3 Jun 2016

Second arrest over student loan default

11:48 am on 3 June 2016

A woman arrested at Auckland Airport is the second person this year to be detained over a student loan default.

Auckland International Airport

The arrest was the second this year over a student loan repayment defaults. Photo: RNZ

Inland Revenue has confirmed the woman was arrested as she tried to board a flight to Australia.

The department would not give further details of her case but has confirmed other people are being monitored for not making repayments on their student loans.

The arrest follows that of an overseas-based borrower who was detained at Auckland Airport in January.

Cook Islands maths teacher Ngatokotoru Puna, 40, was detained for failing to repay more than $22,000 in student loan debt.

It was the first time Inland Revenue had used its power to detain a person with an unpaid student debt, and the department said it resulted in a rise in payments from overseas borrowers in January and February.

More than 100,000 people with loans are living overseas, and 70 percent are defaulting on repayments.

Student groups have criticised the border arrest policy as too harsh.

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