By Simon Muli
Currently, the only way to access the Kenyan government loan scheme is through a USSD code.
Hustler Fund is a government loan scheme launched by President William Ruto on 30 November 2022. It offers personal loans of between KSh500 and KSh50,000 depending on the credit rating of the borrower. The second phase of the loan scheme, to cater to Kenyans who want to borrow more than KSh50,000, will be launched in February 2023.
The Google form has been shared on a Facebook page called “Hustlers Fund Kenya”, along with some of the requirements to access the loan scheme.
Clicking on the “Learn more” button directs to the Google form titled “Hustlers Fund Loan Application form”.
The first page of the Google form contains information about what the Fund entails, borrowing from the economic empowerment idea behind the government loan scheme.
However, the information on the page states that users must follow the instructions provided therein to get the funds. Part of the process includes calls to successful applicants.
“Approval takes 10 minutes and loans are sent via MPESA within 20 minutes. After application, a customer care agent will get in touch with you and advise you further on any questions you may have and the repayment details,” according to the communication.
However, the procedure of accessing the Hustler Fund does not involve placing calls to borrowers and there is no dedicated Facebook page for the loan scheme as claimed.
Rather it involves registration using a mobile phone by dialling the USSD code *254# and selecting from the options in the subsequent prompts. On selecting the registration option, the applicant is prompted to accept the terms and conditions and enter the information in their mobile money key.
Once that is done, a message pops up informing the applicant that their registration has been received and instructs them to wait for a confirmation message with the amount they qualify for.
Clicking on the “Next” button on the dubious Google Form opens a news page that requires borrowers to fill in their personal information such as name, mobile number, county of residence, and national identification number. The form also requires users to indicate the amount they would like to borrow.
The next page contains a message congratulating the applicant for qualifying for a loan. But to receive it, they have to pay a registration fee to the mobile number provided, which is consistent with fraudulent lending practices.
“Note that the amount will cater for loan processing in determination of your credit history and is refundable if you won’t qualify for the loan,” the message reads.
The final part of the application is for the borrower to fill in the transaction code generated after payment of the registration fee.
On 18 November 2022, Simon Chelugui, the Cabinet Secretary for Cooperatives and Micro and Small Enterprise, cautioned the public to be wary of dubious sites and links purporting to offer the Hustler Fund.
PesaCheck has examined the Google form shared on Facebook inviting users to submit applications for the Hustler Fund and found it to be a HOAX.
This post is part of an ongoing series of PesaCheck fact-checks examining content marked as potential misinformation on Facebook and other social media platforms.