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HECS-HELP explained

What is HECS-HELP?

Answer ID 114 | Last updated on 02/11/2022 03.44 PM

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

HECS-HELP loans are repaid through the Australian taxation system, and you must provide the University with your Tax File Number (TFN) to use the scheme.

You are eligible for HECS-HELP if you:

  1. Are enrolled in a unit of study by the census date, as a Commonwealth Supported student;
  2. Meet the citizenship and residency requirements:
    a) an Australian citizen (studying at least part of your course in Australia);
    b) the holder of a permanent humanitarian visa who will be resident in Australia for the duration of the unit/s; or
    c) 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 electronic 'Request for a Commonwealth supported place and HECS-HELP loan' form (eCAF) online via studentConnect on or before the census date of the unit and supply your Tax File Number (TFN) and Unique Student Identifier (USI). You can complete the eCAF as part of your online enrolment or by selecting Commonwealth Assistance form in the Finance menu on studentConnect. 

HELP loan limits in 2020
From 1 January 2020, the government introduced limits to how much HECS-HELP you can borrow. The new combined HELP loan limit replaced the FEE-HELP limit and includes FEE-HELP, VET Student Loans, VET FEE-HELP and HECS-HELP. The 'combined HELP loan limit' is a cap, limiting the amount of HELP that you can borrow. Only new HECS-HELP borrowing counts towards your HELP limit. This means that any HECS-HELP loans borrowed before 2020 will not count towards your new HELP limit; however, any FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP or VET Student Loans that counted towards your FEE-HELP limit will count towards your new HELP limit.

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.

More information on HECS-HELP can be found on the Study Assist website.

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