VET Student Loans from 1 January 2017

The Commonwealth government has announced a re-design of the current VET FEE-HELP loan scheme from 1 January 2017. The new VET Student Loans program replaced the existing scheme from 1 January 2017.

Course eligibility for VET Student Loans is limited to courses that have a high national priority, meet industry needs, contribute to addressing skills shortages and lead to employment outcomes.

Further information is available from the VET Student Loans page.


VET FEE-HELP is a student loan scheme funded by the Commonwealth Government to assist eligible students pay their course fees for all Diploma and above level courses.

VET FEE-HELP provided students with the option of:

  • Paying fees upfront
  • Deferring all tuition fees; or
  • Paying some tuition fees upfront and deferring the balance

VET FEE-HELP loans were not subject to income or assets tests.

There was a loan fee of 20% for fee-for-service VET FEE-HELP loans. There was no loan fee for Smart and Skilled VET FEE-HELP loans.




There is a limit set on the amount that can be borrowed in student loans (either VET FEE-HELP or FEE-HELP) over a 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 was $99,389.

Rights and responsibilities as a VET FEE-HELP student

The VET FEE-HELP information booklet outlines student obligations under VET FEE-HELP. For further information please view the TAFE NSW – VET FEE-HELP Policy.

TAFE NSW provides fair treatment and ensures equal benefits and opportunities for all students whether they are entitled to VET FEE-HELP assistance or not.

Repaying your VET FEE-HELP loan

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

You will not have to start repaying your VET 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 2016-17 income year, the threshold is $54,869.

You can find out the outstanding balance of your VET 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 VET FEE-HELP loan.

See the following resources for further details:

For Further information please view the Sydney TAFE Refund Policy. 

Legal information about VET FEE-HELP

Sydney TAFE partners with other education institutions to deliver and assess selected courses with VET FEE-HELP loans available to students. They are/were:

  • Schofields Flying Club Limited (period 1 July 2017 until 31 December 2019)
  • FC11 Pty Ltd (period 26 May 2015 to 1 December 2016)
  • Upskilled Pty Ltd (period 1 July 2015 to 31 December 2016)
  • Sutherland Shire Council (period 20 April 2016 to 31 December 2016)

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