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More student loan defaulters paying up

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/03/2017

There's been a marked increase in the number of student loan defaulters contacting Inland Revenue and paying up, ministers say.

Tertiary Education Minister Paul Goldsmith says that since December 2014 there's been a 66 per cent increase in the number of overseas borrowers getting in touch with IRD.

In the same period there's been a 32 per cent increase in the number of defaulters who are now making a dent in their loans - repayments by those who defaulted increased by $24.5 million for the year ended December 2016.

"We know that repayment times for overseas borrowers are much longer than for those residing in New Zealand, and that they account for more than 90 per cent of the roughly $1 billion that is in default," Mr Goldsmith said.

Revenue Minister Judith Collins says a recent data-match arrangement with the Australian Tax Office is paying off.

"Inland Revenue has been provided with contact details for almost 57,000 borrowers, which has already resulted in some large payments to Inland Revenue," she said.

"Moving overseas is not a way to hide from student loan obligations."

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