Student loans and allowances

Find out what's involved in getting a student loan or allowance.

Student loans

A student loan helps to pay for your course fees, study materials (eg, books, tools, laptop) and living costs, but you'll have to pay it back. You don’t need to be studying full-time, but there are minimum amounts of study required to be eligible.

If you can get fees-free study, either through the government first year fees-free scheme or through youth guarantee or Māori and Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT), you may not need a student loan for course fees.

However, you'll still need to apply for a student loan if you want course-related costs or living costs.

There are residency requirements you’ll need to meet to be able to apply for a student loan and if you're under 18, one of your parents also needs to give their permission for you to get a loan.

You’ll start paying back your student loan when you earn over NZD $19,760 a year before tax ($380 a week before tax) and the repayments will come out of your pay automatically.

Student allowances

A student allowance is a weekly payment that you may be able to get to help with your living expenses while you’re studying full-time. Unlike a student loan, you don’t have to pay the money back, but how much you are able to get depends on your income, your living situation and your parents’ income if you’re under 24 years old.

If you’re under 24 years, you can't get a student allowance if your parents’ joint income, while you study, is more than $98,653.52 if you live with them or $1061371.71 if you don't live with them.

If you get a student allowance, you may also be able to get an Accommodation Benefit. StudyLink will work out if you can get this when you apply for your student allowance.

Are you eligible?

You can find out whether you're eligible for student loans or allowances by contacting Studylink on 0800 88 99 00 or visit the Studylink website or come in and see our friendly Student Advisors at either MIT Ōtara, Dilworth Building NA Block, or MIT Manukau (Floor 2 reception) who can guide you through the process.

See our useful FAQ's for StudyLink questions that our Student Advisors are often asked here

Applying for StudyLink for the first time

We know that this can be a challenging process so our Student Advisors are here to help you to get your StudyLink sorted.

To set up your StudyLink account for the first time you’ll need to:

Know your:

  • IRD number
  • Bank account (If you don't have one, we recommend that you open one in your name OR you can nominate someone e.g. your parent, partner and use their account
  • Work and Income client number (if you have one).

You don’t need to do this alone – so please see our Student Advisors at either MIT Ōtara, Dilworth Building NA Block, or MIT Manukau (Floor 2 reception).