VET Student Loans

Find out if you're eligible for a VET Student Loan.

Department of Education and Training’s VSL web page

Eight important points you must read!

1   Your VET Student Loan becomes part of your Higher Education Loan Progam (HELP) debt and must be paid back at the relevant repayment rate when your repayment income is above the compulsory repayment threshold. The compulsory repayment threshold is adjusted each year and is $51,957 for the 2018-19 income year.

2   At least twice each calendar year for the duration of your course, you are required to confirm your continued engagement in your course of study. Your approved provider will manage this engagement and progression activity using the Department of Education and Training’s electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) system. Your ongoing access to a VET Student Loan is dependent upon you demonstrating that you are still engaged in and progressing through your course.

3   You will incur your liability to pay tuition fees for each part of your course on the census day for that part of your course.

4   If you do not wish to incur a liability for that part of the course you must withdraw your enrolment in that part of the course, before the census day. You must withdraw in writing and in line with your approved course provider’s withdrawal procedure.

5   Full fee paying/fee for service students will incur a 20 per cent loan fee on their VET Student Loan. Students enrolled in a diploma and advanced diploma level course whose enrolment is subsidised by a state or territory government do not incur a loan fee.

6   You must meet the eligibility criteria to be eligible for a VET Student Loan. You will need to supply information to your provider to prove that you meet the eligibility criteria.

7   The amount of a VET Student Loan for a course is capped. The loan may not be sufficient to cover all the tuition fees for a course. Your education provider must send you a written notice of the amount of your course tuition fees covered by the loan and any gap fees required to be paid by you. The information must be sent to you by the first census day for your course. You are responsible for paying the gap fee as you progress through your course.

8   Information about tuition fees covered by the VET Student Loans program, any other fees payable for the course, and information on how to withdraw before the census day without incurring fees, will be provided to you by your provider prior to your enrolment.

What is the VET Student Loans program?

The VET Student Loans program is an Australian Government loan program that helps eligible students enrolled in approved courses at diploma level or above, at approved course providers pay their tuition fees. The loan has income-contingent repayment arrangements, which means you only need to make repayments if you are earning above the minimum repayment threshold. You can make voluntary repayments at any time.

If you are an eligible student, the Department of Education and Training (the department) may approve your VET Student Loan for an approved course. The department will pay your loan directly to your approved course provider. You will be responsible for any gap amount in the tuition fees, which are not covered by the loan. You will owe a debt to the Australian Government for the loan, which will be managed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Am I eligible?

To receive a VET Student Loan, you must:

1.    be an eligible student

2.    be studying an approved course

3.    be studying with an approved course provider

4.    apply to the government using the approved form, which will be managed through your provider

5.    confirm your engagement and progression to continue to access the loan throughout your course.

To be an eligible student, you must meet ALL of these criteria – further detailed below.

You are:

- an Australian citizen, or

- a qualifying New Zealand citizen1, or

- a permanent humanitarian visa holder, who is usually resident in Australia.

  • Your FEE-HELP balance (the amount of your FEE-HELP limit you have left) is more than $0. This means you have enough FEE-HELP limit remaining for your proposed studies to be covered by the loan.
  • 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.

1 A qualifying New Zealand citizen is a New Zealand citizen who meets all of the following:

  • holds a special visa category, such as the New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV);
  • has been usually resident in Australia for at least 10 years;
  • was a dependent child when he or she was first usually resident in Australia;
  • has been in Australia for periods totalling 8 years during the previous 10 years; and
  • has been in Australia for periods totalling 18 months during the previous 2 years.
  • You have been assessed by your approved course provider as academically suited to undertake the approved course on the basis of either:

- providing your Australian Year 12 Certificate; 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 course 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 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.

To be an approved course, your course must:

- be specified on the VET Student Loans (Courses and Loan Caps) Determination 2016 (the courses and loan caps determination): and

- for state-government subsidised students, lead to a qualification of diploma or advanced diploma in the Australian Qualifications Framework

- for full fee-paying / fee for service students, lead to a qualification of diploma, advanced diploma, graduate certificate or graduate diploma in the Australian Qualifications Framework; and

  • be provided by an approved course provider; and
  • be delivered by an approved course provider or an entity registered with TEQSA or a body approved by the department to deliver the course.