The Government of Kenya has launched what it calls the “Hustler Fund”. This is part of the Ruling Party’s manifesto during the campaign season where they promised affordable credit to Kenyans.
Well, with the fund now live, many Kenyans want to know what it is and how to access it. So, let’s help break that down for you.
First of all, it is important to know that the fund is broken into 4 products:
- Personal finance
- Micro Loans
- SME Loans
- Startup Loans
The personal finance product is already live. The rest will be launched later on. As it stands, the personal finance product has a set range of limitations. You can borrow a minimum of KES 500 and a maximum of KES 50,000.
It seems other products will be made available in the coming days. For example, Twiga Foods, a growing startup in the agricultural and food sector, will be receiving KES 300M from the fund.
How to access Hustler Fund:
- Dial *254# from any network. This USSD is zero-rated with no charges.
- You must have a Mobile Money account with the network you dial the above USSD Code
- On Safaricom Network, you can use the M-Pesa App, under Growth Tab.
- Choose loan product.
- You will see the loan limited allocated to you.
- Select amount you want to borrow, enter mobile money PIN and confirm request.
- You will receive 95% of what you’ve borrowed, 5% will be added to your savings where it will gain interest. For example if you borrow KES 1000, you will receive KES 950 with KES 50 going to savings.
- You will also receive SMS with all details.
With the personal finance product, the maximum you can borrow is KES 50,000. The minimum is KES 500. However, it doesn’t automatically mean everyone can access the 50k. The government explains that once you submit an application, it will be subjected to the predetermined formula based on existing qualification parameters and that approval shall be granted based on meeting eligibility criteria, credit worthiness.
So different Kenyans will access different loan limits, depending on their weighted credit worthiness. We have no idea how this will be calculated.
If you want to increase the loan limit allocated, you can only do so through continuous borrowing and timely repayment.
The government says Kenyans will not need collateral, guarantors, or paperwork. It’s a digital loan product, just like M-Shwari, KCB M-Pesa, etc, albeit with better interest rates.
Hustler Fund loan repayment:
- Loan repayment will be in 14 days
- Interest will be charged at 8% per annum, calculated daily. For example if you borrow KES 500, in 14 days your repayment will be KES 501.53. This is way cheaper than almost all other digital loan products in the country.
- Repayment will be done through mobile money without any transaction costs.
- If you mistakenly borrow a loan, you will have to repay it.
- You cannot transfer your loan obligation to another phone number.
- You can only borrow one loan at a time, and using only one of your phone numbers.
- If you don’t repay your loan within 14 days, you won’t be added to a Credit Reference Bureau (CRB).
- After 15 days more of lack of repayment, loan interest will go up to 9.5% per annum.
- After 30 days if you haven’t paid, your account will be frozen, and you will lose credit score accumulated. This doesn’t affect other loan services.
Who can access the Hustler Fund:
Depending on the loan product, different clusters of people will be able to access the product. The baseline is that one must be 18 years of age and above. Individuals, SACCOs, Chamas, Other Groups, Table Banking Members or even Associations which are duly registered by relevant government institutions, will all be able to access the fund.
How does the Hustler Fund’s Savings work?
When you borrow a said amount, 5% of the amount will be saved to your savings account. This savings account is broken into two parts: long-term and short-term savings. 70% of the saved amount goes to the long-term account, while 30% goes to the short-terms savings account.
The long-term savings is what will be your pensions scheme sort of standpoint.
So, for example if you’ve borrowed KES 1000, the KES 50 that’s going to your savings account will be split 70-30. With 70% (KES 35) going to the pensions account, and 30% (KES 15) going to the short-terms savings account.
It is under the long-terms savings account that the government has promised to match savings 2:1 up to a maximum of KES 6,000.
M-Pesa Pin Privacy concerns with Hustler Fund:
When you’re getting your loan, you will need to authenticate with your M-Pesa PIN or Airtel or T-Kash PINs. This doesn’t mean you’re giving a third-party access to your Mobile Money wallet. And this doesn’t mean you should share your PIN with other parties, ever.
The M-Pesa PIN is required to authenticate the owner of the wallet where the loan will be disbursed. All data privacy rules are applied and the PIN is not shared with anyone.
Other important things to know:
- If you already have a loan with other products, if you take a loan from the Hustler’s fund, they won’t deduct the amount you receive to offset the others.
- Your Fuliza overdraft will be suspended for up to 24 hours to ensure you are able to utilise the Hustler Fund first. However, funds received outside the Hustler Fund within 24hrs will be used to pay back your overdraft.
- The SIM card you use to get the fund must be registered and must have been active for more than 90 days.
- The Fund has a CEO who will be appointed for a 4-year term, subject to renewal for a further 4 year term.
- There will be an Advisory Board that will provide oversight on the administration of the Fund and develop policies to guide the operations of the Fund. All board members shall serve for 1 term of 3 years and will be eligible for a further one term of 3 years.
- The Administration costs of the Fund shall not exceed 3% of the approved budget.