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Campaign to lessen the perils of repaying student loans

20 December 2013

Campaign underway to lessen the perils of repaying student loans

Young New Zealanders planning their OE are getting a message from concerned peers to sort out fee-free repayment options before they leave the country.

A key message for graduates heading off overseas is to avoid severe penalties by taking advantage of the fee-free foreign exchange options provided by companies like NZForex.

The campaign is supported by research carried out in October by the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations confirming that a large proportion of overseas-based former students are unaware of the options they have.

The research reached out to these former students and confirmed a large number – 53% in Australia and 18% in the UK – were not receiving enough information on those options, and where they were exposed to late payment penalties had seen their debt spin out of control.

The Christmas and New Year period has been identified as an opportune time to highlight ways for students to avoid the first-hand stories of financial distress collected by NZUSA.

Subsequently a campaign called ‘Fee-Free OE’ has been launched this week with information initially being published on facebook.com/NZUSA and Twitter.com/ditchtheloan

During the year members of Parliament’s Finance & Expenditure Select Committee expressed support for a Jubliee or amnesty promotion in 2014. By using a carrot rather than a stick this could clear the way for expat New Zealanders to negotiate a waiver on excessive or poorly communicated penalties to allow them to clear the principal of their outstanding student debt.

ENDS

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