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Highest student debt nearly $250,000

20 May 2004

Highest student debt closes in on quarter million dollar mark

The highest student loan debt is now $230,000 according to the latest student loan scheme quarterly report released by the Inland Revenue Department.

“Government are hardly meeting their obligations to students with debts so mammoth it would take a first division Lotto win to repay them,” said Fleur Fitzsimons, Co-President of the New Zealand University Students Association.

“The person landed with this huge debt has little chance of ever paying it off and could be stung with interest of over $16,000 per year.”

“Not only is there a massive increase in the biggest debt but also the proportion of borrowers with bigger debts is continuing to grow,” said Fitzsimons. “The pressures of borrowing to cover food and rent mean the trend won’t change until a living allowance for all students is introduced.”

The number of borrowers who owe debts through the student loan scheme is 425,575 and more than half of all loans are now over $10,000.

“This report shows that changes to the loan scheme have failed to deal to student debt and that many borrowers have massive debts that they will spend decades trying to repay.”

“The government need to contain the spiralling levels of student debt by introducing a living allowance for all students in next weeks budget and by reducing student fees.”

ENDS


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