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Student loan special deduction rates for secondary earnings

Find out about student loan special deduction rates for secondary earnings if you're a salary or wage earner in New Zealand.

 Qualifying for a special deduction rate

If you find that the student loan deductions from your secondary job are too high, you may be able to apply for a special deduction rate. You'll need to meet the following criteria:

  • your total income from your main job is less than the pay period repayment threshold (eg, $367 per week), and
  • your secondary tax code is SB SL or S SL.

Applying for a special deduction rate will help you make the right repayments on your secondary income.

You can apply for a special deduction rate through myIR Secure Online Services.


More than one job includes income-tested benefits, student allowance and New Zealand Superannuation.

If you don't apply for a special deduction rate, your repayments from your secondary job will be deducted at the repayment rate of 12% of your gross pay. Even though these deductions may be more than you needed to pay, the extra amount from your repayments can't be refunded, used to pay another student loan or tax bill you owe. The deductions can only be applied to your student loan balance.

 Getting a special deduction rate and making voluntary extra deductions

If you want to pay more off your loan from your secondary income, you should:

  • apply for a special deduction rate, and
  • set up voluntary repayments with your employer(s) for the amount you want to pay on top of the special deduction rate we work out for your secondary earnings.

Find out how to set up voluntary repayments through your salary or wages

 Special deduction rates apply for up to 3 months

If you apply for a special deduction rate, it's valid for a period of up to 3 months at a time. You'll need to reapply each quarter you meet the qualifying criteria if you want to continue having a special deduction rate. If you don't, your employer will start to deduct 12 cents for each dollar you earn in your secondary job(s).

Quarter start dates Quarter end dates
1 April 30 June
1 July 30 September
1 October 31 December
1 January 31 March

You can apply before the quarter starts. If you apply during a quarter, the deduction rate can't be back dated. This means any student loan deductions made using the SL repayment code are considered your final obligation, and they can't be refunded.

 What you need to do to apply

You'll need to estimate for the quarter your total earnings from your main job and your secondary job(s) and tell us the frequency of your pay periods for each job. We'll use this to work out your special deduction rate for the quarter. Your estimate must be based on what you reasonably expect to earn.

Apply for a special deduction rate

 Change in your circumstances

If your circumstances change you'll need to let us know as your special deduction rate may need to be adjusted or cancelled. You should contact us if you:

  • think your gross income per pay period for your main job will be more or less than you expected for the quarter
  • stop working for one of your current employers
  • start working for a new employer.

If we identify that you no longer qualify, we'll cancel your special deduction rate and advise you and your employer.


Special deduction rate is only for secondary job(/s)

You can't apply for a special deduction rate if you only have one job or you earn more than the pay period repayment threshold in your main job.