Ruto: Kenyans have borrowed Ksh700M from Hustler Fund so far
President William Ruto on Friday, December 2 announced that 3.5 million Kenyans have registered for Hustler Fund and Ksh700 million has so far been disbursed in form of loans.
"I am also happy that there is a good trend of repayment being witnessed even as Kenyans borrow from that platform.
"This is phenomenal. We are starting a journey as a country toward a single-digit credit regime that will ensure that citizens have access to affordable credit," he said.
The fund was launched on Wednesday, November 30 in Nairobi.
Speaking during the launch, President Ruto praised the Hustler Fund program as a game changer in uplifting those at the bottom of the economic pyramid.
The President said it is different from other financial plans that were rolled out before.
Firstly, while explaining the significance of the fund, the President gave five reasons why it is more beneficial to Kenyans compared to Uwezo Fund, Youth Fund, and Women Enterprise Fund.
"We have around eight million people who have been blacklisted by all lenders. They are not allowed to borrow anywhere.
"Hustler Fund will give them a second chance to borrow again. Anyone who had been chased from other apps will have a chance to borrow money again," he said.
Secondly, Ruto said Kenyans will not require any security for the money.
"When you borrow from another lender, you need to apply, look for guarantors, you have to know someone, get security, but Hustler Fund does not require you to look for all those things.
"It doesn't require any committee and you should not know anyone to access it. For example, Youth Fund, Women Enterprise Fund, and others require you to go to committee, get security, but with Hustler Fund you will just need your phone and you get the money," he added.
Thirdly, the President said the fund will be given at a low-interest rate of eight per cent (8%) per annum.
"The interest is very low. Others charge 1% per day. But Hustler Fund will charge 8% that will enable us to continue with it.
"This means Hustler Fund will charge 0.002 per cent per day down from 1% that others charge daily. So the fund is 500 per cent cheaper than the cheapest funds available in the market," he said.
Fourthly, according to the President, the fund will allow Kenyans to save for their pension.
"Hustler Fund will enable you to save for your pension. That means your requirement will be well taken care of.
"Once you borrow, there will be an amount that will be deducted for your saving plan. The government will merge what save at a ratio of 2:1
"If you save 500 per month, which translates to 6000 per year, the Government of Kenya will give you 3000 per year. We want to ensure that every Kenyan is saving money every year," he said.
How to apply for Ruto's Hustler Fund
Speaking at the launch of the Fund at Green Park, CEOs of the three main telecommunication companies in the country said Kenyans will be required to dial USSD code *254# to access the loan.
The service will also be accessible through mobile application platforms of any of the telcos including Safaricom, Airtel, and Telekom.
To register, users will be prompted to enter their ID number before receiving a confirmation message.
Kenyans will, for now, be able to access a personal loan of between Ksh500 to Ksh50,000 at an annual interest of 8.0 per cent.
President Ruto said in February 2023, the government will launch the second product dubbed micro-loan which will allow individuals to borrow from Ksh50,000 to Ksh500,000.
Those in groups will be eligible for a loan limit of Ksh10 million.
In April, the government will launch another product targeted at Saccos regulated by the Sacco Regulatory Authority (SASRA). The product will allow Saccos to borrow from Ksh10 million up to Ksh100 million.
"Every 60 days we will launch a product to empower Kenyans to do business," Ruto said further pledging the Kenya Kwanza administration's commitment to safeguarding traders against shylocks charging unreasonably high-interest rates.