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Managing your student loan while youre overseas v 2

Changes to your loan while you’re overseas

Your student loan obligations change when you’re away from New Zealand for more than 6 months.

  • Interest will be added to your loan.

  • We recommend you make small regular payments (weekly, fortnightly or monthly) to help stay on track.

  • You will need to manage your own repayments.

  • Repayment amounts will be based on your loan balance, not what you earn.

  • Repayments will be due 31 March and 30 September each year.

  • Late payment interest will be applied if you miss one of your repayments. 

If you travel overseas often

If you travel overseas often, and are away for more than 5 months in a 6-month period, you may still be classed as ‘overseas-based’.

Use the ‘Calculate your interest status calculator’ in myIR to check if or when your student loan status will change.

Managing your student loan from overseas

We know that managing your student loan from overseas can be difficult, but we're here to help you.

Hear how others have managed their student loan while overseas.

Thinking of moving overseas? Video information

Audio and visual transcript

Scene 1




I'm Florence, I'm a video producer at the creative agency based here in Wellington. I studied a Bachelor of Arts at Auckland University, but after a year I decided to take a break and to do some travelling.

When I left university to go travelling, I unfortunately didn't think about my student loan at all. It was an out of sight, out of mind kinda deal.

Not long after I left, I got a letter from Inland Revenue about my student loan and informing me about the compulsory payments I had to make.

I found it stressful because it wasn't money that I had available.

Scene 2



Kia ora, I'm Jack

I'm a restaurant manager at a Koha restaurant in Wellington. I'm also a qualified chef. I did a couple of years at university and during that time I realised I really loved cooking and so I switched to a Diploma of Culinary Arts.

After I finished studying, I moved to Wellington with the goal of going travelling. I'd paid off a bit of my loan before I went travelling, but I still had a small amount left over, so I set up small, regular repayments from myIR to keep paying off that student loan while I was travelling overseas. It was very easy to check the remainder of my student loan by logging into myIR on the Inland Revenue website.

Scene 3



I had no idea about the changes that apply when living overseas, and I realised that out of sight, out of mind doesn't actually work.

My advice is to jump onto the Inland Revenue website. Log in to myIR. Find out what your student loan obligations are and how they change before you actually move overseas, so that doesn't come as a nasty surprise.

Scene 4



My advice would be to not be scared of your student loan. You still need to look after it from overseas. When I came back to New Zealand, I didn't have my student loan waiting for me.

It felt great. I felt like I had repaid the investment I made in myself.

Scene 5



End frame shows, the Inland Revenue Te Tari Taake logo and the Te Kāwanatange o Aotearoa New Zealand Government logo.

Before you leave

  • Make sure you understand how much you need to pay each year.

  • Register for myIR so you can keep track of your loan.

  • Apply for a Temporary repayment suspension (TRS). Interest will still be added while you are on a TRS.

  • Set up a nominated person who can contact us on your behalf.

I am moving overseas 

Register for a personal myIR account

Temporary repayment suspension for student loans

Let someone act on your behalf

While you’re away

  • Use myIR to stay on top of your payments. We recommend you set up regular weekly or monthly payments, as this makes it easier to stay on track.

  • Make payments from overseas by credit card or debit card, setting up a direct debit in myIR or money transfer.

  • Use the ‘student loan repayment calculator’ to see how fast you can pay off your loan.

Repaying my student loan when I live overseas

Paying from overseas

Student loan repayment calculator

If you need help

  • If you find yourself in a difficult situation and are unable to make your student loan payments, we have a number of options available to help make things easier.
  • Send us a message in myIR and we’ll get back to you with the next steps.
  • See below for other ways to contact us from overseas.

I am having difficulty repaying my student loan

Log in to myIR

Student loans - contact us

Last updated: 01 Mar 2024
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