Student loan defaulters face tougher action, given 30 days to surrender

Student loan defaulters face tougher action, given 30 days to surrender

THE Higher Education Students' Loans Board (HESLB) intends to forward names of about 2,972 students who secured loans in 1994/05 and 2004/05 but have not yet repaid to all banks in Tanzania in a move that might see them being barred from opening bank accounts or denied access to any credit facility. The board also intends to forward the names of defiant beneficiaries to all foreign embassies in Tanzania, which might make it impossible for them to get visas for travelling abroad. According to a notice issued by the board yesterday, defiant beneficiaries have been given 30 days to communicate with the board on repayment arrangements, failure of which legal actions will be taken against them. Apart from the legal actions, the defiant beneficiaries will be blacklisted from credit facilities and visas. “Their names will be forwarded to all higher learning institutions in Tanzania, which might bar them from getting further studying opportunities. “Their names will be forwarded to all employing institutions advertising jobs vacancies in print media, in lieu of barring them from getting job opportunities”, reads part of the notice.

HESLB was established under Act No 9 of 2004. Among other things, the board is entrusted to recover all loans taken since July 1994 to facilitate disbursement to other applicants. Section (19) (a) of the provisions of the Higher Education Students' Loans Board Act No 9 of 2004 and its amendments of 2007, stipulates that any loan beneficiary who without good course will fail to repay the loan shall be liable to civil proceedings. Section 21 (1) (a) of the Act states that any person who does or omits to do any act or thing contrary to the provisions of the establishment Act, or the Regulations made in accordance therewith; commits an offence and is liable, on conviction to a fine not exceeding 7,000,000/- or imprisonment for term not less than twelve months or to both such fine and imprisonment". “The board has on several occasions issued general reminder notices to loan beneficiaries and employers.
However, some of the employers, parents, guardians, Guarantors and the students' loans beneficiaries whose names appear herein have not yet heeded to those notices to date,” reads the notice in part. According to the notice, all parents, guardians or a guarantor of the loan beneficiaries should inform the board of the current address and the occupation of the loan beneficiary and the name, postal and physical address of the current employer of the loan beneficiary whom they guaranteed.
“In case a loan beneficiary whose name appears herein is now a deceased one, the parents and or relatives, should inform the Board in respect of his/her death,” the board points outs.

Copyright Meshack Maganga 2009
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