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New Statistics on Student Loans

New Statistics on Student Loans

Of students who borrowed under the Student Loan Scheme in any of the four years to 2000, only 6 percent had completely repaid their loans by 2000. Highest loan balances were held by men, people in their twenties and those belonging to the Pacific peoples ethnic group. These are findings from a new set of official statistics on student loans released today by Statistics New Zealand.

Of students who borrowed under the scheme in 2000, just under half borrowed less than $5,000.

Post-graduate students had the highest levels of borrowing. Those enrolled in masters/honours courses borrowed a mean $6,510, just above the mean level of $6,450 for doctorate students.

The amount borrowed by students in 2000 also varied by field of study. The highest average levels of borrowing occurred among students enrolled in food, hospitality and personal services ($6,920), health ($6,630) and engineering and related technologies ($6,480).

On average, students who took out a student loan between 1997 and 1999 and advised IRD they were resident overseas in 2000 owed $6,900 more than those who remained in New Zealand.

They had an average loan balance of $19,880 compared with $12,980 for New Zealand residents.

Student loan holders overseas in 2000 made up less than 6 percent of the people who borrowed between 1997 and 1999.

Those overseas who had studied in the health field had the highest outstanding average balance of $28,370, almost $6,000 more than those in the next highest fields of society and culture ($22,540) and architecture and building ($22,470). In every field of study, those overseas had higher average loan balances than those who remained in New Zealand.

Among student loan holders overseas, those with the highest debts were aged 25 to 29 years.

Their average loan balance of $25,040 was $7,010 higher than those who remained in New Zealand.

The new statistics can be accessed free from Statistics New Zealand's website ( Statistics New Zealand plans to update the statistics each year and to publish them as an annual series.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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