STUDENTS who took loans from HELSB in Tanzania will start repay through mobile phones which would reduce cumbersome procedures , the management has said.
Speaking in an interview the Higher Education Students’ Loans Board (HESLB) Executive Director, Abdul- Razaq Badru, said the new loan payment system would start before end of this year.
“We want to reduce unnecessary procedures in paying back loans, students can do that through their mobile phones, he said.
Badru said the board is mulling to cooperate with some government institutions such as Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) in collect the loans.
“We want to reach as many loan beneficiaries as we can in order to recover the money which would help other students to pursue studies in higher learning institutions,” he added.
He urged all people who have taken loans to repay as soon as possible because there are a lot of students who are in waiting line.
HESLB has early this year announced that the employees who benefited from the higher students loans will, starting this month, have their salaries deducted by 15 per cent to repay their loans.
“If we proceed with this trend, we are certain that by June we will have collected 100bn/- for a period of one year since the campaign started. Previously, the board used to collect that amount in ten years,” said Badru.
At the annual rate of 100bn/- collections, the board will be able to finance the loan issuance budget by between 20 and 25 per cent. Currently, the government coughs up almost the entire amount required to lend to students from its budget.
The 15 per cent repayment rate was endorsed in the Parliament last November following amendments of the HESLB Act, 2004.
The loan board has been writing to employers to remind them of their obligation to deduct the new rate and channel it for repayment.
Tabling the amendments to the Act in the National Assembly, the Attorney General (AG), George Masaju, said the revision of the legislation was aimed at intensifying loan recovery and improving operations of the board.
The AG informed the august House that the higher education loan beneficiaries will have a grace-period of one year after completing studies before starting the loan repayment.