The Government has announced changes to student loans and income tax as part of Budget 2013. These will be implemented gradually over the next few years. As the legislation has not yet passed, some details may change.
Changes to student loans focus on improving repayments from overseas-based borrowers and increasing personal responsibility for debt.
Information matching with Department of Internal Affairs:The Department of Internal Affairs will share the contact details of customers who apply for or renew an adult passport. This will allow us to contact any overseas-based customers who are in default with their student loan, and or child support customers with arrears or out-of-date contact details. We'll discuss with them any student loan or child support arrears and confirm their correct details.
This information-sharing proposal will be put in place later in 2013.
Changes to repayments for overseas-based student loan borrowers: We will introduce a fixed repayment obligation threshold for overseas-based borrowers. This means borrowers with higher loan balances will have a higher repayment obligation each year.
These changes will be included in a bill later this year.
Defaulting student loan borrowers unable to leave New Zealand: Inland Revenue will be able to prevent student loan borrowers in serious default from leaving New Zealand when legislation is passed later this year. This is similar to the law already in place for child support.