Go to top of page

HELP loans

If you are going to study at a higher education provider or university, you might be enrolled in a place where the Government pays part of your fees. This is called a Commonwealth supported place (CSP).

If you are enrolled in a CSP, you still have to pay for some of your fees. You could get a HECS-HELP loan to pay for these.

If you aren't enrolled in a CSP, you are enrolled in a fee paying place. You could get a FEE-HELP loan to pay for your fees.

Each semester you might have to pay a fee for student services and amenities. You could get a SA-HELP loan to cover this fee.

If you are enrolled in a CSP and want to study overseas, you could get an OS-HELP loan to help pay your expenses.


Important notice - legislation changes that affect your HELP loan

The 2018 Student Loan Sustainability Act changes the arrangements for all Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) loans:

  • HELP debt repayment rates have changed and the minimum repayment threshold will be lower (from 1 July 2019).

  • The HELP loan limit will increase to $104,440 for most students, and $150,000 for students studying medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses (from 1 January 2019).

  • The HELP loan limit will include FEE-HELP, VET Student Loans, VET FEE-HELP and HECS-HELP, and will be called the 'combined HELP loan limit' (from 1 January 2020).

  • A person's HELP balance will be renewable. This means that if you reach the limit, you can make repayments on your HELP debt and access HELP until you reach the limit again (repayments starting from the 2019-20 income year will top up a person's HELP balance).


Very remote teachers HELP debt remission

Subject to the passage of legislation, teachers can have all or part of their HELP debt remitted if they work as a teacher for four years in a very remote area in Australia (as defined by the Accessibility and Remoteness Index of Australia).

Teachers must complete four years of full-time work in a six-year period (or the part-time equivalent) starting from the 2019 school year. Teachers who are employed part-time must complete the full-time equivalent.

How much debt will be remitted?

You can have up to five years of tuition fees deferred through a HELP loan remitted, as long as that debt relates to your education qualification. How much you get remitted also depends on how much debt you have left at the start of your teaching placement. See the example below.

Amy has incurred a $30,000 HELP debt from a Bachelor of Education. Amy has already repaid $10,000 of her HELP debt. From the beginning of the 2019 school year, Amy works as a teacher in an eligible very remote school until the end of 2022, when she has the remaining $20,000 of her HELP debt remitted.

From 14 February 2019, your HELP debt will not be indexed while you are teaching in a very remote area, regardless of how long you are teaching there. Your remaining HELP debt will be indexed again once you stop teaching in a very remote area.

The list of eligible schools can be accessed through the 'very remote schools list'.


Increased HELP loan limit for aviation courses

Subject to the passage of legislation, from 1 January 2020 students undertaking eligible aviation courses of study will have access to the higher combined HELP loan limit. The loan limit amount will be the 2019 FEE-HELP limit amount of $150,000, indexed by the Consumer Price Index.