When you attend university or an approved higher education provider, you can get a HECS-HELP loan to pay for your studies. You can only get a HECS-HELP loan if you are enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place (CSP).

A HECS-HELP loan does not cover costs like accommodation, laptops or text books. A HECS-HELP loan is used to pay your Student contribution amount.

For more information, view the relevant HELP publications.

Eligibility

Your provider will assess your eligibility for a HECS-HELP loan against the criteria below. If you have any questions, please contact your provider.

To get a HECS-HELP loan, you must:

  • be studying in a Commonwealth supported place
  • be one of the following:
    • an Australian citizen who must study at least some of your course in Australia; or
    • a New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) holder, or eligible former New Zealand SCV holder; who meets the long-term residency requirements and who studies the entire course while living in Australia; or
    • a permanent humanitarian visa holder, or an eligible former permanent humanitarian visa holder; who will be resident in Australia for the duration of your unit(s); or
    • a pacific engagement visa (PEV) holder who will be resident in Australia for the duration of your unit(s) (a PEV holder becomes eligible from 1 February 2024)
  • submit the Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form to your provider by the census date
  • be enrolled in each unit/subject at your provider by the census date
  • have available HELP balance
  • provide your provider with your Unique Student Identifier(Opens in a new tab/window) (USI) prior to the first census date (for new enrolments from 1 January 2021) unless an exemption applies
  • have sufficient Student Learning Entitlement available (for new enrolments from 1 January 2022)
  • be assessed as a genuine student and as academically suitable for your unit(s) of study
  • meet the completion rate requirements (from 1 January 2022 - 31 December 2023)
  • not undertake more than 2 years' worth of higher education study in 12 months (unless your provider has approved you or more).

Applying for a HECS-HELP loan

To apply for a HECS-HELP loan, you will need:

  • your tax file number (TFN) or a Certificate of application for a TFN.
  • a USI prior to the first census date
  • a Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form, which only your university or higher education provider can give you.

You only need to apply for HECS-HELP once for the duration of your course.

Your form must be filled in and submitted to your provider by the census date.

If you have already applied and want to check if your HELP loan has been approved, you will need to ask your provider directly.