Higher education loan programme (HELP)
If you are:
- an Australian citizen AND will undertake, in Australia, at least one subject contributing to your course; OR
- a holder of an permanent humanitarian visa.
A higher education loan programme (HELP) can help you with particular costs associated with higher education.
There are four HELP programmes:
- HECS-HELP - a scheme that includes a discount for upfront payment and loans to help eligible Commonwealth supported students pay their student tuition fee contributions.
- FEE-HELP - a loan scheme to help pay tuition fees for eligible students who are:
- OS-HELP - a loan available to eligible students who undertake some of their course overseas.
- SA-HELP - a loan scheme that allows students to defer payment of the Student Services and Amenities Fee.
Note for Australian citizens: - Students commencing a course in 2013 will be required to undertake at least one subject within their course, in Australia, to be eligible for a Commonwealth supported place (CSP) and /or any HELP scheme.
Australian citizens will be required to make declaration when they fill out their commonwealth assistance form (CAF), that they will undertake some of their course study in Australia, in order to be eligible to access HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP or SA-HELP.
The HELP loans let you defer your debt to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
Your debt is indexed to the consumer price index (CPI).
Repayments for all HELP loans are contingent on income. Once your income reaches the repayment thresholds you must make compulsory repayments towards your HELP debt.
In the 2012-13 income year you will be required make repayments towards your HELP debts if your income reaches $49,096.
For more information about making voluntary payments directly to the ATO, and any discounts that may apply, please visit the ATO website
Permanent humanitarian visa holder: A student who holds a permanent visa of a humanitarian sub-class as determined by Commonwealth Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).