HELB To Track Loan Defaulters on Twitter

The Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), has resorted to social media in a bid to recover over 7 billion shillings,is reporting.Most of that money was reportedly awarded in the 70’s and the beneficiaries are now untraceable. The board is hoping to identify the former students on social media, as the government had not established a National ID system by 1975.The only records of HELB beneficiaries pre-1975 is their graduation records. Perhaps with the information from the universities, the board can snoop around Facebook and Twitter profiles to identify the defaulters.“We are now actively engaging with our customers on these sites and soon delays on loans will also be updated, among other information. We have now formalised our IT strategy for the next five years,” said HELB chief executive Charles Ringera.The board monthly loan recovery rate is Sh220 million per month. This could however be much higher, as the non-performing loans stand at 38%.“It means we have to style up our backboard, otherwise you can have the money but it is actually leaving the organisation. Debt recovery is a big story for us,” Ringera said.Facebook and Twitter accounts will help track movements and contact the loanees.“Reaching our customers through mobile phones has been a challenge because sometimes they are out of reach. But we can harvest a lot of information on connection to technology,” he added.

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