Higher Education Loans & Scholarship Board (HELSB)


What to know

Here, we address common queries and provide helpful information regarding our services, application processes, eligibility criteria, and more. If you have any questions that aren’t covered here, please feel free to reach out to our dedicated support team for further assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

To apply for a student loan or scholarship with HELSB, you can visit the official website and access the application portal. Follow the provided instructions, which typically include creating an account, completing the application form, and submitting the required documents. Be sure to adhere to the specified deadlines
Eligibility criteria may vary, but common requirements include being a citizen, having an acceptance letter from an accredited institution, demonstrating financial need, and maintaining satisfactory academic progress
Yes, in many cases, you can apply for both a student loan and a scholarship simultaneously. However, it’s essential to review the specific guidelines provided by HELSB to ensure there are no conflicts or restrictions. Note and Applicant can not be awarded both the student loan and a scholarship

HELSB offers a range of student loans tailored to meet the diverse needs of eligible candidates. The types of student loans available include:

  • STEM Loans: Specifically designed for students pursuing degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields.
  • Art Loans: These are designed for students pursuing degrees in all art-based programs.
  • Rural Loans: Aimed at candidates residing in rural areas, recognizing the financial challenges and disparities that may exist in these regions.
  • Urban Loans: Geared towards students in urban areas, addressing the unique financial circumstances associated with urban living.
  • Loans for Candidates with Disabilities (LSD): Tailored to support candidates living with disabilities, acknowledging the additional costs associated with education for individuals with diverse needs.

(i) Loan Repayment Terms: Recipients of HELSB student loans are required to repay the borrowed amount within the stipulated period as outlined in the loan agreement.

(ii) Interest Rates: HELSB applies interest rates to the loans to cover administrative costs and ensure the sustainability of the student loan scheme. The specific interest rates and repayment terms are communicated to borrowers during the application process.

NOTE: It’s essential for candidates to carefully review the terms and conditions associated with each type of loan, including the repayment period, interest rates, and any other relevant details. By understanding these terms, borrowers can make informed decisions and plan for successful loan repayment within the framework established by HELSB.

While the current information does not indicate that international students are eligible for student loans or scholarships from HELSB, it’s worth noting that policies and programs can evolve over time. Going forward, HELSB may consider proposals to extend financial assistance to international students (Zambian’s) in the form of scholarships. Prospective international students are advised to regularly check HELSB’s official communications for any updates or changes in their policies related to international student support.

NOTE: Remember to always check the latest information on the official HELSB website or contact their office directly for the most accurate and up-to-date details regarding student loans and scholarships.

The specific documents required for a student loan or scholarship application with HELSB may vary, but generally, applicants are typically asked to provide the following documents

  • Application Form: A completed application form obtained from the official HELSB website, application portal or Natsave.
  • Proof of Acceptance: A letter of acceptance from an accredited educational institution indicating that the applicant has been admitted to a program of study at a particular University.
  • Proof of Citizenship or Residency: (NRC) Documentation confirming the applicant’s citizenship or residency status.
  • Academic Records: Transcripts or academic records demonstrating the applicant’s educational background and qualification
  • Personal Statement: A written statement or essay explaining the applicant’s educational and career goals, as well as any other relevant information. (Scholarship)
  • Documentation for Special Consideration (if applicable): If applying for specific loans or scholarships (e.g. Disabilities), additional documentation supporting eligibility for these categories may be required.


NOTE: HELSB may specify additional documents based on the type of loan or scholarship, so applicants should carefully review the application guidelines.

It’s crucial for applicants to check the most up-to date application requirements on the official HELSB website or contact HELSB directly to ensure that they have all the necessary documents for a successful application. Adhering to the specified documentation guidelines is essential for a smooth and efficient processing of the application.

If you encounter any issues during the application process, it is recommended to reach out to the HELSB support team promptly. Contact information, including phone numbers and email addresses, is often provided on the official website

HELSB, may offer online portals or systems where applicants can track the status of their applications. It’s advisable to check the official HELSB website or contact their office directly to inquire about the availability of an online tracking system and how to access it.

