It depends how long you're away for
Up to 6 months
People away from New Zealand for up to 6 months are usually considered to be New Zealand-based, and are still entitled to an interest-free student loan.
More than 6 months
People away from New Zealand for more than 6 months are charged interest on their student loan. They may be allowed a temporary repayment suspension of up to 1 year. But interest will continue to be charged on their loan, so it’s a good idea to make voluntary repayments.
In some cases a student loan may be interest-free when people are away from New Zealand for more than 6 months, such as taking up a New Zealand Government job overseas.
Visit the Inland Revenue website(external link) to find out:
- what you need to do before leaving
- what your repayment obligations are
- interest charges
- how to make repayments
- when your student loan may be interest-free when you're overseas.
Or if you're already based overseas, find out what to do if you plan to return to New Zealand.