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HELP loans

There are four different types of HELP loans available to students.

Your eligibility for each type of loan depends on what it is being used for and your citizenship and residency status.

If you enrol to study at a university or higher education provider, you might be enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place (CSP). In a CSP, the Australian Government pays some of your fees and you pay the rest, this is called your 'student contribution amount'. 

HECS-HELP can be used to pay your student contribution amount. 

If you aren't enrolled in a CSP, you are enrolled in a fee-paying place.

FEE-HELP can be used to pay your fees in a fee-paying place.

Separate to your tuition fees, each semester you might have to pay a fee for student services and amenities.

SA-HELP can be used to pay your student services and amenities fee (SSAF).

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

Up-front payment discount 

From 1 January 2021, if you are eligible for HECS-HELP and make an upfront payment of $500 or more or make an up-front payment equal to 90 per cent of your student contribution amount, you will receive a 10 per cent discount. The discount is an incentive to pay up-front, either fully or partially, and will decrease your student debt.

HELP debt assistance for teachers in very remotes areas

There are two types of assistance under the initiative that commenced in 2019: waivers on indexation on accumulated HELP debt indexation, and reduction of accumulated HELP debt.

Both types of assistance are available to teachers who are/were teaching in a very remote area of Australia, based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Remoteness Structure, at any of the following:

  • a school providing primary or secondary education
  • a centre based day care service
  • a preschool.

To be eligible for either type of assistance, teachers must be normally resident in a very remote area during the period applied for (or temporarily located in a very remote area if temporarily unemployed). Teachers must also have already completed their initial teacher educations qualification to commence and have a HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP debt in relation to that qualification.  

The term initial teacher education qualification refers to the first teacher education qualification obtains that satisfies the minimum academic requirements for registration as a teacher by an authority of a state or territory.

More information, answers to frequently asked question, application forms and the lists of very remote schools, preschool and centre based day care services can be found on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website - https://www.dese.gov.au/help-and-other-information/government-loans-students/remission-higher-education-loan-program-debts-teachers-very-remote-areas

For further information please contact veryremotehelp [at] dese.gov.au.

Increased HELP loan limit for aviation courses

Students undertaking eligible aviation courses of study, with census dates after 1 January 2020, can access the higher combined HELP loan limit. The list of eligible courses can be found here.