The total amount of overdue student loan repayments stands at $1.2 billion, up more than 12 per cent on last year, a report presented to parliament has revealed.
It also shows students are leaving study with higher debts and taking longer to pay it off.
The average student now borrows about $9000 a year and the median debt is $17,780 by the time they leave study.
It's taking them about seven years to pay off their loans.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins says fewer students are also going on to post- school study.
"Students are telling us they have been put off by higher costs and the burden of debt," he said.
"It's a worrying trend and robbing too many Kiwis of opportunities and employers of the skills they need."
Hipkins said the Government was making tertiary study more affordable through fees-free education and the $50 a week boost to student allowances.
- NZ Newswire