If you are away from New Zealand for more than 183 days, your student loan repayment obligations will change. Your repayments are based on the size of your loan balance when you leave New Zealand and you have two payments that need to be made by 30 September and 31 March each year. Interest is also applied to your loan balance.
There a number of proposed changes that will make it easier to manage your student loan. Some of these changes are dependent on legislation which is expected to pass in March, and the changes will take effect in April 2020.
Easier to understand
Upgrades to myIR will make it easier to check your loan balance, payments you've made already made and any upcoming payment due dates. It will also be easier to check if you're eligible for an interest free loan while living overseas and to apply online.
The student loan statements and assessments will also be revamped so it's clear what your current balance is, how much you need to pay and when it's due.
New payment options
If you live Australia, UK, Europe, Canada or the US, there will be a new way to pay directly through your myIR account. You'll be able to login to check how much you owe and make a payment in one place.
There will be two new calculators in myIR. The repayment calculator will show how quickly you can pay off your loan based on current repayments and any additional payments you may choose to make.
The overseas travel calculator will allow you to enter the dates you expect to return to New Zealand, so you can check if you will be back for more than 183 days and your if your repayment obligations will change.
Travel dates in myIR
To make it easier for you to keep track of how long you are away from New Zealand, you will be able to check the dates you left New Zealand in your myIR account. This will not show information about where you travel, it will only include the date you travelled into or out of the country.
Nominated persons and alternative contacts
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.
If you have set up an alternative contact person (ACP) for us to contact if we can't reach you, both you and your ACP will be able to view or cancel the ACP link through your myIR account. The ACP cannot view any details about your loan.
Renaming the repayment holiday
The repayment holiday will be renamed to the Temporary Repayment Suspension (TRS) If you have a TRS, interest will still be added to your student loan, but you do not need to make repayments for the first year of being overseas.
We will also notify you 30 days prior to the TRS ending and remind you what your repayment obligations will be if you stay overseas.