Student loan

Pay your debts and stop carping

The Media party is going all out in support?of student loan bludgers who have absconded without repaying their student loans.

Apparently they are beside themselves.

A Kiwi living in Australia who took out a $6500 loan 21 years ago which has more than quadrupled is terrified to come back to New Zealand.

She is one of several worried Kiwis living overseas who fear being arrested as soon as they step foot in their homeland after another border arrest because of student loan debt this week.

The woman in Australia said she was 18 when she took out a $6500 loan for a social sciences course at a polytechnic.

She did not complete the course after getting pregnant, and after five years as a solo mother left for Australia to try and make a better life.

“I never blinked an eye or even thought about my loan,” she said. That changed when she read about recent crack-downs on defaulters, and phoned the IRD.

She said she was told her loan after 21 years was now about $30,000. ? Read more »

Awesome! Another student loan dodger arrested at the airport.

Some people are really, really slow at learning lessons other provide for them.

Another person has been arrested at the border because of student loan debt.

The woman was arrested at Auckland Airport as she tried to board a flight to Australia on Tuesday, the Herald understands.

She appeared in Manukau District Court on Wednesday. ? Read more »

See what happens when you enforce the rules…compliance increases

No surprises here that after the arrest of student loan defaulter has resulted in increased compliance.

The border arrest of a man over his student-loan debt has contributed to a surge in repayments, Inland Revenue says – with emails and phone calls from borrowers up by more than 50 per cent.

About 20 people who have defaulted on their student loans are being monitored for possible arrest if they return to New Zealand.

In January, Cook Islands man Ngatokotoru Puna, 40, was arrested as he tried to leave New Zealand.

Student unions criticised the border arrest policy as draconian and likely to make overseas Kiwis “student-loan refugees” – unable to return home for weddings, funerals or other important events.

Over the first two months of this year there was a 31 per cent increase in repayments by overseas-based borrowers, compared to the same period last year, with $7 million more received.

Emails to IRD were up 62 per cent, and phone calls increased by 55 per cent.

Read more »

Worried? Pay your obligations and stop worrying

Far from being some poor hard-done-by young student, the first arrest for dodging student loan payments was, in fact, in his 40s and?in full employment and with a mortgage.

IRD picked the perfect person to go after first. As a result people are contacting IRD about their arrears…job done.

Inland Revenue has received a surge of inquiries from student loan defaulters worried they could be arrested if they return to New Zealand.

One man who ignored his repayment obligations contacted the Weekend Herald from Australia and said he would now be scared to return for funerals or weddings.

The Government is unrepentant about the first use of the hardline measure – and a new trick up its sleeve will soon enable thousands of loan defaulters in Australia to be tracked down. ? Read more »

Good job, pay your debts or don’t travel

A student bludger, who decided he was more important than the taxpayers who loaned him money to study, has been nabbed at the airport.

A Kiwi living overseas who ignored requests to repay his student loan has been arrested at the New Zealand border after returning home for a visit – the first time the hardline sanction has been used.

The man was detained on Monday while trying to leave the country. He has lived overseas since 2004 and has student debt of more than $20,000.

After an initial court appearance, he was bailed to his in-laws’ house, and was due back in court today.

Read more »


Wipe your student loan: end your life

The headline on this article is only one step more absurd than the one on the actual story (Wipe your student loan: go bankrupt). ?The inference is that students deliberately declare bankruptcy while overseas to avoid paying back their student loan.

Increasing numbers of Kiwis are going bankrupt overseas, allowing them to avoid repaying their student loan.

More than $6 million of student-loan debt belonging to 99 overseas-based Kiwis has been written off so far this year – an average of $60,000 each – according to figures released to The Dominion Post under the Official Information Act.

The number of overseas-based bankrupts having their loans written off has more than doubled from 42 last year. From 2010-12, the number ranged from 35 to 45.

OMG! ?This must be a scandal, right?

Inland Revenue has played down the increase, and said student loans were not the main driver of most of the bankruptcies. “Most of these people also owe other creditors . . . It just happened these people had a student loan, which automatically gets written off along with their other debts when granted bankruptcy.”

The IRD “played down” the increase ?OMG! ?It’s a cover up!

(Wait for it) Read more »

Hard line on student loans working

The government’s hard line on student loans appears to be working:

Overseas student loan holders have been rushing to get in touch with the Inland Revenue Department and restart their loan payments since the Government introduced sanctions for serious defaulters such as power to arrest at the border.

Revenue Minister Peter Dunne told a select committee yesterday that new measures had been successful in getting more overseas students to contact IRD and in some cases arrange to begin repaying their debt.? Read more »

Axe interest free student loans says Brash

Don Brash has suggested the government axe interest free student loans in order to assist in paying for the?Christchurch?re-build.

Former National Party and ACT leader Don Brash says the Government should use the increased cost of the Christchurch rebuild as an excuse to ditch interest-free student loans.

Prime Minister John Key yesterday said the estimated cost of rebuilding the quake-hit city?was now $40 billion, up from $30 billion in December. The direct cost to the taxpayer has been bumped up by another $2 billion, but Mr Key said this wouldn’t impact on the Government’s plan to get the books back into surplus by 2014/15.

Speaking on Firstline this morning, Dr Brash said the last Labour Government introduced “a number of very unfortunate spending programmes” which should be cut back.

“National criticised those? but has left them all in place,” he says.

“You’d think with the Christchurch earthquake costing the Government itself an estimated $15 billion, they would have used that to explain to New Zealanders why some of those programmes have to change.”? Read more »

Cry Baby of the Week

Cry-Baby: George, 66

The incident:?George is a pensioner who took out a student loan of $4,000 in 1999, he hasn’t paid a cent back since he got the loan as he hasn’t earned enough to cross the threshold for repayments. Good luck or good management? Who knows? However he is now on the pension and it pays him enough to cross the threshold for repayments on his long outstanding student loan.

The appropriate response:?Behave like a responsible citizen and pay what is owed, when it is required.

The actual response:?George, 66 runs off to the media complaining that the government is hacking into his pension and stealing his money.? Read more »

Richard Meadows responds

Earlier today I posted about student loans and why interest free student loans need to go. The author of the source article has emailed a response.

For whatever reason my comments are not being published on the blog – I would be surprise if you censored my mild response so perhaps there’s some glitch. [WO: It was a glitch, comments are now enabled]

Re:student loans. Your post is a bit of a misfire – we seem to hold similar views.

I have written extensively about the student loan scheme and concluded that there has to be some kind of interest rate reintroduced.

I urge you to read this previous article which I linked to in the one you have attacked:

Here’s a sample quote:

“Students have now been sucking on the election lolly for more than six years. One thing’s for sure – it will be a bitter pill to swallow.”

I myself have a reasonable sized student loan and would be perfectly happy to pay interest on it.? Read more »