On January 1 2017, VET Student Loans replaced the VET FEE‑HELP scheme.
The new VET Student Loans program from the Australian Government gives eligible students access to quality higher level VET qualifications.
What is the VET Student Loans program?
The VET Student Loans program is an Australian Government loan program that helps eligible students enrolled in approved courses at approved course providers pay their tuition fees.
If you are an eligible student, the Department of Education and Training (the department) may approve your VET Student Loan for an approved course. The department will pay your loan directly to your approved course provider. You will be responsible for any gap amount in the tuition fees, which are not covered by the loan. You will owe a debt to the Australian Government for the loan, which will be managed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
Your VET Student Loan becomes part of your Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debt and must be paid back at the relevant repayment rate when your repayment income is above the compulsory repayment threshold. The compulsory repayment threshold is adjusted each year.
Are you eligible?
Students must meet specific requirement to be eligible for a loan through VET Student Loans.
Students must be assessed as academically suited to undertake the eligible course and their FEE-HELP balance must be greater than zero.
To receive a VET Student Loan, you must:
- – be an eligible student
- – be studying an approved course
- – be studying with an approved course provider
- – apply to the government using the approved form, and
- – confirm your engagement and progression to continue to access the loan throughout your course.
To be an eligible student, you must meet ALL of these criteria – further detailed below.
- You are:
- – an Australian citizen, or
- – a qualifying New Zealand citizen , or
- – a permanent humanitarian visa holder, who is usually resident in Australia.
- – Your FEE-HELP balance (the amount of your FEE-HELP limit you have left) is more than $0.
- – 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.
- – You have been assessed by your approved course provider as academically suited to undertake the approved course on the basis of either:
- – providing your Australian Year 12 Certificate; OR
- – 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 course 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 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 check your eligibility by visiting www.studyassist.gov.au and entering your details in the eligibility tool.
VET Student Loans are only available for approved courses at the diploma, advanced diploma, graduate certificate and graduate diploma level that are specified on the courses and loan caps determination at www.legislation.gov.au/Series/F2016L02016.
How do I apply for a VET Student Loan?
To apply for a VET Student Loan you must complete the Request for a VET Student Loan eCAF by the census day.
You must first enrol with your provider and indicate you wish to access a VET Student Loan. Your provider will then give the department your enrolment information, including the nearest applicable census day, through the electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) system.
You will then receive an email from the department allowing you to sign into the eCAF system. Once you sign-in, you will need to verify the pre-populated information and complete the mandatory fields. You can then submit the eCAF, which will cause the system to email you a copy of your completed form. You should keep this form for your records.
If you do not complete the eCAF, or other permitted form, by the required date for your course, you will have to wait until the next part of your course /unit, next semester or trimester to request a VET Student Loan for future study. Retrospective access to VET Student Loans is not allowed under any circumstances.
Students under the age of 18
If you are under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian must co-sign the form. However, this is not necessary if you have been assessed by Centrelink as meeting the requirements for receiving the independent rate of Youth Allowance under part 2.11 of the Social Security Act 1991.
You will need to provide evidence of this assessment in the form of your Centrelink Income Statement, which you can request by logging into myGov and selecting your Centrelink online account.
For more information, visit www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/request-document-using-your-centrelink-online-account.
For more information regarding VET Student Loan please read the VET Student Loan Student Information Booklet or you may contact the HELP Student Enquiry line on 1800 020 108 or email VETStudentLoans@education.gov.au
Which courses are eligible?
- * Certain Diplomas, Advanced Diplomas, Graduate Certificates and Graduate Diplomas are eligible for VET Student Loans
- * A list of eligible courses can be found at education.gov.au/vet-student-loans.
- * For a list of eligible courses and the providers approved to deliver go to: myskills.gov.au
Do I have to repay the loan?
YES. You are required to repay the loan when your income reaches the repayment threshold.
The threshold can be found at studyassist.gov.au
Statement of VET Tuition Assurance
Read our Statement of VET Tuition Assurance Policy
If you would like more information you may contact the HELP Student Enquiry line on 1800 020 108 or email VETStudentLoans@education.gov.au