Tax officials will be able to track down student loan borrowers in Australia more easily under law changes passed in Parliament last night.

One of the measures in the legislation allowed information about Australian-based borrowers to be shared between the Australian Tax Office and New Zealand's Inland Revenue Department.

As a result, IRD officials will be able to get access to up-to-date contact details for expat Kiwis.

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce said the measure was another tool for Inland Revenue to reach borrowers who were in default. Around 70 per cent of overseas borrowers were in default, and most of them were in Australia.


A spokeswoman for Mr Joyce said the policy was likely to come into force in July.

Revenue Minister Michael Woodhouse said the new measure would be a significant step in speeding up repayments on around $3.25 billion borrowed by people living overseas.

"Most loan borrowers do the right thing and make repayments on time," he said. "This change will just help to ensure a higher level of compliance from borrowers living in Australia."

In 2010, the Government began an overseas-based borrower compliance initiative to help claw back millions in unpaid student loans.

The initiative included powers to arrest student loan defaulters at the border, and allowing Government departments to collect contact information from passport applications.