VET Student Loans

This is a new student loans program that replaces the current VET FEE-HELP scheme, to give eligible students access to quality higher level VET qualifications, particularly those students who could not otherwise afford to pay upfront.

Course eligibility for VET Student Loans will be limited to courses that have a high national priority, meet industry needs, contribute to addressing skills shortages and lead to employment outcomes.

Student eligibility

There are specific criteria students must meet to be eligible for a loan through VET Student Loans.
Students must have been assessed as academically suited to undertake the eligible course and their FEE-HELP balance must be greater than zero. Furthermore, a student must be:

  • an Australian citizen; or
  • hold a permanent humanitarian visa and usually reside in Australia; or
  • be a qualifying New Zealand citizen.

VET student loans will not be approved for students who do not meet the eligibility requirements

What students need to know about VET Student Loans?

A range of measures will be implemented from 1 January 2017 that will affect students hoping to access income contingent loans to pay for their course fees.

What is the census day?

The census day is a very important date for you to know about!
The census day for a course, or a part of a course, is the last day you can:

  • complete the eCAF to apply for a VET Student Loan for your course, or
  • withdraw your enrolment without incurring a debt for the course or part of the course.

You need to complete your eCAF before the first census day to obtain your VET Student Loan for the course. Your course will be divided into Fee Periods which are spread evenly through the course. There will be at least three Fee Periods for every course.

Once you have set up your eCAF by the first census date, you will receive your VET Student Loan Fee Notice for the period which is a notification that you have drawn down that part of the cost of the course. Having separate Fee Periods means that you are incurring the debt as you progress through the course, not for the whole course at the beginning. For each subsequent Fee Period, you will receive a VET Student Loan Fee Notice from us before the census date noting that you are about to down the next portion of your loan. In order to avoid being responsible for the fees for that Fee Period, you must withdraw in writing before the relevant census date.

Following each census date, we will provide you with a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) for each study period. Your CAN will include information on

  • the tuition fees for your course,
  • the course for which you have received VET Student Loans,
  • any upfront payments you have made, and
  • any VET Student Loan you have used for that study period.

Census dates for the Fee Periods for each course that is available for a VET Student Loan are detailed in the 2018 VET Student Loan Schedule

Loan caps

Eligible students will be entitled for loans up to a capped amount. Tuition fees for your course may be higher than the loan cap and you will need to pay the difference. You can pay directly or arrange a payment plan to cover the balance of your tuition fees. Other fees may apply to your course including materials fees, student services fees or consumables. These additional charges are not included in your VET Student loan and need to be paid directly by you. They can form part of any payment plan that you enter into for the balance of tuition fees.

Eligible courses

  • Certain Diplomas, Advanced Diplomas, Graduate Certificates and Graduate Diplomas are eligible for VET Student Loans that are linked to industry needs and employment outcomes.
  • If you wish to access a loan to study a higher level VET course you will need to select one of these eligible courses.
  • A list of eligible courses and capped loan amounts can be found here
  • Eligible courses, and the providers approved to deliver them, will also be available on myskills.gov.au - Australia’s directory of training.

Repayment

  • Repaying the loan is required when your income reaches the repayment threshold. The threshold is adjusted each year and for the 2018-2019 income year it is $51,957 or above. Your accumulated HELP debt will continue to be a debt until paid in full. This may reduce your take home pay once you reach the income threshold as deductions will be made to reduce the loan to the government until paid. Further information regarding the threshold can be found at www.studyassist.gov.au

Engagement

You will be required to demonstrate you are progressing throughout your course. From 1 July 2017, you will be required to log in online twice during the year and acknowledge that you accept the loan you will receive for the course. This can be done by completing a survey which will be emailed to you by the Department. If you do not complete the survey, you may be ineligible to continue accessing VET Student Loans to pay for the remainder of your course.

It is important that you notify us of any change of details during your course.

Withdrawal and refund.

You may withdraw from your course by completing the Withdrawal and Refund form and sending it to your teaching department or taking it to a customer service centre.

If you withdraw prior to the census date, you will not incur fees and you will not incur a debt. If you withdraw after the census date, you will be responsible for the fees and will incur the debt for that fee period. Please refer to the Fees Charges and Refund Policy.

Support

If you have any questions, concerns, or require more information regarding any element of VET Student Loans you can contact the Department of Education and Training HELP Student Enquiry line on 1800 020 108 or email VETStudentLoans@education.gov.au

Students wishing to apply must first read the VET Student Loans Information Booklet

For VET Student Loans information please visit the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training website here

VET Student Loan Complaints