IRD scoops up $32m in student loan debt

Last updated 05:00 22/09/2012

Relevant offers


What happens to low income kids when you give their parents some money? Freshly single? Here's how to reach financial freedom Renting continues to outstrip home ownership growth When it comes to wills, there may not always be a way, court rulings show Event Cinemas' $1 million competition misleads consumers, watchdog says Planning rules forcing Aucklanders to build bigger houses US department store Neiman Marcus publishes luxury Christmas gift catalogue Westpac offers rewards for debit card use Aucklanders look to regions for work Auckland house prices at 'crossroads' after hitting record high in September, says agency

The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has clawed back $32 million of overseas student loan debt in less than two years.

The department is also on the brink of ramping up its debt collection efforts. Borrowers living overseas have collective loans of $2.67 billion, of which $411.5m is overdue.

In October 2010, the IRD began a small-scale project to chase overseas debtors, which had returned over $32m to July 31.

“This amount is money we otherwise would not have collected if we didn't have the campaign in place,” IRD collections manager Richard Owen said. The initiative used a mix of direct contact and debt collection and tracking through private collection agencies to focus on 1000 Australian-based borrowers.

Every dollar spent on the pilot scheme has returned $11.40 of taxpayers' money.

In the next 2 years, the IRD will extend the campaign to about 57,000 other borrowers, with the focus mainly on Australia and the United Kingdom.

The IRD would shortly put out a formal tender for the services of private debt collection and tracing agencies.

Revenue Minister Peter Dunne said the scheme had received “extremely strong” support from the public. “People have obligations and you can't just shirk your obligations by leaving the country.”

Everyone needed to play ball, and it was unfair that overseas borrowers took three to four times longer to repay their debt, he said.

Ad Feedback


Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content