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HELP loans

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

If you're enrolled in a CSP, you still have to pay 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're 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.

Very remote teachers HELP debt remission

A qualified teacher, including an early childhood teacher, who relocates to a very remote area of Australia (using the ABS Remote Structure) on or after the start of the 2019 school year, and remains teaching for at least four years in six, may be eligible to have their outstanding HELP debt remitted.

To be eligible, individuals must be engaged as a teacher at any of the following:

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

This initiative also applies to an individual currently teaching in a very remote area of Australia who remains for a further four years. Service prior to the start of the 2019 school year will not count towards the four year requirement.

Teachers working in a very remote area of Australia are able to have indexation on their outstanding HELP debt waived while they remain teaching in that area. There is no length of service requirement for indexation waivers. This is available for eligible teachers from 14 February 2019.

Once teachers are no longer teaching in a very remote area, indexation on any remaining HELP debt will recommence.

Answers to frequently asked questions, application forms and the lists of very remote schools, preschools and centre based day care services can be found on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website –

https://www.dese.gov.au/higher-education-loan-program/reduction-higher-education-loan-program-help-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.