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HECS-HELP explained

What is HECS-HELP?

HECS‑HELP is a loan scheme for eligible students enrolled in Commonwealth supported places to pay their student contribution amounts. It cannot be used for additional study costs such as accommodation or text books.

From 1 January 2020, there will be limit to how much HECS-HELP you can borrow. The new 'combined HELP loan limit' will replace the FEE-HELP limit and include FEE-HELP, VET Student Loans, VET FEE-HELP and HECS-HELP. The 'combined HELP loan limit' is a cap, limiting the amount of HELP an individual can borrow. 

Only new HECS-HELP borrowing will count towards a person's HELP limit. This means that any HECS-HELP loans borrowed before 2020 will not count towards the new HELP limit.

However, any FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP or VET Student Loans that counted towards your FEE-HELP limit will count towards the new HELP limit.

For 2019, the combined HELP loan limit will be $104,440 for most students. For students undertaking medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses, the HELP loan limit will be $150,000.

From the 2019-20 income year, you can top up your HELP balance by making repayments on your loan. Repayments starting from the 2019-20 income year will top up a person's HELP balance. Any compulsory or voluntary repayments can be re-borrowed in the future, up to the current HELP loan limit.

HECS-HELP loans are repaid through the taxation system and therefore a condition of using this scheme is that you provide the University of Western Australia with your Tax File Number.

You are eligible for HECS-HELP if you:

  1. Are enrolled in a unit of study as a Commonwealth Supported student
  2. Meet the citizenship and residency requirements:
    a) an Australian citizen
    b) the holder of a permanent humanitarian visa who will be resident in Australia for the duration of the unit/s
    c) be a New Zealand Special Category Visa holder who meets the long-term residency requirements

If you are eligible and wish to access the HECS-HELP loan scheme you must complete and submit an online "Request for Commonwealth Assistance Form" (eCAF) on studentConnect on or before the census date of the unit and supply your tax file number.

More information on HECS-HELP can be found in the "Information for Commonwealth supported students Booklet" available online through the Study Assist website.

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