What is VET FEE-HELP?
VET FEE-HELP is a Commonwealth Government
loan scheme for the vocational education and training (VET) sector and is
part of the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP).
program, eligible students
studying in approved high level qualifications at TAFE NSW may defer their
tuition fees through a student loan.
is repaid through the Australian taxation system when you reach the minimum
income threshold for repayment. It is not subject to income or assets tests.
There is a loan fee of 20% for full fee-paying students which compares
favourably to commercial loan arrangements.
students in NSW Government subsidised, (Smart and Skilled) training places in
Diploma, Advanced Diploma and selected Certificate courses can also access a
loan to pay for their TAFE NSW fees. No loan fee applies for subsidised
VET FEE-HELP allows you to study now and pay
later – after you get the new job
Am I eligible?
eligible, you must be either an Australian citizen or the holder of an
eligible permanent humanitarian visa. You must also provide a tax file
January 2016, New Zealand citizens on a Special Category Visa (SCV subclass
444) who grew up here may be also eligible for a loan. See information FAQ
14. Holders of other permanent visas
and temporary visas are NOT eligible for VET FEE-HELP assistance.
What is academic suitability?
It is now
legislation that all students wishing to apply for a Commonwealth VET
FEE-HELP loan must be assessed for academic suitability to undertake a high
level VET qualification. This academic
assessment is in addition to any other entry requirements that may be
required for your course or any other additional selection criteria of the
course. Refer to the VET
FEE-HELP Student Entry Procedure.
- provide a copy of their senior secondary certificate of
education that has been awarded by an Australian authority or
agency. NO other qualification
meets this requirement.
- undertake an approved literacy and numeracy assessment and
display competence at Exit Level 3 or above in reading and numeracy.
Your college will advise you how you can undertake this test.
Which qualificiations are eligible for VET FEE-HELP?
For full fee-paying students:
Graduate Certificates and Graduate Diplomas, Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas
are eligible for VET FEE-HELP.
For students in NSW government
subsidised training places:
FEE-HELP loans are available for Diploma and Advanced Diploma.
How am I charged?
FEE-HELP courses are offered and charged by Units of Study. Your course will
have a minimum of three Units of Study spread across the course duration.
Each Unit of Study has a census date, set at no less than 20% of the way into
the Unit of Study. You will be sent a VET
FEE-HELP Invoice Notice 14 days before each census date, setting out your
fees and census dates. Your debt is incurred on the day after the census
date. After a census date has passed, TAFE NSW will also send you a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN)
for that unit. The CAN will provide you with information on your VET FEE-HELP
debt for that unit, including the loan fee if applicable. If you believe your
CAN is incorrect, you should contact your college immediately.
How do I apply?
If you are
eligible and wish to apply for a loan, it is a Commonwealth requirement that
you wait at least two business days after enrolling before you can apply. You
must first also read the Commonwealth VET
FEE-HELP Information booklet which is available
from your college or online from the Study Assist website
(www.studyassist.gov.au). The Request for a VET FEE-HELP loan
form is available online or from your college.
When do I repay my debt?
repaying your accumulated HELP debt through the tax system when your income
is above the minimum repayment
threshold. Repayment thresholds are adjusted each year to reflect changes
in average weekly earnings. The minimum repayment income threshold for
2016-17 is $54,869.
For more information see Chapter 5 of the VET
FEE-HELP Information booklet.
Is there a limit to how much I can borrow?
2016, the FEE-HELP limit is $99,389 except for students whose study includes
medicine, dentistry and veterinary science (that lead to initial registration
as practitioners in those fields) where the limit is $124,238.
FEE-HELP limit is the total amount available to you under both FEE-HELP (in
Higher Education) and VET FEE-HELP and is indexed each year, in line with the
Consumer Price Index (CPI), but otherwise is interest free.
See Chapter 1 of the VET
FEE-HELP Information booklet.
Will taking out a loan impact my credit rating?
Yes – A VET
FEE-HELP loan is a personal debt obligation that can affect your credit
rating and have wage and tax repayment implications. You should
consult a financial advisor before applying for a VET FEE-HELP loan.
Is there an age limit for applying for VET FEE-HELP?
no age restrictions around VET FEE-HELP, though the intent is that your study
will have a vocational outcome. That is, it will enable you to get a job or
support your career progression.
students who are under 18 years old, a loan request must be co-signed by a
parent or guardian. Your parent or guardian will not be responsible for
making loan repayments and it will not affect their credit rating. You will
be required to make the relevant repayments once your income reaches the
minimum payment threshold.
What is a CHESSN?
A CHESSN is a Commonwealth Higher Education Student
Support Number which is allocated to all students when they first access
Commonwealth Assistance. Your student loans are recorded against your CHESSN.
You must always use the same CHESSN whenever you study under a Commonwealth
loan. If you already have a CHESSN, please supply that number. Otherwise,
TAFE NSW will provide you with one.
How do I find out what my total FEE-HELP debt it?
Log in to myUniAssist
on the Study Assist website www.studyassist.gov.au. You will
need your Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN).
What are New Zealand Citizen Eligibility criteria?
Australian Government has passed legislation to provide Higher Education Loan
Programme (HELP) loans to New Zealand citizens who are Special Category Visa
(SCV) holders and meet the requisite criteria.
a New Zealand citizen, or holding a Special Category Visa, won't
automatically entitle you to a HELP loan – you must meet all of the required
eligibility criteria under this category and have:
- first began living in Australia at least 10 years before applying for a loan, and at that time, was a child under 18 years of age and did not have a spouse or de-facto partner; and
- have been in Australia for at least eight of the 10 years
immediately prior to applying and at least 18 months of the last two
Ask at your
college for more information or a form to apply.
Can I access VET FEE-HELP for two courses at the same
you have sufficient FEE-HELP balance and are otherwise eligible. You need to submit a separate Request for a VET FEE-HELP loanform for each course.
What if I study part time or online?
FEE-HELP is available for part-time and online, as well as full-time study.
Am I eligible for a fee reduction for Credit
Transfer or RPL for previous studies?
If you are
a fee-for-service student who has
completed previous studies, discuss these with a teacher before you enrol, as
you could be eligible for reduced fees. This is the only circumstance where
an individual fee-for-service student may be entitled to reduced fees.
Smart and Skilled program, students in
government subsidised training places are eligible for a fee reduction
for units of competency for which they have credit or RPL. Please apply early
in your course.
I'm receiving Centrelink benefits. Does this affect the amount of VET FEE-HELP
assistance I can access?
benefits do not affect your eligibility or the amount of VET FEE-HELP
assistance you can access.
What if I want to withdraw from my study?
You must withdraw in writing by completing theVET
FEE-HELP Withdrawalform—it is available from the TAFE
NSW website or from your college. The loan amount you incur will depend on
the timing of your withdrawal. There are no penalties if you withdraw on or
before the census date. However, once
a census date has passed, the loan amount for the Unit of Study is incurred.
special circumstances, you may apply to have your debt reversed. For
more information see Chapter 4
of the VET
FEE-HELP Information booklet.
What happens to my HELP debt if I move overseas?
has been passed to require HELP debtors who move overseas to make compulsory
HELP repayments. This will begin from 1 July 2017, but will apply to all
existing HELP debts.
Where can I find more information about VET FEE-HELP
in TAFE NSW?
Ask at your
local college Customer Service Office or go to the TAFE NSW website at www.tafensw.edu.au and click on the
VET FEE-HELP link. For general information on VET FEE-HELP, visit the
Commonwealth Government Study Assist website at www.studyassist.gov.au.