17 Apr 2011

Budget changes to student loans signalled

12:40 pm on 17 April 2011

The Government says changes to the student loan scheme in next month's Budget are likely to affect people living overseas and students who are over 55.

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce says the changes - which could save several hundred million dollars over four years - may also target people studying to be pilots.

Mr Joyce says the three year repayment holiday for people leaving the country is likely to be shortened.

He says few people have started making repayments at the end of their first holiday.

Students over 55 would still be eligible for loans to cover their fees, but they may lose the right to borrow for living costs.

Mr Joyce says people studying for a private pilots license may also lose access to loans, as many graduates don't become professional pilots.

He says the Government is committed to retaining interest free student loans for students and debtors living in New Zealand.