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Interest-free loans for students on exchange

Media statement
For immediate release
Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Interest-free loans for students on NZ exchange programmes

The government is to extend interest-free loans to people studying full-time overseas as part of formal exchange programmes, the Minister of Revenue Peter Dunne announced today.

“Extending the exemption to include these students will remove an obstacle to further education and training that will ultimately benefit New Zealand when they return from their overseas study,” Mr Dunne said.

“To qualify for an interest-free student loan, borrowers must generally be in New Zealand for 183 or more continuous days.

“There are certain exemptions to this requirement, one of which applies to students engaged in full-time study with an overseas provider, to encourage further education.

“However, they currently do not include students enrolled with a New Zealand provider who are studying overseas as part of a formal exchange programme.

“For these students to be granted the exemption, their New Zealand tertiary provider must certify that the study is full-time and towards a minimum of level seven on the New Zealand Register of Quality Assured Qualifications.”

Mr Dunne said the change would be included in a bill scheduled for introduction later this year. The exemption would be backdated to apply from 1 April 2007.


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