From January 1st 2017, the VET FEE-HELP scheme of the Australian Government has been replaced by VET Student Loans. To minimise disruption to existing students, a phased approach is being taken to transition from VET FEE-HELP to the new VET Student Loans program, whereby students wishing to continue their studies under the existing VET FEE-HELP arrangements will need to opt-in. To know more, please visit https://www.education.gov.au/vet-fee-help-grandfathering.
The VET Student Loans is a loan program that helps eligible students enrolled in higher level vocational education and training courses at approved course providers pay their tuition fees. Access to a VET Student Loan is approved by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training.
To get a VET Student Loan, you must be an eligible student who is studying an approved course with an approved course provider. You must apply to the government using the approved form and must confirm your engagement and progression to continue to access the loan throughout your course.
Further details of eligibility are given below:
- You are an Australian citizen or a New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) holder who meets the long-term residency requirements, or a permanent humanitarian visa holder.
- You have not exceeded the FEE-HELP limit.
- You are enrolled with an approved course provider in an approved course and have enrolled in accordance with the application requirements.
- You are studying the approved course primarily at a campus in Australia.
- Your course meets the course requirements if it:
- Is specified on the VET Student Loans (courses and loan caps) determination (the courses and loan caps determination); and
- Delivered by an approved course provider; and
- Is a qualification for diploma, advanced diploma, graduate certificate or graduate diploma in the Australian Qualifications Framework
- You have been assessed by your approved course provider as academically suited to undertake the approved course by either:
- Providing your Australian Year 12 Certificate; OR
- By providing evidence of successful completion of an Australian Qualifications Framework Certificate IV or higher qualification (where the language of instruction is English); OR
- Displaying competence at Exit Level 3 in the Australian Core Skills Framework in both reading and numeracy through an approved Language, Literacy and Numeracy test.
In addition, your approved provider must reasonably believe you show competence in completing the course.
- You meet the Tax File Number (TFN) requirements.
- You have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) or are otherwise exempt.
- You have read the 2017 VET Student Loans information booklet
- You have given the required documents to your approved course provider and submitted the loan application form by the first census day no less than two business days after enrolling.
You can borrow up to the FEE-HELP limit to pay your tuition fees. For 2017, the FEE-HELP limit is $100,879 for most students. There is no interest charged on HELP debts. For some students, a 20 percent loan fee applies to VET Student Loans for full fee paying/fee for service students.
You must start repaying your HELP debt through the tax system once your income is above the compulsory repayment threshold, even if you are still studying. The threshold is adjusted each year and for the 2016-17 income year it is $54,869 or above.
Want to know more?
Please check the updated information given in the 2017 VET Student Loans information booklet, at this link: