You can choose to pay your student contribution or course fees upfront. If you are eligible you can also request a HELP loan or a VET Student Loan.
Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)
The two main types of HELP loans are:
- HECS-HELP, for eligible Commonwealth supported students to pay their student contribution
- FEE-HELP, for eligible fee-paying students to pay their tuition fees
To be eligible for a HELP loan, Australian citizens must study at least part of their course in Australia.
Permanent visa holders and New Zealand citizens who either do not meet the NZ SCV residency requirements for HELP loans or do not hold Australian citizenship may have access to a Commonwealth supported place, but are not eligible for HELP loans. These students must pay their fees upfront.
If you want to access a HELP loan you will need to provide your Tax File Number to your higher education provider by the census date.
Repaying a HELP loan
If you have a HELP debt you must make compulsory repayments through income tax assessments once your income reaches the minimum repayment threshold. For the 2020-21 income year the threshold is $46,620. For the 2019-20 income year the threshold was $45,881.
The amount of any compulsory repayment you must make depends on your income each year. You can also make voluntary repayments direct to the ATO to reduce your HELP debt.
VET Student Loans
VET Student Loans help students cover tuition fees for VET courses. Loans are available for approved courses at diploma level or above.
Students must meet citizenship/residency requirements and meet student entry requirements to be eligible for a VET Student Loan.
Information about VET Student Loans is available from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.
Unique Student Identifier (USI)
The Unique Student Identifier (USI) is an individual education identifier that stays with you for life.
In 2021, the Australian Government extended the USI to higher education.
Now, all students seeking financial assistance or commencing in a Commonwealth Supported Place must have a USI.
Additionally, all higher education students will need a USI to receive their award in 2023 or beyond. This includes students who started before 2021 and all international onshore students.
Continuing students are encouraged to get their USI as soon as possible.
SATAC may ask you to provide us with your USI. You will also need to include your USI when you apply for a HELP loan.