What is VET FEE-HELP?
VET FEE-HELP is the Commonwealth Government loan scheme that allows eligible students to defer payment of their tuition fees for certain higher-level VET qualifications. Repayment of this interest-free loan begins once your income is above the compulsory repayment threshold. Repayment is managed via the Australian taxation system.
The compulsory repayment threshold is adjusted each year; for the 2015-16 year, the compulsory repayment threshold will be $54,126.
VET FEE HELP can be used to pay all, or part of an eligible student’s tuition fees.
For further information, please find the 2016 VET FEE-HELP booklet here, or via the button below. This booklet must be read before you agree to any VET FEE-HELP loan. Undertaking a VET FEE-HELP loan is a great way to launch your studies and future career, but it is a serious commitment. Please familiarise yourself with the scheme via the Study Assist website.
To apply for the VET FEE HELP loan scheme, please contact our office. We look forward in assisting you!
Please note: Higher level VET qualifications are at the diploma level and above.
To be eligible for VET FEE-HELP assistance for a VET unit of study, you must:
1) be an Australian citizen; or a permanent humanitarian visa holder who will be resident in Australia for the duration of the unit; AND
2) Meet the Tax File Number requirements; AND
3) Have an available VET FEE-HELP balance; AND
4) Be enrolled, and have submitted your ‘Request for VET FEE-HELP Loan’ form on or before the Unit of Study Census Date; AND
5) Be undertaking a unit as part of a VET course of study.
To see what Government Assistance could be available to you, please visit Study Assist’s Eligibility Test.
You do not have to use a VET FEE-HELP loan to pay your tuition fees. You can choose to:
• pay all your tuition fees upfront to the Stirling Institute of Australia via a payment plan, or a one-off payment;
• pay some of your tuition fees upfront and use a VET FEE-HELP loan for the rest, or
• you can use a VET FEE- HELP loan for all your tuition fees (up to your HELP limit).
As long as you meet the above eligibility criteria and have enough of your HELP limit left to cover your tuition fees, you will be able to access VET FEE HELP.
Eligible students can borrow up to the HELP limit to pay their tuition fees. This means that any amount you borrow under either VET FEE HELP or HELP will reduce your HELP balance (the amount of HELP you have left to use) until you have reached the HELP limit.
The HELP limit is a lifetime limit and is not reset or ‘topped up’ by any repayments that you make.
VET FEE HELP aims to remove all financial barriers to learning, so there are no mandatory upfront fees involved once you have requested VET FEE HELP Assistance.
However, you do need to be aware that for non-Government subsidised students, there is a 20% loan fee loading applied to each VET FEE HELP Assistance request.
For all fee-paying students, any remaining debt incurred under VET FEE HELP is indexed in line with the Consumer Price Index on 01st July each year. This is applied to keep the value of the debt “real”.
HELP debts are managed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) via the income tax return system.
You have to start repaying your HELP debt through the taxation system once your repayment income is above the compulsory repayment threshold, even if you are still studying. The compulsory repayment threshold is adjusted each year. The compulsory repayment threshold for the 2015/16 income year is $54,126.
Repayment income is calculated from the amounts given on your income tax return.
The amount you repay each year is a percentage of your repayment income. The percentage increases as your income increases, so the more you earn, the higher your repayment will be. The ATO will calculate your compulsory repayment for the year and include it on your income tax notice of assessment.
Please see the Study Assist website for more information on paying off your debt.
Schedule of Fees when undertaking VET FEE-HELP
Each Fee Schedule will be listed by Course Title; Course Code, and Commencement and Completion Dates.
If you are unsure which intake you have enrolled in to, please do not hesitate to contact our Enrolment Team.
The census date is the last day you can submit your Request for VET FEE HELP Assistance form or withdraw your enrolment without incurring the fees or a HELP debt.
If you do not submit your form by the census date, you will not be eligible to access a HELP loan for that study period.
The census date must be at least 20% of the way through the study period for that unit.
To withdraw from a unit or course without incurring a HELP debt or losing an up-front payment, you need to complete and return a Request to Withdraw form by the Census Date listed on your Schedule of Fees.
You need to complete the formal withdrawal process for every UoS you want to withdraw from, including any UoS for future study periods. You can understand which UoS remain by checking your specific Fee Schedule.
The Request to Withdraw form allows you to individually nominate UoS to withdraw from. However, please be aware that as the current course progression is linear, it is expected that if you withdraw from one unit, you will automatically withdraw from all subsequent Units.
For UoS whose Census Date has passed at point of withdrawal, the HELP debt has been accrued.
If you withdraw from a unit after the census date, you will incur a HELP debt and will lose any up-front payment you made and your HELP limit will be reduced.
If you withdrew from a unit after the census date because of Special Circumstances you may be able to get your HELP debt remitted (and your HELP balance re-credited if applicable).