Inland Revenue is emailing 88,000 people living overseas about their student loans.
The department says it wants to remind the borrowers of their obligations to repay their loans and the means by which they can do so.
Students living overseas have loans totalling $2.3 billion.
As at the end of last year, $195.7 million was overdue in repayments.
Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce says the three year repayment holiday for people leaving the country is likely to be shortened, as it has not encouraged people to repay their loans.
The change is one of several that Mr Joyce has signalled before the Budget next month.