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Paying back your student loan

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

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

Register with myIR

Register for Inland Revenue’s online services to:

  • see your student loan balance
  • set up and track repayments
  • add a nominated person or alternative contact
  • use online calculators.

myIR Secure Online Services

Making payments

You must make repayments if you’re in New Zealand and earning over a certain amount, or if you’re overseas.

The Inland Revenue (IR) website has information about:

  • what counts as income
  • repayment options if you’re employed or self-employed
  • using the correct tax code
  • managing payments to avoid penalties
  • financial hardship.

If you travel or live overseas, there is information on:

  • repayment options
  • interest rates on your loan
  • keeping your loan interest free
  • temporary repayment suspensions
  • nominate someone to manage your loan.

Student loans

Repayment calculator

Get an estimate of when you will pay off your loan and see how extra repayments might help you pay it off faster.

IR student loan repayment calculator

Deductions and exemptions

If you’re employed, check if you’re eligible for an exemption or a special repayment rate.

If you earn variable amounts over the year but less than the annual threshold amount, check if you’re eligible for a deduction exemption.

Student loan repayment deduction exemption

If you have more than 1 job or receive a government payment or use certain tax codes, check if you’re eligible for a special deduction rate.

Student loan special deduction rate

Extra or over payments

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

Financial hardship

Find out your options if you’re having problems making repayments and what happens if you do not make compulsory repayments.

If you cannot repay your student loan

Travelling or living overseas

You still have to make payments on your student loan when you’re overseas.

Check the IR website for how long you can be out of the country for before you start being charged interest on your loan.

What happens to my student loan when I go overseas

Estimate when interest will be charged

You can use the overseas travel calculator in the student loan section of myIR to calculate when you will be charged interest for the time you’re away from New Zealand.

Keeping your student loan interest free

There are some situations in which you can keep your loan interest free while overseas. It may depend on your destination country, if you’re studying or volunteering, or have unexpected travel.

Check the IR website for the criteria and how to apply.

When can I keep my student loan interest free overseas

Make payments from overseas

If you are registered with IR and have set up a myIR account, you can make a payment from overseas.

Apply for a temporary repayment suspension

You can take a break from repaying your student loan for a limited time while you travel overseas. Interest is still added to the loan.

Check with IR before travelling overseas if you’re eligible to apply for a temporary repayment suspension.

Temporary repayment suspension for student loans

You can apply for a suspension using your myIR account.

myIR Secure Online Services

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

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