  • Applicants are advised to read through the advertisements as deadlines are placed on each and every advertisement.
  • How long does it take to process a student loan or scholarship application?
  • The processing time for student loan or scholarship applications can vary. HELSB typically outlines an estimated processing time, which may depend on factors such as the volume of applications, completeness of documentation, and specific internal processes.
    Applicants should refer to the information provided during the application process for an estimate. However 45 days after close of any advertisement determination will be made
The loan amount is typically determined based on factors such as the cost of education, the specific type of loan, the student’s financial need, and any other relevant criteria set by HELSB
The interest rate on HELSB student loans is 10 percent amortized per annum. Interest rates can vary, and they may be either fixed or variable. Applicants should carefully review the terms provided by HELSB for accurate information.
Currently HELSB offers undergraduate student loans at 8 public universities with varying terms and conditions
Student loans from HELSB are often designed to cover various educational costs, including tuition, books, living expenses, and other related expenses. However, the specific details may be outlined in the loan agreement.
The maximum duration of the repayment period is 10 years. This period may vary based on the loan repayment and other factors. Borrowers should carefully review this information to understand their repayment obligations
The terms and conditions for repaying HELSB student loans are outlined in the loan agreement. This includes details such as the repayment period, the frequency of payments, and any other relevant conditions.
The grace period is 12 months. However, HELSB may offer a grace period before repayment begins, allowing graduates some time to secure employment
HELSB may offer income-driven repayment options, allowing borrowers to make payments based on their income. Specific details, eligibility criteria, and application processes for such options should be outlined in the loan agreement or communicated separately.
The process for applying for loan deferment or forbearance due to financial difficulties should be outlined in the loan agreement. Borrowers typically need to contact HELSB, provide necessary documentation, and follow the specified procedures for consideration. It’s essential for borrowers to thoroughly read and understand the terms and conditions of their specific loan agreement and contact HELSB directly for any clarifications or additional information
Maintaining eligibility for a scholarship typically involves meeting specific academic, enrollment, and other criteria outlined by HELSB. This may include maintaining a certain GPA, enrolling in a full-time course load, and adhering to any other conditions specified in the scholarship agreement
If your academic performance falls below the scholarship requirements, you may risk losing the scholarship. It’s important to be aware of the specific performance criteria and communicate with HELSB if you encounter challenges to explore potential solutions or support
Scholarships transferability may be subject to specific conditions outlined by HELSB and host country. It’s advisable to consult with HELSB directly to understand whether transferring the scholarship to a different program or institution is possible and what procedures need to be followed.
Scholarship agreements may have guidelines regarding changes in major or field of study. It’s recommended to review the scholarship terms and, if necessary, seek approval from HELSB before making such changes
HELSB may offer support services to scholarship recipients, which could include academic counseling, mentorship programs, and additional resources. Scholarship recipients are encouraged to inquire about available services.
HELSB may have procedures in place for addressing changes in a student’s financial situation. Students are advised to promptly inform HELSB of any significant changes and inquire about available options or support
Students are generally allowed to update their contact information or personal details during the loan or scholarship period. It’s important to inform HELSB of any changes to ensure effective communication
Taking a leave of absence or withdrawing from a program may have implications for your scholarship or loan. It’s crucial to notify HELSB as soon as possible to discuss the situation and understand the potential consequences
In cases of changed circumstances, HELSB may have processes for students to apply for additional financial assistance. Students should reach out to HELSB directly to discuss their situation and explore available options
HELSB likely has security measures in place to address cases of identity theft or fraud. Students should report any suspected fraudulent activities to HELSB immediately for investigation
Communication methods may include emails, official announcements on the website, and other modes. It’s important for students to regularly check their communication channels and stay informed about updates
Students are likely to receive notifications about changes in interest rates or terms of their loan agreement through official channels. Regularly checking communication from HELSB is important to stay updated
HELSB likely provides a helpline or online support for students. Refer to their official website or contact them directly for assistance
If facing difficulties with loan payments, communicate with HELSB as soon as possible. We will offer assistance or alternative repayment plans
The process for changing sponsorship during an academic program would likely involve contacting HELSB, providing necessary documentation, and following their specific procedures. Contact HELSB directly for guidance on transitioning from self-sponsorship to GRZ sponsorship. This question addresses the possibility of transitioning from self- sponsorship to sponsorship by the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) during the course of an academic program. The question is relevant for individuals who may have started their education as self- sponsored students but are interested in exploring the option of being sponsored by the government.