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Loan repayment

Job-ready Graduates Package

On 19 June 2020 the Australian Government announced the Job-ready Graduates Package (the package). Changes proposed in this package affect student contributions and provide additional support for students in regional and remote Australia. The majority of these changes will commence on 1 January 2021, subject to the passage of legislation.

We encourage both current and new students who will be studying from 1 January 2021 to talk to their current or intended higher education provider to confirm how these changes may affect their individual circumstances. Further information can be found on the Job-ready Graduates Package page https://www.dese.gov.au/job-ready-graduates-package.

More information on the additional support for students in regional and remote areas, including the new Tertiary Access Payment and the guaranteed Commonwealth Supported places for Indigenous students can be found on the More opportunities for regional students page https://dese.gov.au/more-opportunities-regional-australia.

How do I repay my HELP debt?

Your HELP debt includes any unpaid HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP, OS-HELP, SA-HELP and VET Student Loans debts.

You pay back your HELP debt through the tax system once you earn above the compulsory repayment threshold. The compulsory repayment threshold is different each year.

The compulsory repayment threshold for the 2019-20 income year is $45,881.

The compulsory repayment threshold for the 2020-21 income year is $46,620.

You can make a voluntary repayment to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) at any time.

 

How much will I repay?

The more you earn, the higher your repayment will be.

When you do your tax return, the ATO will calculate your income for the year and tell you how much your compulsory repayment is.

 

2019-2020 Repayment threshold Repayment % rate
Below $45,881 Nil
$45,881 - $52,973 1.0%
$52,974 - $56,151 2.0%
$56,152 - $59,521 2.5%
$59,522 - $63,092 3.0%
$63,093 - $66,877 3.5%
$66,878 - $70,890 4.0%
$70,891 - $75,144 4.5%
$75,145 - $79,652 5.0%
$79,653 - $84,432 5.5%
$84,433 - $89,498 6.0%
$89,499 - $94,868 6.5%
$94,869 - $100,560 7.0%
$100,561 - $106,593 7.5%
$106,594 - $112,989 8.0%
$112,990 - $119,769 8.5%
$119,770 - $126,955 9.0%
$126,956 - $134,572 9.5%
$134,573 and above 10.0%

 

2020-2021 Repayment threshold Repayment % rate
Below $46,620 Nil
$46,620 - $53,826 1.0%
$53,827 - $57,055 2.0%
$57,056 - $60,479 2.5%
$60,480 - $64,108 3.0%
$64,109 - $67,954 3.5%
$67,955 - $72,031 4.0%
$72,032 - $76,354 4.5%
$76,355 - $80,935 5.0%
$80,936 - $85,792 5.5%
$85,793 - $90,939 6.0%
$90,940 - $96,396 6.5%
$96,397 - $102,179 7.0%
$102,180 - $108,309 7.5%
$108,310 - $114,707 8.0%
$114,708 - $121,698 8.5%
$121,699 - $128,999 9.0%
$129,000 - $136,739 9.5%
$136,740 and above 10.0%

 

Your renewable HELP balance and re-borrowing your repayments

Your HELP balance is renewable. Starting from the 2019-20 income year, any compulsory or voluntary repayments made will top up a person's HELP balance. These repayments will be applied to a person's HELP balance after they have completed their 2019-20 tax return and been issued with a notice of assessment from the ATO. Repayments can be re-borrowed in the future, up to the current HELP loan limit. For more information on the new combined HELP loan limit and renewable HELP balance, please see the 2020 loan limit changes on the Study Assist website.

 

I am making repayments, why aren't they showing?

While you might have weekly or fortnightly amounts coming out of your pay, the compulsory repayment on your HELP debt will only occur once you do your tax return.

 

What happens if I can’t afford repayments?

If making your compulsory repayment will cause you serious financial hardship, you can apply to the ATO to defer your repayment.

 

Can I cancel my HELP debt?

No. Once you have a HELP debt, you must repay it unless you meet 'special circumstances'.

 

What happens if I go bankrupt?

Your HELP debt does not disappear if you go bankrupt.

Repayments of your HELP debt will restart when you earn over the minimum repayment threshold.

 

What happens to my HELP debt if I die?

A deceased person will only make any compulsory HELP repayments for the period before their death. A trustee or executor will need to make these compulsory repayments.

The rest of the HELP debt is cancelled upon their death.

Gabriella is already repaying her HELP debt and will get another HELP loan to pay for her master's. Read her story.