What we have seen recently is that the IRD is on a huge data matching drive to catch overseas based student loan borrowers who have not been charged interest. Generally if you have been living overseas, interest will apply, and if you have been living in New Zealand interest will not apply, however, there are exceptions. For example there have been amnesties in the past. Also, if you can show that you have maintained an enduring relationship with New Zealand when you lived overseas it might be possible for you to qualify as a zero interest New Zealand based borrower. It is also important to remember that the IRD makes mistakes and you need to carefully check anything that they send you.
If you have received a letter from the IRD advising of a timeframe to respond to an overseas interest bill, it is very important that you provide any response within the timeframe or you may not be able to do anything about it. Please talk to us if you need help.