The New Zealand Government needs to re-assess Student Loans for Citizens residing overseas

The New Zealand Government needs to re-assess Student Loans for Citizens residing overseas

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N. Raymond started this petition to Hon Jan Tinetti (Associate Minister for Education) and

This petition is asking the New Zealand Government, and the ministers with Education portfolios, alongside Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, to re-assess the current situation with New Zealand citizens living overseas, who currently have a New Zealand Student Loan.

Background:

New Zealand Graduates from University and Tertiary Education leave the shores of New Zealand for many reasons. Many travel for life experiences, to build their CVs with jobs and positions in other countries, to join family members abroad or to start new ventures. 

But here lies the problem. Once a New Zealand citizen with a Student Loan is away from New Zealand for more than 6 months - an astronomical amount of interest and administration fees start to be charged against the Student Loan. 

The media portrays many of the New Zealanders that are in this situation as 'defaulters'. However, this is not the case as most have every intention of paying back their student loan, but are finding themselves in a situation of being absolutely overwhelmed by the interest and administration fees that are being charged.

The interest rates charged to Student Loans actually far outweigh the current credit card rate, and depending on the size of the loan, students are literally looking at an entire lifetime of payments, or at least the equivalent of paying off a mortgage. For their peers that remain on the shores of New Zealand, with exactly the same student loan, there is no interest charged.

The media and many members of society suggest that this problem is simply a case of 'returning home' to New Zealand for these Old Scholars. However, it is absolutely not that simple. Most overseas New Zealanders with student loans have established careers, families and commitments. Most too, are making New Zealand proud in their achievements and have worked hard through their university years to gain their qualifications.

Clearly, this is an unequal and unfair situation. Graduates that have left New Zealand should not be put in a position that leaves them paying triple for their education than they would be if they were still residing in New Zealand.

To summarise: this petition asks the New Zealand Government to urgently re-assess this matter, and bring the student loans of New Zealanders who are currently living overseas to be equal to those of New Zealanders who remain in New Zealand.

This will involve charging zero interest moving forward, and to eliminate all interest currently owed on historical student loans.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!