Student Loan Scheme Annual Report 2019

Publication Details

The purpose of this annual report is to inform Parliament and the New Zealand public about the performance of the Student Loan Scheme for the financial year 2018/19. It includes the audited financial schedules for the year ending 30 June 2019.

Author(s): Ministry of Education.

Date Published: December 2019

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This report is available as a download (please refer to the 'Downloads' inset box).  For links to related publications/ information that may be of interest please refer to the 'Where to Find Out More' inset box.


Borrowing in 2018

  • There were 30,613 new borrowers in 2018, a decrease of 27 percent compared with 2017
  • The total amount borrowed was $1.45 billion, a decrease of 7.4 percent compared with 2017
  • The average amount borrowed in 2018 was $9,391, an increase of 1.9 percent compared with 2017
  • Students used 59 percent of the total they borrowed to pay for course fees
  • For the first time since 2013, the number of borrowers at doctorate level increased, while the numbers at all other levels of study decreased
  • Of all the 154,608 active student loan borrowers:1
    • 62% were European
    • 18% were Māori
    • 15% were Asian
    • 9.4% were Pacific people
    • 4.3% were other2

Repayments in 2018/19

  • Overdue student loan debt was $1.5 billion; overseas-based borrowers owed 91 percent of the amount overdue
  • 46 percent of overseas-based borrowers are taking positive actions towards repaying their student loan
  • $996.2 million of repayments was made through the Inland Revenue Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system; this is 3.7 percent higher than 2017/18 due to an increase in the number of borrowers in employment and making repayments
  • $374.5 million of repayments was made directly by borrowers
  • 48,235 borrowers repaid their loans in full in the year to 30 June 2018
  • The forecast median repayment time for all borrowers who left study in 2016 was 7.2 years

Value of the Student Loan Scheme in 2018/19

  • The nominal value of all loans was $16 billion
  • The cost of lending was 41.42 cents in every dollar lent (a total of $563 million) over the year ended 30 June 2019
  • The carrying value of the loan scheme (or the value of the loan asset) was $10.7 billion


  1. Borrowers can select more than one ethnic group so the sum of all ethnic groups may not add to 100 percent.
  2. Other ethnic group includes borrowers who identified themselves with three or more ethnic groups.