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Got a student loan? You’re better off with Labour

Got a student loan? You’re better off with Labour

Labour’s pledge to scrap interest on all student loans could save thousands of dollars for student loan borrowers in Wellington’s Northern Suburbs and on the Western Hills, local Labour Candidate Charles Chauvel said today.

Prime Minister Helen Clark and Education Minister Trevor Mallard this week announced the second of Labour’s key election pledges: no further interest will be charged for those with student loans who reside in New Zealand.

Charles Chauvel said that this was a further important step in Labour’s policy to make tertiary education more affordable.

“We know that in 2003, the latest local figures available, some 22,000 people in the Wellington region borrowed under the student loan scheme. This policy is fantastic news for them, and for other students and graduates with pre-existing loans, and for the many New Zealand families who share the cost of higher education. Our policy sends a clear message that we are committed to ensuring that tertiary education is more affordable,” Charles Chauvel said.

“We’ve already kept costs down by extending the number of students eligible for allowances and limiting fee increases.

“However, only a party vote for Labour will ensure that this vital support for anyone with a student loan, can be delivered.

“I know that the many students and families who have spoken to me about the burden of student loans, will be thrilled with this pledge. Labour has a proud record of meeting its pledges, so Northern Suburbs students and graduates, and those living on the Western Hills, can be assured we’ll keep this one too."

Under Labour, from 1 April next year, no further interest will accrue on any student loans for people who remain in New Zealand. Graduates choosing to work overseas will be charged interest at the current rate.

The policy also includes an amnesty period in 2006 where those returning from overseas or entering into repayment arrangements will not be charged penalties for overdue payments.

To calculate your student loan repayments, and savings, under a Labour government, visit our online calculator: http://www.labour.org.nz/index.html

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