Friday, September 19, 2014

New Zealanders could be arrested for late repayments of university loans

Getting arrested for not paying back uni loans will not lend you much street cred.
Getting arrested for not paying back uni loans will not lend you much street cred. Source: Supplied
 
IMAGINE the scene: you’ve flown home for Christmas and after a lovely week chilling with your family, lots of food and only one blow-up with uncle Steve, you’re stopped at the airport and unable to leave. 

This is what could potentially face New Zealanders who haven’t paid back their uni loans. For Kiwis living away from their native land (and let’s face it, there’s a lot of them in Australia), it’s a timely reminder that their loan repayment obligations have changed. Lest they find themselves in cuffs at the airport.

Unlike the Australian government, the New Zealand government has decided that if you borrowed money from the government for your education, then that is debt that will have to be paid back, even when you’ve moved overseas. Kiwis have to meet two repayment deadlines every year, regardless of their actual income, with the September 30 deadline fast approaching.

And if they don’t, they could find themselves facing an arrest warrant when they’re home. Under changes passed earlier in the year, Inland Revenue (the NZ tax office) now has the power to seek arrest warrants to pursue the most recalcitrant of former students.

If you got your education on the government’s dime, shouldn’t you be paying it back?
If you got your education on the government’s dime, shouldn’t you be paying it back? Source: ThinkStock
 
“We are asking all Kiwis living in Australia to connect with us to ensure you have all the information you need under the new rules, and to make sure you are meeting your repayment obligations,” Inland Revenue collections manager Paula Knapp said. “A simple phone call could save you thousands of dollars over a few years, and will allow you to rest easy knowing your loan obligations are being met.

“I cannot express enough that it is never too late for any student loan borrower to contact us so we can work with you on a repayment plan to suit your needs, or see how the new legislation may affect you. I encourage everyone to do this.”

According to Inland Revenue, 89 per cent of overdue student loan repayments belong to New Zealanders based overseas, which amounted to $683 million at the end of July. One-third of all overseas-based borrowers live in Australia.

Australians with HECS debts don’t have to pay back their loans while they’re living overseas and not paying tax in Australia.

news.com.au 13 Sep 2014

Meanwhile rapists and women abusers in Australia enjoy freedom, and no jail time.

Come to Australia 'The lucky Country' - If you're a rapist and woman basher.

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