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Largest Student Debt More Than $130,000

31 May 2000

For immediate release

Largest Student Debt More Than $130,000

According to figures released under the Official Information Act, there are people that have student loan debts so big that they would need to pay the Government around $30,000 just to do their OE.

The Aotearoa Post-compulsory Student Union (APSU) has been informed by the Minister of Finance that one unfortunate student loan debtor owes the Government between $130,000 and $140,000.

"APSU has worked out that the ransom that this debtor would have to pay the Government if he/she wanted to travel, and not default on their loan, would be between $28,000 and $30,000 a year,"

Non-resident student loan debtors must pay the Government 1/15th of their total loan debt and any interest charged for that year.

"This anonymous debtor is basically trapped in New Zealand, or has very strong incentives to leave the country and never return."

"We are calling on the Government to halt the debt spiral by stabilising fees and introducing universal student allowances," said David Penney, APSU National President.

"The fact that student debt will at some stage this year reach $4 billion dollars is a horrifying thought."

"The implications for the individual and the country are huge."

"We hope that all New Zealanders, not just students, will take the opportunity to express their concerns about student debt to the recently announced Parliamentary Select Committee Inquiry into tertiary education, and ensure that tertiary education remains accessible to all," concluded David Penney.

ENDS

For more information contact:

David Penney

National President

APSU

025 756 526

04 4982501




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