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Facing financial hardship

If you are struggling to make your compulsory HELP repayment or overseas levy repayment, there may be some options to relieve the stress. Depending on your situation, you can apply to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for a deferral or a payment plan.

Setting up a payment plan

If you owe a debt to the ATO which includes a compulsory repayment or overseas levy repayment and you can’t pay on time, the ATO may allow you to enter into a payment plan to pay your debt in instalments. A payment plan must be negotiated directly with the ATO.

For more information on payment plan options go to the ato.gov.au/helpwithpaying.

Deferring your compulsory repayment

If you believe that making a compulsory repayment or overseas levy repayment would cause you serious hardship, or there are other special reasons why you are unable to make your repayments, you can apply to the ATO to have that amount (or part of it) deferred. To do this, you need to complete a Deferring your compulsory repayment or overseas levy form which is available from the ato.gov.au/defermyrepayment. The form will ask you for a detailed statement of your household income and expenditure to justify your claim of serious hardship.

There is a two-year time limit for applying for a deferment of compulsory HELP debt repayment, so don’t delay.