StudyLink – accessing loans and allowances to fund tertiary study

Moving onto tertiary study in 2020? StudyLink is the place you can go to apply for allowances and loans for tertiary study –

Before you apply – you’ll need the following information:

  • Set up a RealMe login or RealMe verified identity – see below for more information on getting your RealMe login set up.
  • Make sure the course you’re interested in is a recognised course or programme for Student Loan and Student Allowance.
  • Can you study “Fees Free’? Find out more here –
  • You need your course details handy, eg: course start and end dates (you can estimate the dates, and update them later – if studying at Summer School – 10 Jan, if university or polytechnics – 1 Feb) and the name of your education provider or campus.
  • Make sure you have all the other required information handy before you begin so you can easily complete the eligibility test and application.

If you already have a RealMe login from another agency, you can use this to apply online – just work through each step as you can, following directions on the site.

StudyLink has a great website with plenty of information for you and your parents to work through to make the student loan and allowance application process clearer – there are eligibility tests to figure out what you can qualify for, sometimes it helps to have your parents about to answer these questions.

What is RealMe?

RealMe is run by the Department of Internal Affairs and verifies your ID so that you can log-in and be registered by many different institutes and agencies. You’ll need to have or get:

  • document with your photo on it, like a driver licence or 18+ card
  • mobile phone for 2FA – (either a text or Google Authenticator)
  • NZ passport issued after 2004 – using your passport is the easiest way to apply.

If you don’t have a NZ passport issued after 1 January 2004, you can still apply using:

  • NZ citizenship certificate issued after 2004
  • NZ immigration details, or
  • NZ birth certificate

Then you can start the application process online – go to and follow the steps. Please note – you will need to take your ID into a PostShop to be verified.