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Mallard gets key facts on student loans wrong

Mallard gets key facts on student loans wrong

Students are offering to brief new Tertiary Minister, Trevor Mallard, on the student loan scheme after he got key facts about student loans wrong on National Radio this morning.

Mr Mallard claimed that the average debt among students is less than $10,000. This is incorrect. This figure includes everyone who has borrowed from the loan scheme since 1992 and many who are in the middle of repaying. The average student debt among current students is $18,726.

Mr Mallard also claimed that the higher a student’s loan the faster it is paid off. The factors most likely to affect repayment are gender and ethnicity with women taking on average twice as long to repay their loans as men. Many students with large loans will never repay them.

“We will be asking for a meeting with Mr Mallard to brief him on the accurate figures about student loans,“ said Camilla Belich, Co-President of the New Zealand University Students Association.

Students will also be seeking the media briefing notes provided to Mr Mallard by the Ministry of Education under the Official Information Act.

“It is a shame that the Minister did not accept our invitation to attend our Conference where he could have heard first hand about the destructive impacts of student debt on students and their families.”

The Student Income and Expenditure Survey released today shows that students consider their student loan impacts on their ability to buy a home (88%), save for their retirement (90%) and undertake further study (78%).

ENDS

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