage, and recover funds loaned out to students.
4 major Higher Education Loans Board products
We will explain the products and services offered by HELB below:
Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) Loan
Kenya higher education students receive an offer from HELB that is reimbursable. It is affordable and highly flexible.
The government provides A low interest rate through HELB to Kenyans who are pursuing higher education.
The Higher Education Loans Board Scholarship
HELB offers the following scholarships that are non repayable. They are:
Visa Oshwal Scholarship Program: Through the program, twenty (20) students are government sponsored every year to study in higher institutions.
The duration of the scholarship is throughout the course of study with a net value of Ksh. 100, 000 yearly. This scholarship is possible because of the partnership between HELB and Visa Oshhwal Community.
ABSA program: they designed this program to empower young bright Kenyan students who cannot afford to pay their tuition fees. The financial aid is made possible because of the partnership between HELB and Barclays Bank of Kenya. The beneficiaries are given accommodation, upkeep and tuition fees equivalent to Ksh. 150,000.
Postgraduate scholarship: A two years and three years partial scholarship programs provided by HELB for Kenyan postgraduate programmes. It is for those pursuing Masters or PHD programs from any university commissioned by University Education (CUE) in the country.
The worth of the scholarship for Masters and PhD programmes are ksh. 200,000 and ksh. 450,000 and for a duration of 2 years and 3 years, respectively.
The (HELB) Partner Funds.
In Kenya, HELB receives a lot of funding to assist young Kenyans who would love to continue their education but lack the financial ability to do so.
The HELB partnered with local and international organizations to source the needed funds. HELB considers the applications for the program and ensures that they select beneficiaries based on the criteria set by the partners.
The HELB platform charges Ksh. 500 for every loan approved, and a yearly fee of ksh. 1000. It is used to maintain the account of the borrower until the loan is due at interest rate agreed on with the partners.
In addition, HELB gives loans to applicants whose application was successful and also recovers the loan from those whose loan is due.
Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) Devolved Funds.
The devolving fund is established by the partnership of HELB and county governments. County governments and constituencies help to manage the bursary schemes through:
- Both parties sign a service contract.
- Both parties work together to draft the legislation for the program.
- Among its duties are to source, manage, disburse and recover funds.
- The funding of the revolving fund begins, and applicants are invited to apply.
4 Benefits of the Partnership
HELB partnerships have a lot, especially for Kenyans willing to pursue their higher education dreams in Kenya. They are:
- There is efficient data sharing, which prevents multiple payments for a particular student.
- The process of application and selection is transparent via an online application platform.
- The selection and payment mode has less error and human interference since they automate the process.
- There are effective recovery procedures which enable the funds to revolve for sustainability.
How much money can I borrow from HELB?
The amount depends on the product you applying for. Each product has a unique amount and features attached to it.
Why should I take HELB loans?
There are several reasons HELB loans are of benefit to the students. The reasons are:
- It is owned by the state and also regulated
- Longer repayment terms with a lot of benefits
- Offer enough funds to take you through your education
- Lots of products are available which you can choose from.
- They give equal opportunity to everyone who meets up with the requirements
- Some products require that you don’t pay back immediately.
What to consider when taking out loans with HELB?
In the same way, as you take out a loan, it is important you know everything concerning the loan. The things to consider are:
- Know how much you are borrowing
- Understand the terms of the HELB loans
- Be sure of stable sources to pay back the loan of need be
- Check whether the amount you qualify for can cover all your school’s essential needs.
How To Update Your HELB details?
Follow the steps below to update your HELB details.
- Visit to the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) website www.helb.co.ke. or use their application.
- Navigate to my account on the HELB App or website.
- Select Institution.
- Select edit and update.
How to apply for HELB Undergraduate Loan online 2020/2021?
The following steps are to be followed when applying for a HELB loan online.
- Go to the HELB student portal website.
- Choose “Create account” to have your HELB account.
- Make sure you study and fill the HELB financial literacy literature correctly.
- After account creation, click on the link first time undergraduate loan application.
- To apply, fill the 2020-2021 first time undergraduate loan application form (LAF) provided with accurate information.
Causes of delays in HELB loan processing
- The application will be rejected if it lacks any required documents and signatures.
- If the applicant provides untrue information
How do I check my HELB balance?
You can check for information on the HELB loan balance. This can be done online (using the internet) and Using SMS Service. We explain the steps to check this information below:
- Go to the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) website www.helb.co.ke.
- To check your loan status, click “loan status”.
- Your loan disbursement status appears in a form once you click on “disbursement”.
How to check your HELB loan balance through SMS?
You can check your loan balance via SMS through the following steps:
- Write the name used to create the account. For instance, John Doe.
- Put the hash sign (#).
- Input your ID number.
- Send the message to the 5122 and wait for your balance
How to contact HELB
The higher education loan board headquarters is currently on the 19th Floor, Anniversary Towers, Nairobi- Kenya. The post office address is P.O. Box 69489-00400.
Education can be quite expensive but with HELB, there is a good way to finance studies. They empower students with loans to make it easier for them to pursue their studies.
HELB has come to stay and has served Kenya to a large extent. A lot of students have gained and people are still benefiting.
However, before applying for a student loan through HELB, be sure to know all it takes. It is smart to check out all their products and know the one you qualify for.