If you want to study computer science or programming there are hundreds of free options available online from universities like Harvard. Although this list relates to computer courses, many of these universities offer courses in a wide range of science and arts subjects, for free. No student loan required!
Another student loan debtor has been arrested while attempting to return to the country that she now lives in. The woman had been visiting her sick mother. She spent a night in jail and had to attend Court.
In most of the Western world, debtors prisons were abolished in the 1800s. Yet New Zealand has a form of this Medieval practice for student loan debtors. In order to avoid being arrested, going to jail, and missing your flights, if you have a student loan debt and want to travel out of New Zealand you need to know how much your overdue arrears are and to be dealing with them on an official basis. There are several options for dealing with your arrears. Please contact us if you need help and to discuss your options.
The government is losing millions of dollars each year because of the large numbers of student loan debtors feeling that they have no choice but to choose bankruptcy. In many cases, student loan bankrupts have been hit with enormous interest, decades of repaying far more than the original borrowing amount with no end in sight, and an inflexible response from the IRD.
In the financial year 2016/17 the government lost $19.9 million of student loan debt because of bankruptcy. In the financial year 2017/18 the amount was $32.2 million.
Being able to get rid of a student loan debt through bankruptcy is relatively unusual compared to other countries. Australian and UK student loan debtors continue to be stuck with their debts even if they become bankrupt (i.e. it is not discharged in bankruptcy). US borrowers have the theoretical option of bankruptcy, but the reality is that it is so hard to get that for most people it's a waste of time trying. In Canada, student loans can be covered by bankruptcy, but only if the debtor files more than 7 years after the end of their education (in some limited cases this may be reduced to 5 years). In New Zealand becoming bankrupt usually takes 1-3 weeks and is straight forward and stress free in most cases.
From 1 April 2020 it is expected that there will be slightly more scope for the IRD to help some types borrowers than is currently the case. It's not hard to see that the government could make the argument that because a small amount of additional help is being provided, that the bankruptcy option is no longer needed. The Minister of Education is on record as opposing student loan bankruptcies and there is public and official concern at the large number of people who have been able to get rid of their student loan debt burden through a New Zealand bankruptcy. Our view is that student loan bankruptcy provides an important safety valve for when people have become overwhelmed with impossible debt, usually through no fault of their own, or because they were never told what would happen to their debt if they moved overseas, however, because New Zealand is out of step with comparable countries, and given the large amounts at stake, our view is that a change could be expected. If the government did change the law and abolish, or restrict, student loan bankruptcies it would probably do so without much notice in order to avoid a surge of applicants.
The government is proposing several changes to student loan legislation. One of the proposed changes is to provide a new circumstance for when a borrower can be treated as being physically in New Zealand.
Borrowers with a serious illness who are unable to meet their overseas-based repayment obligations may be able to be treated as physically in New Zealand.
The amendment will require the borrower to provide evidence of their medical and financial position as the Commissioner of Inland Revenue requires.
If someone with a student loan debt, living overseas, has a serious illness and, is approved by the IRD, this will mean that instead of having to make compulsory payments each six months that person's payment obligation will be assessed on the basis of their income. If their income is low then no repayment may be required. Assuming payment obligations (if any) are kept to, the person should not be charged ordinary or penalty interest which should help keep their debt at a more manageable level, however, in some cases the borrower may still be better off considering bankruptcy so that the debt burden is eliminated. This amendment is expected to come in to force on 1 April 2020.
This is a message for Australian residents. We feel deeply for you at this time, and especially if you or your family has been affected by the catastrophic bush fires. We want to help.
If you have been directly affected by the bush fires (as a victim or a helper) then we will assist you with the IRD for free, or for the amount you can afford to pay us. It may be that the IRD is hammering you, and your present situation is such that you have lost your home, or loved ones, or you are fighting the fires, and you are in no position to deal with your debt, or the IRD, right now. We will represent you with the IRD to try to gain you breathing space. We can also offer advice on your options, IRD negotiation assistance, and help with NZ bankruptcy. If you are directly affected and do not have the financial means, our help is free (or for what you can afford to pay).
When contacting us please provide a detailed outline of your situation. Please note that we can accept limited numbers so please contact us as soon as possible. If you need help with your NZ student loan debt and can afford to pay, your payment is appreciated and helps us to help those who are going through hell. Please spread our offer so we can help as many people as possible. 🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺
There is light at the end of the student loan debt tunnel.
Make 2020 the year that you finally sort out your debt. We know that January can be a hard time of the year financially, so for a very limited time we are offering a 25% discount on NZ bankruptcy assistance where your main debt is a NZ student loan debt. Offer does not include prior advice (this is available separately if required), but it does include drafting your bankruptcy application, advising you of any apparent issues with your application, obtaining your approval of the draft, and then filing the bankruptcy application. We can also assist with communicating with the Official Assignee and any other questions that arise at the time of filing and during your bankruptcy. Conditions: Mention this deal when you email us. Must be booked and paid for no later than 11 January 2020 (NZ time). After that we will email you a short list of questions and you will need to email us your responses within two days (the sooner the better). In most cases, we will provide the draft to you within two business days of receiving your responses. Please note that we reserve the right not to act.
There is light at the end of the student loan debt tunnel.
Make 2020 the year that you finally sort out your debt. We know that January can be a hard time of the year financially, so for a very limited time we are offering a 50% discount on initial advice on your student loan debt options (usual price AUD$150 for Australian residents and NZD$200 for others). Conditions: Mention this deal when you email us. Advice must be booked and paid for no later than 11 January 2020 (NZ time). After that we will email you a short list of questions and you will need to email us your responses within two days (the sooner the better). In most cases, we will provide the advice to you within one business day of receiving your responses. The deal includes further related questions from you for up to one month after the advice has been provided. Please note that we reserve the right not to act.