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Government cracks down on student loan debt

Sunday 17 Apr 2011 10:22 a.m.

Steven Joyce says the government plans to crack down on student loans (NZPA)

Steven Joyce says the government plans to crack down on student loans (NZPA)

The Government is planning to tighten up the student loan scheme even further.

 Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce says he's been sending debt collectors to retrieve some of the $2 billion of unpaid student debt offshore.

 This morning he announced some new targets to further cut the amount of debt the government writes off each year - including looking at borrowers over the age of 55 and pilot training.

 Mr Joyce says some students living overseas are not prepared to pay their debt back.

 “Some people have just disappeared and don’t want to know. We had a doctor in Australia who was highly offended when we contacted her about paying back a large amount of money owed on her loan. I don’t have any sympathy for that approach and I’m determined to chase that down.”

 Mr Joyce is also considering ways to reduce the cost of loans to people who want to be pilots. He says they are costing about $30 million a year.



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