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

This initiative will remit all or part of an individual's Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debt from their outstanding HELP debt after they have been engaged as a teacher, including an early childhood teacher, for four years in a very remote location in Australia (using the ASGS Remoteness Structure) at any of the following:

  • an early childhood education and care service that includes a preschool education program
  • a preschool
  • a school providing primary or secondary education

Teachers must complete four years full time in a six-year period, or the pro-rated part time equivalent, commencing on or after the start of the 2019 school year.

The HELP debt to be remitted would be up to the cost of obtaining their recognised teaching qualification in either Commonwealth supported study (HECS-HELP), a full fee-paying place (FEE-HELP) or a combination of both.

The debt to be remitted is limited to the HELP debt outstanding at the commencement of their placement, and to a maximum of five years of education qualification related tuition costs.

This initiative will also waive indexation on an individual's outstanding HELP debt while they are teaching in a very remote area, from 14 February 2019. There is no requirement for an individual to complete any length of service for indexation to be waived. Once they are no longer teaching in a very remote area, indexation on any remaining HELP debt will recommence.

The list of centre based day care services operating in very remote locations can be accessed through the 'very remote Centre Based Day Care services list'.

The list of eligible preschools in New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland and South Australia can be accessed through the 'very remote preschools list (NSW NT QLD SA)'

The list of eligible primary and secondary schools can be accessed through the 'very remote schools list'. Please refer to the 'very remote schools list' for preschools located in eligible locations in Western Australia and Tasmania.

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


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.