19 Oct 2014

Student loans written off

4:46 pm on 19 October 2014

More student loans are being written off as more borrowers go bankrupt.

Figures released by Inland Revenue reveal 99 people living overseas had student loans wiped in the year to the end of June.

The number was between 35 and 45 in each of the previous four years.

tax return and money

Photo: PHOTO NZ

Inland Revenue says bankruptcy may be a result of actions taken by a person individually, rather than by the department.

It said it was likely most of the insolvent debtors also owe other creditors, and the student loan debt was unlikely to be the main cause for being declared bankrupt.

Meanwhile, Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce said hardship provisions are in place for people with student loans who are struggling financially.

Steven Joyce visiting Silver Fern Farm headquarters in Dunedin on Tuesday 16 September.

Steven Joyce. Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

He said if people were struggling, they should contact Inland Revenue.

"It's important that people be making the effort to pay off their student loans while they're off shore and we're getting much tougher in terms of tracking people down, requiring them to provide contacts and requiring to make payments where they're able, and the important point is it's where they're able, so if they were in a situation where they were risking bankruptcy that wouldn't be the case."

Mr Joyce said the Government's crackdown on unpaid student loans was targeting people who do have the money, but do not make repayments.