Financial Information for Students

Financial Information for Students


Studylink: you can continue collecting this for all papers you are still enrolled in. Alongside regular loans and allowances there is a Studylink special needs grant (https://www.studylink.govt.nz/products/a-z-products/special-needs-grant.html#null). This is a one-off payment for emergency situations that often does not need repayment. Eligibility depends on the situation and whether there is a lack of other options available. 

WINZ: for students not receiving or engaged with Studylink there is the WINZ special needs grant: (https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/products/a-z-benefits/special-needs-grant.html#null). This is a one-off payment for emergency situations that often does not need repayment. Eligibility depends on the situation and whether there is a lack of other options available. This has additional elligibility requirements depending on age and situation. Additionally, there is the WINZ recoverable assistance payment grant: (https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/products/a-z-benefits/recoverable-assistance-payment-grant.html#null) this is also restricted to those not currently receiving Studylink. It is a one-off payment for essential of emergency costs that needs to be paid back. This can cover a wider range of situations but does require repayment so should be considered only when there are likely future income streams. 

Consumer Electricity Fund (https://www.dunedin.govt.nz/services/funding-and-grants/electricity-fund): This is set up to contribute to an electricity account. It is applied for by appointment and includes stringent budgeting consultation requirements. 

OUSA hardship fund (https://www.ousa.org.nz/support/ousa-hardship-fund): this can provide a one-off payment up to $250 in situations of hardship. This fund is flexible in what it will pay for. 

University: the university provides the University of Otago Emergency Fund for one-off emergency situations. It is accessible through OUSA Student Support who can be contacted at help@ousa.org.nz to find out about eligibility. If you are in an Otago University College you can talk to your college administration about accessible hardship funds. Medical Students may be eligible for the Otago Medical School Hardship Grant. 

University hardship fund (Pūtea tautoko): the university is providing a hardship fund for students impacted by Covid-19. This can be applied for under the ‘My Finances’ section in evision.

Banks: for situations of uncertain, but not dire, income it is worth getting in contact with you bank about overdraft facilities. Often those studying will be eligible for interest free overdrafts with otherwise minimal fees. If you have outstanding credit debt, or other debt with your bank you should contact them about arranging interest only repayments as many banks are offering this during the instability of Covid-19. 

Work and income site: failing all else contacting work and income may provide a pathway for support (https://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/newsroom/2020/covid-19/index.html). This may particularly be an option if you have been left without employment previously relied upon.