New Zealand provides student loans and allowances to tertiary students who satisfy the funding criteria. Full-time students can claim loans for both fees and living expenses.

A non-refundable means-tested student allowance for living expenses can be claimed by students who are over 24 years old or whose parents have a low income. This criterion has caused anger among students who have left out of it. Many of them have completed tertiary education.

Loan composition

The student loan comprised three parts:

  • Compulsory fees – covers tuition fees and various levies. These are paid to the tertiary institution directly.
  • Course-related costs – covers stationery, textbooks, equipment, etc. And voluntary student association fees. The borrower is allowed up to $ 1000 per year in race-related fees, which they can claim over the year. These are paid into the borrower’s bank account.
  • Living costs – covers rent, food, services, etc. The maximum payment for living costs is $ 175.96 per week plus any student allowance received. [1] This figure is adjusted every year in April for inflation.

New loans

There is a debt eligibility check for new loan applications. It is not possible to borrow through the Student Loan Scheme if you have $ 500 or more in default at the time of your application, and at least some portion of it has been overdue for a year or more. Application to all new student loan applications received by StudyLink on or after February 7th, 2013 and includes all unpaid repayment obligations, late payment interest, penalties and amounts under installment arrangement.


While the borrower is a resident of New Zealand, loans are repaid at a rate of 12 cents for every dollar of taxable income earned over the repayment threshold of $ 19,084 per annum ($ 367 per week), and no interest is charged.

Loan recipients who leave New Zealand accumulate interest after 184 days (about 6 months) abroad, and are assessed on their loan balance for repayment purposes, with a minimum annual payment being required. [2] Loan repayments can be suspended on demand for those on no / low income overseas, however interest still accumulates.

For borrowers in New Zealand with more than one job, it is possible to apply for a student loan deduction rate for secondary earnings if you earn less than the pay period repayment threshold from your main job.

Student loans are written off in the event of the borrower dying; Their estate is only obliged to pay any outstanding loan repayments up to the date of the borrower’s death.


The loan system has been modified and modified since its inception in 1992. This led to the use of this money for investment purposes.

Changes under the Labor Government

In 2001 growing debt mountain Caused the Fifth Labor Government to stop interest payments while students Studied. Then in 2005 they rode to election on the promise of stopping interest for all those remaining in New Zealand. [3]

From 2001, all full-time students were made exempt from interest while studying, and from 2006 all borrowers resident in New Zealand have been exempted from interest. ( 4 ). [4] The Government of the United States of America (hereinafter referred to as the 

On 22 March 2007, the Government introduced a three-year loan repayment holiday for those overseas. In practice this is a uniform extension of the previous ability to waive repayments until a later date. As before, interest accumulates during this period.

Changes under the National Government

The National Party initially opposed the interest free loans policy, but after it lost the 2005 election, in early 2008. [5] After it was elected to the government in the 2008 general election , the Fifth National Government has kept interest off student loans, but it has a number of changes designed to make students repay their loans and penalties for loan defaulters.

From 1 April 2009, voluntary student loan repayments above $ 500 in a tax year were awarded at 10% bonus. [6]

In an effort to increase the repayment rate of borrowers, information sharing between Government departments was introduced in 2010. [7]

From 1 April 2012, the maximum time for a repayment has been reduced from 3 years to 1 year. [2]

From 1 April 2012, access to student loans was cut for people over 55.

From 1 April 2013, the repayment rate for student loan deductions increased from 10% to 12% [8] and the voluntary repayment bonus was abolished. [6] (Student allowances were also restricted to four years worth of study.) The changes that came into effect in 2013 were due to the Government said it needed to shift its investment from student support to supporting universities. The exchange Were criticised by Labor Party Tertiary Education Spokesperson, Grant Robertson , Who Said They would “dampen demand” for tertiary education graduates and drive overseas. [9]

In 2013, the Government announced that the student loans could be arrested at New Zealand’s border. It was an effort to recover $ 430 million from defaulted student loan debt, “80 per cent of which is owed by overseas borrowers.” The move was criticized by NZUSA, who said the policy would be ineffectual, and could potentially create “student loan refugees”. [7]

Student debt levels

Average student loan balances. For instance, a 2007 survey by the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations found that the average student debt was over NZ $ 28,000, up 54% from 2004. [3] (For comparison, the average annual income of New Zealanders Aged 15 or more was nearly NZ $ 35,000.) [10]

The total student debt reached $ 5 billion in 2002 and then $ 10 billion in 2008, and has been growing by approximately $ 1 billion annually. [3] As of December 2014 student loan debt was $ 14.2 billion. [11] While students have been increasingly enrolled in tertiary education in recent years. In January 2017 it was estimated 731,800 people, with an average balance of $ 21,000 had outstanding student loans totaling $ 15.3 billion. [12]

See also

  • Tertiary education in New Zealand
  • Student loans in Australia (HELP loans)


  1. Jump up^ “Living costs” . Ministry of Social Development . Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  2. ^ Jump up to:b “I’m going overseas for 6 months or more” . IRD . Retrieved January 8, 2015 .
  3. ^ Jump up to:c Student debt reaches $ 10b – a millstone, not a milestone , NZUSA press release, April 9, 2008.
  4. Jump up^ “Interest and other charges” . IRD . Retrieved 1 October 2016 .
  5. Jump up^ “Nats U-turn on interest free student loans” . The Dominion Post . 31 January 2008 . Retrieved January 8, 2015 .
  6. ^ Jump up to:b “Form voluntary repayment bonus” . Inland Revenue Department . Retrieved January 12, 2015 .
  7. ^ Jump up to:b Davison, Isaac (17 October 2013). “Changes to student loans slated” . The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 9 January 2015 .
  8. Jump up^ Fletcher, Kelsey (January 2, 2014). “Student allowance cuts to go ahead” . . Retrieved January 8, 2015 .
  9. Jump up^ Hartevelt, John (3 May 2012). “Student loan repayments hiked, allowances restricted” . . Retrieved 9 January 2015 .
  10. Jump up^ New Zealand Income Survey: June 2007 quarter – tables,Statistics New Zealand, 4 October 2007
  11. Jump up^
  12. Jump up^ “Student loan debt ‘balloons’ by 37 per cent, with average student owing $ 21,000” . The New Zealand Herald . 24 January 2017 . Retrieved 6 August 2017 .