Student Loan Payments Will Help Christchurch

April 20, 2011 New Zealand Taxation

Christchurch EarthquakeWith the ever increasing level of student loans outstanding in New Zealand, the Inland Revenue Department is setting off on a effort to ensure the payment of debts by borrowers now based overseas, hoping to raise a portion of the funds needed to rebuild Christchurch.

As of December last year, the number of New Zealanders with student loans who have are now overseas has reached 88 000. Cumulatively the borrowers face a combined debt of NZD 2.3 billion, totaling over 20 percent of the country’s student loans. As of early 2011, nearly NZD 200 million of the debts were overdue for repayment, with an approximate 35 000 borrowers being behind on their obligations.

On April 18th the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) Deputy Commissioner Service Delivery Carolyn Tremain said that the Department would begin an email campaign to remind borrowers of their payment obligations. She went on to remind people with student loans of their requirement to disclose their intended situation to the IRD if they plan to be out of New Zealand for 183 days or longer.

The new effort comes as the latest push by the New Zealand Government to shore up extra funds to pay for the rebuild of Christchurch following the recent earthquake. New Zealander of the Year Professor Sir Paul Callaghan has sent an open letter to the overseas based borrowers, saying that any payments they make towards their loans, would be a heroic effort, which will aid the country’s recovery.

Photo by clevercupcakes