FEE-HELP is a student loan scheme that is funded by the Commonwealth Government to assist eligible students pay their course fees for higher education courses.

You will need to pay a fee of 25% of the total loan amount for all undergraduate courses.



FEE-HELP limit

There is a limit set on the amount you can borrow in student loans (either VET FEE-HELP or FEE-HELP) over your lifetime. It is referred to as the FEE-HELP limit and is revised every year. The FEE-HELP limit refers only to the amount of the loan and does not include fees.

For 2016, the FEE-HELP limit is $124,238 for medicine, dentistry and veterinary science students (as defined in HESA) and $99,389 for all other students.

How to apply for FEE-HELP

You can seek independent financial advice before applying for a VET FEE-HELP loan. As with any loan contract, VET FEE-HELP loans may affect your credit rating.

To be eligible for FEE-HELP you must:

  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent humanitarian visa holder who will be a resident in Australia for the duration of the unit of study in which you are seeking FEE-HELP assistance
  • Be a full fee-paying student
  • Provide a tax file number
  • Provide a Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN) or be allocated one
  • Have not exceeded your FEE-HELP limit.

Before you apply, you should first check that your course is a FEE-HELP eligible course. Then read the FEE-HELP Information Booklet to understand:

  • The application process
  • Your obligations and
  • Your rights.

To apply for FEE-HELP assistance, you will then need to:

  • Contact the Sydney TAFE Customer Service Office at your college
  • Present originals of requested documentation to confirm your eligibility, and
  • Supply your tax file number for the purposes of repaying your FEE-HELP debt.

Rights and responsibilities as a FEE-HELP student

If you are considering applying for FEE-HELP assistance, you must read the FEE-HELP Information Booklet to ensure that you are aware of your obligations under FEE-HELP. For further information please view the Higher Education Tuition Fees, Payments, FEE-HELP, Refund and Review Policy.

Repaying your FEE-HELP loan

The FEE-HELP loan is repaid through the Australian taxation system.

You will not have to start repaying your FEE-HELP loan until you start earning an annual income that exceeds the compulsory repayment threshold (which is adjusted each year) - even if you are still studying. For the 2015–16 income year, the threshold is $54,126.

You can find out the outstanding balance of your FEE-HELP debt by calling the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on 13 28 61. You will need to have your tax file number (TFN) handy when you call.

Further information regarding repayments and the minimum income threshold can be found on the Study Assist website.

Withdrawing from a course

You may withdraw from a course or unit of study at any time.

Depending on when you withdraw you may be entitled to a refund of any up-front payment that you have made, or re-credit of your FEE-HELP balance if you have taken out a FEE-HELP loan. See the following resources for further details:

If you apply to have the FEE-HELP balance re-credited and it is declined, you have the right to apply for a review of a decision not to re-credit. Procedures for requesting a review are outlined in the Application to Review a Decision form.

For further information please view the Higher Education Tuition Fees, Payments, FEE-HELP, Refund and Review Policy.


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