Plans on to review Hustler Fund limit

Monday, January 9th, 2023 05:00 | By
Co-operatives to offer 3rd payment system
Co-operative and MSME Development Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui PHOTO/Courtesy

The Hustler Fund loan limits will be reviewed this month, Cooperatives and MSME Development Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui said yesterday.

Speaking to the People Daily, he said this will enable Kenyans to borrow more money to  grow their business ventures.

 “We continue to urge Kenyans to borrow and pay because that is the only way you can grow your limits. But if you cannot repay a loan with the smallest interest of 0.02 per cent then I don’t think you’re being fair to yourself,” he said.

Chelugui also said preparations for the launch of the Hustler Fund second product—SME, Saccos, Startups and Chama loans—are in top gear noting  the second product will be launched next month.

Beneficiaries will be able to access loans ranging from Sh100,000 to Sh2.5 million, he said. “The second product will be bigger abd better,” said Chelugui.

“The Hustler Fund has directly touched about 18 million Kenyans since it was launched… this is a big number and goes to show that Kenyans have embraced it wholeheartedly,” he said.

Chelugui said the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and some Tier One banks have been brought on board to help manage the fund.  “As far as I am concerned, everything is in place to ensure the safety and growth of the fund,” he said. 

The Minister reiterated that the Hustler Fund Board will be unveiled soon noting the board is expected to enhance the fund’s operations.

 “We have already identified the people who will sit in the board. In fact, I have already forwarded the names to the relevant government agencies for clearing,” the CS said.

Savings account

Meanwhile, the Hustler Fund debt repayment was yesterday inching towards 50 per cent as savings account hit Sh678 million, slightly more than one month after President William Ruto launched it.

Latest data provided by  Chelugui show that beneficiaries of the personal finance loan had accumulatively saved Sh677, 557, 694 by yesterday afternoon.  

Out of the Sh13.5 billion that has been disbursed so far, Sh5.9 billion has been repaid from some 23 million transactions recorded since November 30. The number of Kenyans who have borrowed more than once now stands at 5 million. 

So far, 17.8 million have been registered and are continuously accessing the kitty. According to CS Chelugui, this was one of key pointers of the popularity that the Hustler Fund has gained amongst ordinary Kenyans, commonly referred “Hustlers”  in street parlance.

The Hustler Fund is a key campaign promise that propelled President William Ruto to power during the August 9 presidential election.

The Sh50b Fund launched on November 30, 2022  charges borrowers 8 percent interest per annum but Kenyans cannot borrow more than Sh2,500 to ensure it benefits more people.

A person must be at least 18 years old, have a valid national identification card, a registered SIM card and a mobile money account with Safaricom, Airtel, or Telkom to qualify. During the launch, borrowers were warned against defaulting with the government issuing strict measures to curb the same. Those who default on the loans will see their interest rates increase from eight  per cent to 9.5 per cent.

If a customer will not have paid the loans within the required time, they will be added an extra 15 days, before the increment of the interest rate.  The borrowers who default will also have their Hustler Fund account frozen.

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