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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.