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Overseas-Based Graduates: Student Loan Deadline Looms

MEDIA RELEASE

Calling Overseas-Based Graduates: Student Loan Deadline Looms

17 March 2014

Press Release: New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations

The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) is reminding overseas-based borrowers (OBBs) that they have just two weeks to make student loan payments. After that, they will become criminals and may lose their right to travel.

From April 1, Inland Revenue will be able to seek an arrest warrant for former students who are not meeting their obligations. The next payment date for OBBs is 31 March.

“Although it has been extremely difficult to make repayments in the past, and the transaction costs have been significant, there are now ways to make fee-free student loan repayments, direct to Inland Revenue, including through NZUSA’s partner NZForex (www.students.org.nz/nzforex)”, says NZUSA President Daniel Haines.

“NZForex is fee-free, there is no minimum repayment – encouraging regular payments aligned with pay-days, and they pay NZUSA a small commission helping to facilitate our work to make the system fairer for former graduates struggling with their debt burden”, says Haines.

“The 1 April changes are overly aggressive, and Treasury advice is that the changes will be an inhibitor for overseas New Zealanders returning home. Further, they will place a large demand on the resources of the New Zealand Police. To avoid these implications we are suggesting people become compliant and enter into negotiations with Inland Revenue if they face hardship doing so. There are companies who can help with this, such as Anderson Accountants contactable via www.studentloan.org.nz.

NZUSA continues to demand that overseas-based borrowers should pay based on their income, not be subject to extravagant and unfair charges and be charged no more than a reasonable interest rate. Until there is sensible policy in this area, graduates can still best avoid penalties by getting in touch with Inland Revenue.

“Calling all our graduates overseas: be proactive, save Police time, and your money”, concludes Haines.

ENDS

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