The government, through the Ministry of Co-operatives, Micro and Small Enterprises, announced that the government had automatically doubled the Hustler Fund loan limit after months of complaints from Kenyans on the initial set limit.
The lowest limit which the majority of Kenyans were qualified for was 500 shillings. Many felt that the amount was too low for one to do anything tangible before paying back. The Ministry, therefore, announced that the limit will move to 1,000 shillings.
But since the announcement was made, most Kenyans upon paying their existing Hustler Fund loans, have not seen a change in their limit. “The limit is still the same. I do not know what the government was saying. Was it lying?” asks one Kenyan.
As the debate whether the limit has been increased or not goes on, the Ministry, in its latest update, said that the amount borrowed from the fund by Kenyans has hit 19.6 billion shillings. Borrowers have so far repaid 10.605 billion shillings.
For every Hustler Fund loan that anyone takes, the government deducts 25 percent of the amount to deposit it as “savings for the borrower” although no one knows where that cash is kept and how they will access it. The loan is then charged at 8 percent interest, required to be paid within 14 days.
The government has announced that the second phase of the Hustler Fund loans will allow society groups and investment groups to access loans. Currently, only individual Kenyans can borrow from the Hustler Fund which seems to be gaining popularity.
Hustler Fund is President William Ruto’s brainchild that was meant to “unchain Kenyans from the shackles of exploitative lenders such as mobile loan lenders who had placed more than 4 million Kenyans on CRBs after they failed to pay back their loans.”
With the cost of living being high, however, many Kenyans are taking Hustker Fund to buy basic commodities including food.