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Paying back your student loan

Repayments on your student loan depend on how much you earn and whether you’re based in New Zealand or living overseas.

Information for tertiary education students if you’re affected by COVID-19.

Who your student loan is with

You apply for a student loan through StudyLink. Shortly after approving it and sending the amounts to you and your education provider, StudyLink transfers the day-to-day management of your student loan to Inland Revenue (IR). You repay your student loan through IR.

When to make payments if you’re based in New Zealand

You must start or continue repaying your student loan to IR if you’re in New Zealand and earning over a certain amount.

Making payments when you’re New Zealand-based

How you make these payments depends on whether you earn a salary or wages, or you’re self-employed or earn other types of income.

Repaying my student loan — IR

Deductions and exemptions if you’re earning a salary or wages

If you earn amounts that often change or have more than 1 job, which can include government payments, you might be able to apply for either a:

When to make payments if you’re based overseas

When you’re overseas for a certain amount of time, how you repay your student loan to IR changes. If you become considered as based overseas, you’ll need to make 2 repayments by their due dates. Check if you’ll become ‘overseas-based’ when travelling outside of New Zealand.

What happens to my student loan when I go overseas — IR

Making payments when you’re overseas-based

How much you repay to IR depends on your student loan balance when you left New Zealand. IR provides the amounts that match your loan balance.

Repaying my student loan when I am overseas-based

You may be able to apply for a temporary repayment suspension, which gives you a break from making payments, but not from your loan gaining interest.

Temporary repayment suspension for student loans — IR

Unexpected travel delays

If your travel away from or back into NZ is delayed, check with IR about your tax status and when interest rates apply on your loan.

Unplanned absence from New Zealand when I have a student loan — IR

Keeping your student loan interest-free while overseas

There are some situations when you can keep your loan interest-free while you’re overseas. Check the IR website for the criteria and how to apply.

When can I keep my student loan interest free overseas — IR

Paying back your student loan faster

Find out about making extra repayments on top of your regular payments to IR, paying your loan off in full and what you can do if you have overpaid your loan and are due a refund.

Making extra repayments to your student loan — IR

Difficulty repaying your student loan

Find out your options if you’re having trouble repaying your student loan and what happens if you miss a payment.

If you cannot repay your student loan — IR

Questions or problems with your student loan

For repaying your student loan, contact IR with any questions. If your questions are about you and your education provider receiving student loan amounts, you may need to contact StudyLink.

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