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VET Student Loans

As of 1 January 2017, VET Student Loans have been implemented.

This is a new student loan program that replaces the current VET FEE-HELP scheme, to provide eligible students access to quality higher-level VET qualifications, particularly those students who could not otherwise afford to pay upfront.

Continuing VET FEE-HELP Students:

Students currently financing their studies through a VET FEE-HELP loan will not be automatically transferred to the new VET Student Loans program and will need to OPT-IN with the Department, before the first census date for the course of study, to continue to access VET FEE-HELP for their continuing 2017 studies.

Read the documents below for additional information

Please head to http://www.education.gov.au/vet-student-loans for further information.

If you have any concerns please contact your VET Loan Coordinator in the following campuses:

Bunbury Campus: vetfeehelp@srtafe.wa.edu.au or (08) 9780 7387.

Albany Campus: Jan Auld: jan.auld@srtafe.wa.edu.au or (08) 9892 8746.

What are VET Student Loans?

South Regional TAFE is an authorised VET provider and we are able to offer VET Student Loans for approved courses as listed on the approved course list by the Department. For a full list of approved courses please go to the Department’s website as listed above.

VET Student Loan is:

  • a Federal Government loan scheme;
  • available to assist eligible students studying higher level vocational education and training (VET) qualifications to pay their tuition fees;
  • can be used to pay all or part of an eligible student's tuition fees; and
  • cannot be used for additional study costs such as accommodation, text books or incidental fees.

A 20 per cent loan fee is applied to VET FEE Help loans for fee paying/fee for service  (Commercial) students.

For further information please go to the Study Assist Website  or the Federal Government's VET Student Loans Enquiries page.

Eligibility Information:

Am I eligible?

To get a VET Student Loan, you must:

  • be an eligible student
  • be studying an approved course
  • be studying with an approved course provider
  • apply to the government using the approved form, and
  • confirm your engagement and progression to continue to access the loan throughout your course.

You must meet ALL of these criteria – further detailed below.

You are:

  • an Australian citizen, or
  • a New Zealand Citizen who meets the visa requirements (please ask Administration for further clarification), or
  • a permanent humanitarian visa holder.
  • You have not exceeded the FEE-HELP limit.
  • You are enrolled with an approved course provider in an approved course and have enrolled in accordance with the application requirements.
  • You are studying the approved course primarily at a campus in Australia.
  • Your course meets the course requirements, if it:
  •  is specified on the VET Student Loans (courses and loan caps) determination (the courses and loan caps determination); and
  • delivered by an approved course provider; and
  • is a qualification of diploma, advanced diploma, graduate certificate or graduate diploma in the Australian Qualifications Framework.
  • You have been assessed by your approved course provider as academically suited to undertake the approved course by either:
  • providing your WACE (Western Australian Certificate of Education) or State equivalent.
    • If you are unable to provide a WACE Certificate but have completed Year 12, please follow this link to the School Curriculum and Standards Authority website where you can purchase a copy of your WACE or equivalent. http://www.scsa.wa.edu.au/forms; OR
  • providing evidence of successful completion of an Australian Qualifications Framework Certificate IV or higher qualification (where the language of instruction is English); OR
  • displaying competence at Exit Level 3 in the Australian Core Skills Framework in both reading and numeracy through an approved Language, Literacy and Numeracy test.
  • In addition, your approved provider must reasonably believe you show competence in completing the course.
  • You meet the Tax File Number (TFN) requirements.
  • You have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) or are otherwise exempt.
  • You have read the 2017 VET Student Loans information booklet
  • You have given the required documents to your approved course provider and submitted the loan application form by the first census day no less than two business days after enrolling.

What is involved in applying for a VET Student Loan?

To apply for a VET Student Loan you must complete the Request for a VET Student Loan eCAF by the census day.  This is an electronic form directly managed by the Department.

You must first enrol with your provider and indicate you wish to access a VET Student Loan. Your provider will then give the Department your enrolment information, including the nearest applicable census day, through the eCAF system.

You will then receive an email from the Department allowing you to sign into the eCAF system. Once you sign-in, you will need to verify the pre-populated information and complete the mandatory fields. You can then submit the eCAF, which will cause the system to email you a copy of your completed form. You must give this form to your provider.

