Similar to interest, your HELP debt will grow. We call this 'indexation'.

Indexation is added to your debt on 1 June each year.

To reduce the amount of indexation applied to your HELP debt, voluntary repayments can be made directly to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). 

The ATO is advising anyone who may be considering making voluntary repayments on their HELP debt to do so by 27 May 2024 so that the payment can clear prior to 1 June. It can take up to 4 days for online payments to be processed.

HELP debts are indexed to keep up with changes in the cost of living. The indexation rate is currently based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

On 5 May 2024, the Government announced changes to reduce the indexation that is applied to HELP loans by capping the indexation rate at the lower of the CPI or Wage Price Index (WPI). This change will require legislation to be passed through both Houses of Parliament. If passed, the changes will be back-dated to 1 June 2023. More information is available at the HELP indexation credit estimator(Opens in a new tab/window).

HELP debts are not indexed until they are 11 months old.

Information on the process of indexation being applied to HELP debts is set out in relevant loan information booklets and forms that students complete and agree to when requesting a HELP loan.

For current and past indexation rates, visit the ATO(Opens in a new tab/window).

Examples:

Erin has $9,000.00 of HELP debt left to repay from studies that she undertook in 2015-17. On 1 June 2023, the HELP debt was indexed at 7.1% ($9,000 x 7.1% = $639.00). Erin now owes ($9,000 + $639.00) = $9,639.00.

Juan Carlos started his undergraduate degree in 2022. He has a HELP debt of $15,600.00. His fees of $4,800.00 from the first semester (census date of 28 March 2022) will be indexed on 1 June 2023 as they are more than 11 months old ($4,800 x 7.1% = $340.80). The remaining fees from semester 2, 2022, and semester 1, 2023 will not be indexed on 1 June 2023 as the debts are not yet 11 months old. Juan Carlos now owes ($15,600.00 + $340.80) = $15,940.80.

Melinda undertook a three-year undergraduate degree from 2020-22. She hasn’t made any repayments yet. Her HELP debt was indexed each year as follows:

  • 1 June 2020 – no indexation was applied, as no part of the debt was 11 months old yet.
  • 1 June 2021 – the part of the debt that was 11 months old (Semester 1, 2020) is indexed at 0.6%.
  • 1 June 2022 – the part of the debt that was 11 months old is indexed at 3.9%.
  • 1 June 2023 – the part of the debt that was 11 months old is indexed at 7.1%.