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Understanding my student loan

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Some of the terms you’ll see in a student loan statement have a special meaning.

Financial period

This is the tax year in which a transaction occurred.

Tax years run from 1 April to 31 March the following year. They are referred to by the year in which they end – for example, the tax year that finished on 31 March 2019 is called the 2019 tax year.

For student loans, this often means that a loan for the one tax year was for study you did in the previous academic year.

Loan transfer

The amount you borrowed from StudyLink. This is a debit amount – it makes your loan bigger.

Interest transfer

Interest that was charged by StudyLink from the date when you first got the loan until the loan was transferred to Inland Revenue. This interest may be written off.

This is a debit amount – it makes your loan bigger.

Interest rate

The interest rate for the tax year. This is set by the government each year.

Interest

For previous years, this is the amount of interest that was added to your loan at the end of the tax year.

For the current year, this will show interest calculated up to the date of the statement. Interest is calculated daily, and added annually.

This is a debit amount – it makes your loan bigger.

Interest write off

Any interest write-off which has been applied to a student loan. Interest write-offs are calculated daily and applied annually, the same as interest.

This is a credit amount – it makes your loan smaller.

Assessment

The amount of money that you need to pay in the tax year. If you are living in New Zealand this is based on your income. if you are living overseas this is based on the size of your loan.

Late payment interest/penalties

The amount of late payment interest which has been charged on an overdue amount.

Late payment interest is charged monthly from the day after the payment was due.

This is a debit amount – it makes your loan bigger.

Repayment deductions

Money that was deducted by your employer when you are earning income in New Zealand.

This is a credit amount – it makes your loan smaller.

Repayments

Payments you have made.

This is a credit amount – it makes your loan smaller.

Credit transfers and adjustments

Credit transfers are money that was transferred into the student loan to help pay it off. This could be from another tax type, such as an income tax refund. It could also be from an overpayment in another student loan period, in which case you will see a matching debit transfer in the other period.

Adjustments are usually very small amounts that happen when past interest is recalculated.

This is a credit amount – it makes your loan smaller.

Refunds and debit transfers

A refund is money that is given back to you after an overpayment was made, and your asked for this to be refunded.

A debit transfer may be money that has been transferred to another tax type, such as an overpayment that was transferred to help pay your income tax. It could also be money that was transferred to a different student loan period, in which case you will see a matching credit transfer in the other period.

This is a debit amount – it makes your loan bigger.

Voluntary repayment bonus

A voluntary repayment bonus was given in the 2010 to 2013 tax years. Any bonus that the borrower received will show here.

This is a credit amount – it makes your loan smaller.

Amnesty penalty and admin fees

An amnesty was given to borrowers who were non-resident on 31 March 2006, and had (or would have had) arrears on 31 March 2008. Admin fees are an annual administration fee charged by Inland Revenue from 1 April 2011 if a borrower has a total loan balance of $20 or more on 31 March and did not have an establishment fee charged. This fee is $40.

This is a debit amount – it makes your loan bigger.

Change in loan balance

This is the amount that the overall loan balance has changed through the tax year. If your loan has got bigger this will be shown as a positive figure in black. If your loan has got smaller this will be shown as a negative figure in red with brackets.

This figure is calculated by adding any figures shown as debit amounts and then taking away any figures shown as credit amounts.