HELP loan schemes: what does it mean?

Do you know your FEE-HELP from your HECS-HELP, and your indexation from your eligibility? You might have heard of the government’s Higher Education Loan Program (HELP), but getting your head around it is another thing altogether. We’ve put together these handy fact sheets to help you make sense of HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP, and everything in between.

Am I eligible?

You must:

  • Be studying in a subsidised enrolment at university – known as a Commonwealth Supported Place.
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent humanitarian visa holder.
  • Enrol with an approved provider, by the census date.

When do I starting paying back my loan?

You’ll start repaying your HELP debt once your taxable income reaches the compulsory repayment threshold. This threshold is adjusted every year.

The threshold for 2016-17 is $54,869.

Disclaimer: This information is correct at the time of publishing, but is subject to change under the current government’s higher education reforms. The figures provided are applicable for the 2016-17 financial year only. For more information, visit StudyAssist [www.studyassist.com.au].

To get started with your HECS-HELP application, or for more information, you can head to the StudyAssist website.

Browse through our range of online courses that are covered by the HELP loan schemes.

Am I eligible?

You must:

  • Be enrolled in an eligible unit of study, offered by an approved FEE-HELP provider, by the census date; AND
  • Be an Australian citizen undertaking one unit of study in Australia; OR
  • Be a permanent humanitarian visa holder, residing in Australia for the duration of your unit; OR
  • Be a permanent visa holder undertaking bridging study for overseas-trained professionals, and residing in Australia for the duration of study.

When do I starting paying back my loan?

You’ll start repaying your HELP debt once your taxable income reaches the compulsory repayment threshold. This threshold is adjusted every year.

The threshold for 2016-17 is $54,869.

How much can I borrow?

In 2016 you can borrow up to $99,389 under the FEE-HELP scheme. For students studying medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses, the FEE-HELP limit is $124,238.

Disclaimer: This information is correct at the time of publishing, but is subject to change under the current government’s higher education reforms. The figures provided are applicable for the 2016-17 financial year only. For more information, visit StudyAssist [www.studyassist.com.au].

To get started with your FEE-HELP application, or for more information, you can head to the StudyAssist website.

Browse through our range of online courses that are covered by the HELP loan schemes.

2016-2017 repayment rates
2016-2017 Repayment ratesRepayment % rate
Below $54,869NIL
$54,869 – $61,1194.0%
$61,120- $67,3684.5%
$67,369 – $70,9095.0%
$70,910 – $76,2225.5%
$76,223 – $82,5506.0%
$82,551 – $86,8946.5%
$86,895 – $95,6267.0%
$95,627 – $101,8997.5%
$101,900 and above8.0%
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