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VET FEE-HELP is available to assist eligible students studying higher level vocational education and training (VET) qualifications to pay their tuition fees. Higher level VET qualifications are at the diploma level and above. For a trial period, VET FEE-HELP will also be available for a limited number of certificate IV qualifications. VET FEE-HELP can be used to pay all or part of an eligible student’s tuition fees,but cannot be used for additional study costs such as accommodation or text books.

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Am I eligible for VET FEE-HELP?

You are eligible for VET FEE-HELP if you:

  • Are an Australian citizen OR
  • Are a permanent humanitarian visa holder (resident in Australia for the duration of the unit) AND
  • Have not exceeded the FEE-HELP limit (see below) AND
  • Meet course requirements as follows:
    • Are a full fee-paying / fee for service student studying a diploma, advanced diploma, graduate certificate or graduate diploma level course at an approved VET FEEHELP provider OR
    • Are a student subsidised by a state or territory government studying a diploma or advanced diploma course OR
    • Are a student subsidised by the State Government studying in a specified certificate IV course (nominated   courses vary by state) as part of the Certificate IV Trial that concludes in December 2016 AND
    • Are enrolled with an approved VET FEE-HELP provider in an eligible unit of study by the census date for that  unit.

What is a census date?

The Census date is the most important date for you to know!

The census date is the last day you can:

  • Submit your form to access a VET FEE-HELP loan; or
  • Withdraw your enrolment without incurring the cost or debt for that Unit of Study.

If you do not submit your form by the census date, you will not be eligible to access a HELP loan for that study period.

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How much can I borrow?

Eligible students can borrow up to the FEE-HELP limit to pay your tuition fees. The FEE-HELP limit is the total amount available to you under both the VET FEE-HELP and FEE-HELP loan schemes.

This means that any amount you borrow under either VET FEE-HELP or FEE-HELP will reduce your FEE-HELP balance (the amount of both loans you have left to use) until you have reached the FEE-HELP limit.

For 2016, the FEE-HELP limit is $99,389 for most students. For students undertaking medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses (as defined in the Higher Education Support Act 2003) the FEE-HELP limit is $124,238.

The FEE-HELP limit is a lifetime limit and is not reset or ‘topped up’ by any repayments that you make

Is there a loan fee?

Yes, for some students. A 20% loan fee applies for VET FEE-HELP loans accessed by full fee paying/fee for service students. The loan fee does not count towards your FEE-HELP limit.
You will not incur the loan fee if you are a student who is subsidised by a state or territory government.

When do I have to repay my HELP debt?

You have to start repaying your HELP debt through the taxation system once your repayment income is above the compulsory repayment threshold, even if you are still studying. The compulsory repayment threshold is adjusted each year.
The compulsory repayment threshold for the 2015-2016 income year is $54,126.
The compulsory repayment threshold for the 2016-2017 income year is $54,869.
Repayment income is calculated from the amounts given on your income tax return for:Your taxable income;

  • Reportable fringe benefits (reported on your payment summary);
  • Total net investment loss (which includes net rental loss);
  • Reportable super contributions; and
  • Exempt foreign employment income amounts.

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