The HECS-HELP up-front discount
From 1 January 2021, if you are eligible for a HECS-HELP loan and make an up-front payment of $500 or more towards units of study with the same census date, or make an up-front payment equal to 90 per cent of your student contribution amount(s), you will receive a 10 per cent discount, called the HECS-HELP up-front discount.
The HECS-HELP up-front discount works by increasing your up-front payment by 10 percent. This means that you will pay less for your studies if you pay $500 or more up-front. The Government will pay the other 10 per cent directly to your provider.
How does the HECS-HELP up-front discount work if I pay all my student contribution as an up-front payment?
The discount means that you will pay only 90 per cent of the cost of your studies as an upfront payment, the Government will pay the other 10 per cent directly to your provider.
How does the HECS-HELP up-front discount work if I pay only part of my student contribution upfront?
You can receive the HECS-HELP up-front discount for up-front student contribution payments of $500 or more for units of study with the same census date if you are eligible for HECS-HELP assistance. You will receive a discount of 10 per cent on the up-front payment you make. You may choose to pay some of your student contributions up-front and defer the rest with a HECS-HELP loan. For example, if you make an up-front payment of $500, the Government will pay one ninth of $500 to your provider on top of your up-front payment of $500. You can then pay for the remainder of your student contribution amount with a HECS-HELP loan.
Example - how the HECS-HELP up-front discount and loan works with a partial upfront payment.
Robert is required to pay a student contribution amount for a unit of study of $2,745 by 31 January 2021 and makes an up-front payment of $900 on 20 January 2021.
Robert’s up-front payment of $900 is more than $500 so he gets a discount of $100 (one ninth of $900), which the Government pays to his provider. Robert’s unpaid student contribution amount for his unit is now $1,745 ($2,745 – $900 (Robert’s up-front payment) – $100 (Robert’s discount)).
Robert takes out a HECS-HELP loan of $1,745 to pay for the rest of his unit of study.
How do I make a payment to benefit from the HECS-HELP up-front discount?
Up-front payments must be made on or before the census date of your study, or your provider's administrative date if your provider has one. Your up-front payment must be $500 or more to receive the discount or equal to 90 per cent of the student contribution amount. For more information about making up front payments, the student administration area of your provider will be able to assist you.
Does the HECS-HELP up-front discount still apply if my unit of study of study cost less than $500?
Yes. The HECS-HELP up-front discount will apply if you make an up-front payment equal to 90 per cent of your student contribution amount for the unit of study, even if that amount is less than $500
If you wish to make up-front payments to multiple units of study sharing the same census date, the discount will also apply if the sum of those up-front payments is $500 or more.
What if I don't want to pay any amount up-front?
If you choose not to make an eligible up-front payment you will not receive the discount. You can still use a HECS-HELP loan to to pay for your studies without making any up-front payments.
Can I change my payment option?
You can change your HECS-HELP payment option before the census date (or earlier administrative date) of your study. If you have not made an up-front payment by the census date, student contribution amounts you have not paid will be deferred automatically as a HECS-HELP loan (and become a HELP debt), provided you have included your TFN on your submitted Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form.
If you have any further queries about changing your payment option, the student administration/enrolments area of your university will be able to assist you.