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Ka ahatia taku pūtea taurewa ākonga ina haere ahau ki tāwāhi What happens to my student loan when I go overseas

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If you are living, studying or working in New Zealand long-term you are considered a New Zealand-based borrower. This means you will have any interest on your student loan written off. You can leave New Zealand for up to 183 days and stay a New Zealand-based borrower. You will need to be in New Zealand for at least 32 days in any 183 day period to remain a New Zealand-based borrower. 

Leaving New Zealand

If you leave New Zealand for more than 183 days your loan will stop being interest free. Borrowers travelling and living overseas do not have any interest written off - your loan could start getting bigger. After 184 days out of the country, interest is backdated to the day after you left New Zealand.

If you come back to New Zealand, you will become a New Zealand based borrower after being here for 183 days. You can leave New Zealand for up to 32 days within this 6-month period. 

Student loan minimum payments

You need to make minimum repayments to avoid late payment interest or penalties. If you are travelling or living overseas with a student loan, your minimum repayments depend on your student loan balance when you left New Zealand. This may change if your loan grows because of interest or penalties.

Loan balance Due date - 30 September Due date - 31 March
under $1,000 half your loan balance half your loan balance
$1,000 and up to $15,000 $500 $500
over $15,000 and up to $30,000 $1,000 $1,000
over $30,000 and up to $45,000 $1,500 $1,500
over $45,000 and up to $60,000 $2,000 $2,000
over $60,000 $2,500 $2,500

If your loan is over $90,000, your repayments might not be enough to cover your interest. 

Letting someone act on your behalf

It is a good idea to set up a nominated person before you leave New Zealand. They will be able to talk to us about your loan while you are overseas.

Let someone act on your behalf

Repayment holiday

With a repayment holiday you can take a break from paying your student loan for up to 12 months while you travel overseas.

If you pay using an online international money transfer or payment service provider

If a service provider does not process your payment to us in time for the funds to clear by the due date, if will remain outstanding. We may charge penalties or interest. It is your responsibility to make sure you:

  • pay and file on time
  • make payments to us either on or before the New Zealand due date
  • check if the provider you choose charges international fees.