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COVID-19 - Level 1 and Level 2 If you've been affected by COVID-19, we may be able to help. Find out more

Hardship relief for New Zealand-based customers 

If you're struggling to make your student loan payments, we might be able to reduce your repayment obligations. Alternatively, you can propose an instalment arrangement to suit your situation.

You can also apply for a student loan repayment deduction exemption if you're New Zealand based and the following apply:

  • are studying full-time, or about to start studying
  • reasonably expect to earn under the annual repayment threshold.

Hardship and defaulting on my student loan

Hardship relief for overseas-based customers

If you live overseas and are unable to pay the required amount, you can apply for hardship relief, and your obligation may be reduced.

We will ensure we take the current worldwide situation with COVID-19 into account, when we assess overseas-based customers' situations.

If you contact us and we can see you have been keeping up to date with your repayments, or have been making repayments under an arrangement, and you are now unable to make these payments - we will discuss options for the capitalisation of arrears and/or options for reducing your current assessment.

Options to reduce your repayments if you're overseas based

If you cannot afford your loan payments, you can apply for relief or request an instalment arrangement for amounts you owe.

In myIR, in the 'I want to' section, select 'Application for relief' or 'Request an instalment arrangement'.

Student loans - contact us

Going overseas or recently left New Zealand

Temporary repayment suspension for student loans

Unable to return to New Zealand

If you were intending to travel back to New Zealand but are now unable to, you can apply for your student loan to be interest-free.

You'll need to have been a New Zealand tax resident while you were overseas and show that you were intending to stay overseas for less than 183 days.

Unexpected delay returning to New Zealand when I have a student loan

Tax residency status for individuals

Check out the recent improvements we've made to student loans

Recent improvements for New Zealand based customers

Recent improvements for overseas based customers