If you live in New Zealand, how you repay your student loan will depend on if you have:
- salary or wage income
- self-employed income
- other types of income, including trust income, dividends, shareholder salary or overseas income.
If you earn salary or wages and use the right tax code, your student loan deductions will be paid automatically by your employer.
If you are self-employed or earn other types of income, you will need to make the student loan repayments yourself.
Leaving New Zealand
When you live in New Zealand and are not absent for long periods, you are considered New Zealand-based. This means your student loan will be interest free.
If you leave New Zealand for around 5 out of 6 months, you may become an overseas-based customer and your loan will stop being interest free. Interest on your loan is backdated to the day after you left New Zealand. Make sure you know when your status changes and what happens to your student loan when you go overseas.
It is a good idea to set up a nominated person to manage your loan while you are overseas, but you do not have to.
If you have set up a nominated person who can manage your tax matters for you, they can update your details through their own myIR account. If you have set them up with access to all account types, they will be able to view and update any future accounts you may get.
Keeping your student loan interest free
There are some situations where you can be overseas for more than around 5 out of 6 months but keep your student loan interest free.
For example, you might be studying or volunteering overseas, living in Niue, Cook Islands, Tokelau or Ross Dependency, or you might have tried to get back to New Zealand but been delayed.
Returning to New Zealand
If you were travelling and became overseas-based, you'll need to know:
- your repayment obligations for your student loan
- when you can become New Zealand-based again.
If you become New Zealand-based, we will write off any loan interest charged from the day you returned to New Zealand. If you paid off your student loan since being back, you may have a refund you can claim for that interest.
If you have come back to New Zealand but need to take an unplanned trip that would stop you becoming New Zealand-based again, we may be able to help you.