Income while studying
There are a range of income options for students:
Student allowance and accommodation benefits
Government-funded income options include the student allowance and accommodation benefits. Whether you can get these depends on a variety of things including how much your parents earn.
The student allowance is a weekly payment to help full-time students with living expenses. Unlike a student loan, you don’t have to pay this money back.
Accommodation benefits differ depending on where you live.
Find out about student allowances and accommodation benefits on the StudyLink website.
Scholarships are also worth looking into. There are many organisations that provide scholarships to help students fund their studies, and the money doesn’t have to be paid back.
Find out more about scholarships on the StudyLink website.
Part-time and holiday work
Part-time work through the year and holiday work is great if you can get it! It can help you keep your student loans down by minimising how much you need to borrow for living costs.
When relying on part-time work to pay expenses, think about your course workload and try to balance the two.
When receiving a student allowance and working part time, you need to let StudyLink know, as it might affect your payments.
Check out current job vacancies on the Student Job Search website.
Once enrolled at university, be sure to register in UniCareerHub, a jobs database including part-time work, holiday work, graduate vacancies and scholarships.
While some parents can contribute money for fees or living costs, others may be able to help out by letting family members live at home while they study. As rent is likely to be the biggest living cost, living at home could save thousands.
If you can afford to, it’s a good idea to make some contribution to the household budget. Or there may be other help you can provide like child care. Try to take responsibility for personal expenses like travel to class, mobile costs, snacks and sports activities.
Lots of people use a student loan from the government to help finance studies. Student loans can be used to pay course fees as well as for living and course-related costs.
Student loans are interest-free while you are studying and while you live in New Zealand, but you do have to pay it back. If you go overseas for more than six months, in most cases you will also be charged interest.
Sorted's debt calculator can give a sense of how long it might take to pay off a student loan. Taking on too much debt early in life can really slow us down in achieving other goals such as travel, having a family or buying a house.
It’s important to be careful when using credit cards and tertiary overdrafts. They could lead to years of debt!
There are lots of students who would have approached their student loan differently after experiencing the realities of paying it back. A student loan can either be an investment in our future earning potential – or one expensive, long-lasting hangover!