New Zealand Government loans for tertiary students.
When you get a student loan, you sign a legal contract with the New Zealand Government. The loan is interest free while you're living in New Zealand, but sooner or later you'll have to pay back everything you borrowed.
Here's how it works
Each loan covers one year of study. After that, if you still qualify for a student loan you can take out another one. Student loans can be used to pay for compulsory course fees, up to $1,000 a year for course related things like stationery or a computer, and up to $169.51 a week for living expenses. If you're also getting a student allowance it will reduce the amount you can borrow for living expenses. Student loans are 'unsecured' so you don't have to put up something like your car or a house as security in case you don't keep up your payments.
Repaying the loan
Once you start earning over a certain amount, Inland Revenue takes payments straight out of your wages. The payment amount depends how much you're earning. To find out more about repaying a student loan visit the Inland Revenue website.
If you leave the country
If you go overseas for 184 or more consecutive days you'll be charged 6.8% interest a year on your student loan – otherwise they're interest free. The interest is simply added to your loan, but it's calculated so that your loan balance never grows by more than the rate of inflation.
To find out more
For more information on student loans go to studylink.govt.nz