- Is there a possibility that, in the short term, things might change? For example, you are waiting to hear about a job or an offer of funding. Or do you simply need a bit of time to work out your options? The IRD will usually allow a reasonable period of time if this is your situation. Even if your case has gone to legal. The key is to have a reasonable time frame, reasons why you need time, and to be in contact before the deadline.
- If you have zero ability to pay, and you are behind, the options are probably bankruptcy or a hardship application.
- People seeking hardship tend to have massive debts, often close to $100,000. If you can't pay and bankruptcy is not the best option for you, we encourage you to seek hardship even if your debt is still smallish. Apply for hardship, if times are tough, to increase your chance of getting your finances back on track. A common problem that we see is borrowers with massive debts, who had financial difficulties for years and years but who are now slowly getting back on their feet. If you apply for hardship, the IRD primarily looks at your situation right now. If it was bad, but is now improving, your chances of being granted hardship may have vanished. Act when the problems arise.
- If you are granted hardship will you be able to manage the ongoing annual amount payable, either straight away, or soon? If there's no chance, then bankruptcy may be the most realistic option.
If you are living overseas and you can't pay your student loan obligations (annual or arrears) here are some things to consider: