You will have a HELP debt for any units of study you did not withdraw from before the census date. If you have any questions about withdrawing, you can read Withdrawing from study.

You can only apply to have your HELP debt cancelled if you meet 'special circumstances'.

Your HELP debt will not be cancelled for any units you successfully completed.

Your HELP debt will not be cancelled if you withdrew from study after the census date because you changed your mind.

Special circumstances

To meet special circumstances, you need to show that what affected you:

  • was beyond your control;
  • did not make the full impact on you until on or after the census date(s) of the unit(s); and
  • made it not practicable for you to complete the unit(s).

You apply for special circumstances with your university or higher education provider and they will ask you to provide supporting documentation.

Your provider must receive your application within 12 months of your withdrawal day of that unit(s).

Your provider may give you more time if it was not possible for you to apply within 12 months.

If you didn't officially withdraw, then your application must be made within 12 months after the period which you undertook (or were to undertake) that unit.

Can I appeal the decision?

If you are not happy with your provider's decision, you can apply for an internal review. This must be done in writing within 28 days.

If you are not happy with your provider’s internal review decision, you can apply for an external review from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal(Opens in a new tab/window) (AAT) within 28 days.

How can I check if my debt has been cancelled?

You can login to myHELPbalance(Opens in a new tab/window) with your Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN). A CHESSN is a unique identifying number. It is important that you only have one CHESSN.

You can find your CHESSN on your Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN), which is sent to you by your provider.

You can also view your HELP debt online using myGov(Opens in a new tab/window).

What if I have to make a compulsory repayment?

You can talk to the Australian Tax Office about deferring your compulsory repayment(Opens in a new tab/window) or organise another repayment option until your debt is cancelled.