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When someone with a student loan travels overseas for more than six months they are charged interest. If your organisation obtains approval under the Student Loan Scheme Act 2011, someone who works for you overseas can apply to keep their student loan interest free.

To apply for this, the work they do must be:

  • as a volunteer, or for token payment
  • for no more than 24 months.

Their work must be to either:

  • relieve poverty, hunger, sickness, or the impacts of war or natural disaster
  • improve the economy or raise educational standards in a country that is on the OECD list of countries receiving development assistance.

Volunteering overseas when I have a student loan

Working for a charity overseas when you have a student loan

Approved charitable organisations

We keep a list of approved charitable organisations whose volunteers may be exempted from interest on their student loans. If you want to be added to this list you must:

  • have been established for charitable purposes
  • be undertaking charitable activities.
Last updated: 28 Apr 2021
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