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2020 loan limit changes

Combined HELP loan limit


What is the combined HELP loan limit?

The combined HELP loan limit is a cap on what you can borrow from the Australian Government to cover the costs of your tuition fees. The HELP loan limit replaced the FEE-HELP limit on 1 January 2020.


What loans are included in the limit?

The HELP loan limit includes all FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP, VET Students Loans and HECS-HELP (with a census date from 1 January 2020).


Do my past HELP or VSL debts count?

Yes. Existing FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP and VET Student Loan debts will be carried over and count towards your HELP loan limit.

HECS-HELP debts with a census date prior to 1 January 2020 will not be included in the HELP loan limit.

HECS-HELP debts with a census date of 1 January 2020 onwards, will be included in the HELP loan limit. .


What happened to my FEE-HELP balance and the FEE-HELP limits?

On 1 January 2020, your FEE-HELP balance became your HELP balance.
On 1 January 2020, the FEE-HELP loan limits became the HELP loan limits.


What is the HELP loan limit amount?

For 2020, the HELP loan limit is $106,319 for most students.
The limit for students studying medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses leading to initial registration is $152,700.


Renewable HELP balance


What is a renewable HELP balance?

The renewable HELP balance is your available borrowing capacity for HECS-HELP, FEE HELP, VET FEE HELP and VET Student Loans. This is your available HELP balance.


How is my available HELP balance calculated?

Your available HELP balance is your HELP loan limit of that given year, minus your HECS-HELP, FEE HELP, VET FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans borrowing.

Taking out a loan will reduce your available HELP balance, and making a repayment will increase your available HELP balance.


What does renewable mean?

Any repayments you make on your HELP debt will credit your available HELP balance, up to your applicable HELP loan limit.


When do HELP balance credits start?

Repayments starting from the 2019-20 income year will credit your available HELP balance.
After submitting your 2019-20 tax return, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will issue you with a notice of assessment and inform the department of any repayments made to your HELP debt. These repayments will credited towards your HELP balance, increasing the available balance by the amount repaid.


What repayments credit my HELP balance?

Any voluntary repayments you make will credit your HELP balance when the ATO tells the department about your repayments.
Any compulsory repayments will credit your HELP balance once:

  • you have completed your tax return,
  • have been issued a notice of assessment, and
  • the ATO notifies the department of any repayments you made on your HELP debt.

Your fortnightly PAYG repayments will not credit your HELP balance until you complete your annual tax return, and it is processed by the ATO.


Where do I find my available HELP balance?

Further information on keeping up to date with your HELP balance can be found here .