Sharing borrowers' contact details with other agencies

2014 amendment extends the approved information-sharing agreement between IR and Internal Affairs to include all borrowers, not just those in default.

Sections 193A and 193C of the Student Loan Scheme Act 2011

The amendment extends the approved information-sharing agreement between Inland Revenue and the Department of Internal Affairs to include all borrowers, not just those who are in default.

Background

Accurate contact details for all borrowers are crucial so that Inland Revenue can keep in touch with borrowers and keep them updated about their repayment obligations. Early contact and intervention has been shown to increase the compliance of overseas-based borrowers with their repayment obligations.

An approved information-sharing agreement was made in October 2013, enabling the Department of Internal Affairs to provide Inland Revenue with the contact details of borrowers based on passport renewals. This sharing is limited to contact details of borrowers in default of their loan but not those who are compliant. This is because the Student Loan Scheme Act 2011 did not explicitly allow for the sharing of contact details of borrowers who are not in default.

For borrowers who are not in default, obtaining accurate contact details will help Inland Revenue to engage directly with these borrowers to prevent them from falling into default.

Key features

The amendment allows the Commissioner to obtain the contact details of borrowers who are not in default. This will enable Inland Revenue to amend the approved information-sharing agreement with the Department of Internal Affairs to include all borrowers, not simply those in default.

Application date

The enabling amendment to the Student Loan Scheme Act 2011 will apply from the day after Royal assent, being 8 March 2014.

Inland Revenue will seek to amend its existing approved information-sharing agreement with the Department of Internal Affairs by regulation shortly afterwards, to include borrowers not in default.