The Hustler Fund is here.
The fund, which is the fulfilment of a campaign pledge by President William Ruto to his “hustler” voter base, has multiple aspects (for instance, there is an SME component and a more personal component, which is the subject of this article) and seeks to lift out of poverty most Kenyans who almost live from hand to mouth by empowering them with financial resources to start or enhance their “hustles”.
Obviously, it goes without saying that one must be an adult (18 years and/or above) Kenyan citizen with a valid national identity card (ID) and they must be currently residing in the country.
They must also have a valid registered mobile number from either one of these three mobile network operators: Safaricom, Airtel and/or Telkom Kenya. JTL Faiba subscribers and those using mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) like Equitel and the rest are not eligible at this time.
The line should’ve been active for at least 90 days on the said network.
In addition to having the above-said mobile number from any of the three mobile network operators, they also need to be registered for one of the respective operator’s mobile money products. These are M-Pesa, Airtel Money and T-Kash for Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Kenya respectively.
How to apply/register
Starting 1st December 2022, those interested in securing the fund can dial *254# on their phone on the above-specified mobile networks.
After doing so, they will be asked to identify themselves via their national ID number and then set up a PIN. A location of residence may be asked during this onboarding process.
Upon acceptance of the terms and conditions, they will be added to the Hustler Fund.
How it works
The Hustler Fund incorporates both borrowing and savings components, à la M-Shwari.
The difference between it and M-Shwari in this aspect, however, is that the savings component is not voluntary. It is mandatory. Every time one borrows from the Hustler Fund, 5% of the amount goes to a scheme where the money earns interest. The money is saved in the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) account of the borrower. (An aside: the President has said that the government will contribute Kshs 1 for every Kshs 2 that a borrower will save. Factually, this is limited to Kshs 6,000 per year and on condition that one doesn’t default).
When one borrows and their loan is approved, 95% of it is disbursed to their M-Pesa/mobile money account and the remaining 5% is deposited in the aforementioned savings account.
The Hustler Fund’s savings plan is split into two: short-term savings and long-term savings. The former accounts for 30% while the latter takes the lion’s share at 70%. In simple terms, one is able to access their savings (30% short-term) after 6 months. The 70% long-term savings are only accessible when one hits the retirement age set by NSSF i.e. 50 years.
Loans accessible to individuals upon registration range from as little as Kshs 500 to as much as Kshs 50,000.
The loans have to be repaid within a period of 14 days.
There is an (annual) interest of 8% which is calculated on a pro-rata or on a daily basis.
In the event one fails to repay the loan within the 14-day period, they are extended an extra 15 days during which they have to repay the loan. Failure to do so after the extended period leads to the borrower losing their credit score, the annual interest rate on the non-performing loan being raised to 9.5% and their Hustler Fund account being frozen.
There is no CRB (Credit Reference Bureau) listing for Huster Fund borrowers and defaulters.
It is assumed that everyone dialling the above shortcode to access the Hustler Fund means to do so and, when one is approved for a loan and they take it, there is no reversal process. They will have to repay it within the stipulated period.
Obviously, one’s loan repayment history goes into building their credit profile with the Hustler Fund and determining future eligibility and loan limits.
There are other aspects of the Hustler Fund like group borrowing and SME and co-operatives borrowing but those are not the subject of this article. We have focused solely on individual borrowing on the Hustler Fund.
The Hustler Fund has no processing or facilitation fee.
There will be a Hustler Fund app. We will update this article with a link to it once it hits the Google Play Store. Once available, it will be possible to apply for and repay the Hustler Fund loan through it. For now, there is a mini-app on the M-Pesa super app that gets the job done for Safaricom subscribers.
How to repay the Hustler Fund loan
Dial *254# and follow the prompts.