HELB Undergraduate Loans: Application Forms, Types, Requirements, and How to Apply

Need financial assistance for your university education in Kenya? Learn all about HELB undergraduate loans, from application to disbursement

Oct 1, 2023 - 14:45
HELB Undergraduate Loans: Application Forms, Types, Requirements, and How to Apply
HELB Undergraduate Loans: Application Forms, Types, Requirements, and How to Apply

Are you a Kenyan student aspiring to pursue higher education in a public or chartered private university within the East African Community? If so, the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) could be your financial lifeline. Established in 1995 under the Higher Education Loans Board Act, HELB is pivotal in enabling Kenyans to access higher education. In this article, we will dive deep into HELB's undergraduate loans, including the application process, types of loans, eligibility requirements, and a step-by-step guide on how to apply.

Understanding HELB and Its Mission

HELB is a statutory body operating under the Ministry of Education in Kenya. Its primary mission is to provide sustainable finance to Kenyans pursuing higher education through resource mobilization and prudent management. The vision of HELB is universal financing for Kenyans seeking higher education.

Over the years, HELB has empowered 1.23 million students, enabling them to realize their dreams. It is essential to note that HELB loans are primarily intended for students pursuing bachelor's degrees in public or chartered private universities through various programs, including placements via KUCCPS, self-sponsorship, parallel, and Module II.

Types of Loan Applications

HELB offers two types of undergraduate loan applications:

  1. First-Time Application: This is for students applying for a loan for the first time.
  2. Second & Subsequent Application: This is for students who have received loans in the past and are applying for the second, third, fourth, or subsequent times, depending on the program duration.

The number of loans a student is eligible for depends on the program's duration. For example, a four-year program allows for up to four loan applications.

How to Apply for a HELB Loan as a First-Time Applicant

Are you applying for a HELB loan for the first time? Follow these simple steps:

  1. Visit the official HELB website or hef.co.ke to access the Student Portal and click "register" to create an account.
  2. Confirm your identity using your National ID or KCSE Index number if you don't have a National ID.
  3. Provide a valid email address and password to complete the registration process.
  4. Activate your account by checking your email (Inbox or Spam/Junk) for the activation link.
  5. Verify your phone number by entering the received verification code.
  6. Fill in your profile and update your biodata.
  7. Consent to collecting your data by reading and agreeing to the terms of use.
  8. Complete your details.
  9. Submit your scholarship/loan request and consent to the terms and conditions.
  10. Update your guarantor details and provide loan payment information.
  11. Finally, submit your loan application.

It is essential to carefully read and understand the consent form and privacy statement before agreeing. HELB loans should be used prudently to cover tuition, books, accommodation, and subsistence.

Requirements for HELB Loan Application

To apply for a HELB loan, you will need the following documents and information:

  1. A valid email address for the student.
  2. A registered telephone number in the student's name.
  3. KCPE and KCSE index numbers and year of examination.
  4. A copy of the applicant's National ID (for loan application).
  5. College/University admission letter.
  6. Registered telephone numbers of the student's parents.
  7. National ID numbers of the student's parents.
  8. Death certificate (if applicable) for deceased parents.
  9. Birth certificate of the applicant.
  10. ID numbers and registered telephone numbers of two guarantors (can be parents).
  11. Copy of the sponsorship letter if the student was sponsored in secondary school.

These documents are crucial for a successful loan application.

How to Apply on the HELB App as a Second and Subsequent Applicant

For students applying for a second or subsequent HELB loan, here are the steps:

  1. Download the HELB Mobile Application from the Google Play Store.
  2. Register your details, including your first name, phone number, email address, National ID, and KRA PIN.
  3. Complete the mandatory financial literacy notes and Q&A to understand the purpose of credit.
  4. Select "loans" and then choose "undergraduate loans" to access the Undergraduate Subsequent Loan Application Form (LAF).
  5. Fill in the required details and submit your application.
  6. Pay Kshs. 1 from your MPESA account to verify your phone number during the application process.
  7. Note that the application process is paperless.

Students who are not Safaricom subscribers will follow an alternative process, including printing and submitting the form to the HELB Student Service Centre.

Documents Required for First-Time Undergraduate HELB Loan Applicants

When applying for a first-time undergraduate HELB loan, you need to submit the following documents:

  1. A copy of the applicant's national ID card.
  2. Copies of the parents' national ID cards or death certificates if a parent is deceased.
  3. Copies of both guarantors' national ID cards.
  4. A copy of the applicant's admission letter and KCSE result slip/certificate.
  5. A copy of the applicant's Bank ATM/Bank card (for government-sponsored students only).
  6. A copy of the applicant's Smart Card from the institution.
  7. One recent colored passport-size photograph of the applicant.

Loan Amount and Disbursement

The loan amount awarded to university undergraduate students ranges from a minimum of Ksh40,000 to a maximum of Ksh60,000. For KUCCPS-placed students, the loan is split to cover tuition fees and upkeep. Government-sponsored students have Ksh4,000 deducted for tuition per semester, with the rest disbursed to their bank accounts.

HELB Application Categories

The HELB First Time Loan Application is divided into various categories, including:

  1. Information on Profile: Personal and residence details.
  2. Institution Details: Details about the institution.
  3. Education Background Details: Primary and secondary school details.
  4. Expense Details: Family expenses.
  5. Guarantor Details: Information about guarantors.
  6. Parents Details: Marital status and employment details of parents.
  7. Bank Details: Bank account details for disbursement.

Ensure you fill out each section accurately to avoid disqualification.


HELB also supports students pursuing diploma and certificate courses in public universities, university colleges, public national polytechnics, and Institutes of Technology and Technical Training institutes. Orphans, single-parent students, and those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds are given priority for these loans and bursaries. The application period is usually from January to April each year.

READ ALSO: How to Withdraw HELB Loans To Your M-PESA Number Easily


In conclusion, the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) is a critical institution in Kenya that provides financial assistance to students pursuing higher education. Whether you are a first-time applicant or seeking a subsequent loan, understanding the application process, eligibility requirements, and the types of loans available is crucial. By following the step-by-step instructions in this article, you can make your HELB application process smooth and efficient, giving you the financial support you need to achieve your educational dreams. Apply wisely, and embrace the opportunity to further your studies with the help of HELB.

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