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.
What is the HELP loan limit amount?
For 2023, the HELP loan limit is $113,028 for most students.
The limit for students studying medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses leading to initial registration, or eligible aviation courses with census dates in 2023 will be $162,336.
Find the list of eligible aviation courses in the FEE-HELP Guidelines 2017 available on the Federal Register of Legislation website.
What loans are included in the limit?
The HELP loan limit includes all FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP, VET Students Loans and HECS-HELP.
HECS-HELP debts with a census date prior to 1 January 2020 are not included in the HELP loan limit.
SA-HELP, OS-HELP and loan fees are not included in your HELP loan limit.
Available HELP balance
What is an available HELP balance?
Your available HELP balance is your available borrowing capacity for HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans.
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 Students Loans borrowing.
Taking out a loan will reduce your available HELP balance, and making repayment will increase your available HELP balance.
What if I don't have enough HELP balance to cover my fees?
If you enrol in a unit of study and your tuition fees exceed your available HELP balance, you must pay the outstanding amount upfront to your provider.
At the passing of the census date, if you did not have enough HELP balance (meaning your loan did not go through) and you didn't pay upfront, then for:
- FEE-HELP students, you would owe the amount directly to your provider
- HECS-HELP students, your CSP would be cancelled or suspended.
When do HELP balance credits start?
Repayments starting from the 2019-20 income year will credit your available HELP balance. After submitting your 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 be 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, and
- you 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?
You can view your available HELP balance through the myHELPbalance website. You will need your USI or CHESSN, student ID number and personal details to login to the website.