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Loan repayment

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 2017-18 income year was $55,874.

The compulsory repayment threshold for the 2018-19 income year is $51,957.

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.


2018-2019 Repayment threshold Repayment % rate
Below $51,957 Nil
$51,957 - $57,729 2.0%
$57,730 - $64,306 4.0%
$64,307 - $70,881 4.5%
$70,882 - $74,607 5.0%
$74,608 - $80,197 5.5%
$80,198 - $86,855 6.0%
$86,856 - $91,425 6.5%
$91,426 - $100,613 7.0%
$100,614 - $107,213 7.5%
$107,214 and above 8.0%


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.