In exceptional circumstances, you may be permitted to use a paper loan request form or other electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form developed by your provider. Your provider will advise you how to apply using these forms.

If you do not complete the eCAF, or other permitted form, by the required date for your course, you will have to wait until the next study period (e.g. next semester or trimester) to request a VET Student Loan for future study. Retrospective access to VET Student Loans is not allowed under any circumstances.

Students under the age of 18

If you are under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian must co-sign the form. However, this is not necessary if you have been assessed by Centrelink as meeting the requirements for receiving the independent rate of Youth Allowance under part 2.11 of the Social Security Act 1991.

You will need to provide evidence of this assessment in the form of your Centrelink Income Statement, which you can request by logging into myGov and selecting your Centrelink online account. For more information, visit https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/request-document-usin....

How much can you borrow?

You can borrow up to the FEE-HELP limit to pay your tuition fees. The FEE-HELP limit is the total amount available to you under VET Student Loans, VET FEE-HELP and FEE-HELP over your lifetime. Any amount you borrow under VET Student Loans, VET FEE-HELP or FEE-HELP will be added together until you reach the FEE-HELP limit.

For 2017, the FEE-HELP limit is $100,879 for most students

There is no interest charged on HELP debts. Your HELP debt is, however, indexed each year. It increases annually on 1 June to maintain its real value, adjusting in line with changes in the cost of living (as measured by the Consumer Price Index figure released each March).

Debts are not indexed until they are 11 months old. You can find current and past indexation rates on the ATO website

Repaying your loan

Your VET Student Loans debt forms part of your accumulated HELP debt. You must start repaying your HELP debt through the tax system once your income is above the compulsory repayment threshold, even if you are still studying.

The threshold is adjusted each year and for the 2016–17 income year it is $54,869 or above. Repayments made through the Australian taxation system are called ‘compulsory repayments’ and continue until you have repaid your whole debt.

How much you must pay back is calculated from the amounts given on your income tax return for:

  • your taxable income,
  • reportable fringe benefits (reported on your payment summary),
  • total net investment loss (including net rental loss),
  • reportable super contributions, and
  • exempt foreign employment income amounts.

From 1 July 2017, anyone who has a HELP debt, and earns above the minimum repayment threshold, will be required to repay their debt regardless of where they live, whether in Australia or overseas. Visit www.studyassist.gov.au for more information.

If you move overseas and have a HELP debt you have the same repayment obligations as those living in Australia. This applies if you already live or intend to move overseas for a total of 183 days or more in any 12 month period.

You will be required to notify the ATO by updating your contact details through ATO online services within seven days of leaving Australia. Visit www.ato.gov.au/overseasobligations or www.studyassist.gov.au for more information.

Tax File Number confidentiality

As an authorised VET provider under the Act we are required to collect your Tax File Number (TFN). If you want to use a VET Student Loan to pay for your study, you must submit your valid Tax File Number even if you do not have a job. This is because repayments on your VET Student Loan debt are made through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) system.

The law prohibits:

  • the disclosure of student Tax File Numbers;
  • VET provider use of Tax File Numbers for any purpose other than processing a HELP debt;
  • use of Tax File Numbers as a means of identifying students;
  • any unauthorised request for a student to provide a Tax File Number; and
  • Any unauthorised recording of a Tax File Number.

What to expect after applying for a VET Student Loan?

Once you have submitted your application form, along with all of the required documentation as outlined above, you will receive your copy of the 'Request for VET STUDENT LOAN Form' and confirmation that your application has been approved.

During the course of the year you will be provided with the following notices:

  • An Invoice Notice will be sent out 14 days prior to each census date to notify you of what units are due to pass census date and be applied to your loan.
  • You will also be provided with a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN). We will provide students the Commonwealth Assistance Notice within 28 days of the each census date.
  • Please check all of the details on your Invoice Notice & Commonwealth Assistance Notice carefully and notify South Regional TAFE in writing – email or phone within 14 days if the information is incorrect.

South Regional TAFE Policies


Page last updated March 08, 2018