Want to go to university, but you’re worried about the costs?

Don’t let that get in your way. With HECS-HELP, you can study for the career you want now and pay for it later.

In fact, you only need to start paying back your loan once you’re earning a professional salary. It’s a great investment in your own future.

Here’s what you need to know.

What is HECS-HELP?

HECS-HELP is a loan that helps domestic students pay for university. Through this scheme, the Australian Government pays your tuition fees directly to us.

Who can get a HECS-HELP loan?

To get a HECS-HELP loan, you need to be an Australian citizen and meet the residency requirements. This means you need to study at least part of your course in Australia.  

You can also get HECS-HELP if you have a New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) or permanent humanitarian visa.

You can only get a HECS-HELP loan if you’re enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place (CSP). Learn more about that below. 

What is a Commonwealth Supported Place?

A Commonwealth supported place (CSP) means that the government pays part of your fees. This is not a loan, and you don't have to pay these fees back.

If you're enrolled in a CSP, you still have to pay some of your fees. But you can get a HECS-HELP loan to defer them.

If you aren't in a CSP, that means you’re enrolled in a Fee Paying Place. Instead of HECS-HELP, you can apply for a FEE-HELP loan. Learn more about that at Study Assist - FEE-HELP. 

When do I start paying back my loan?

You don’t need to pay back your loan until your taxable income reaches a certain amount. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will calculate your repayments based on your income.

The amount you need to earn changes each year. You can learn more ATO repayments

What does HECS-HELP cover?

A HECS-HELP loan pays for your student contribution fees. It does not cover costs like accommodation, laptops or text books.

How do I apply?

To apply for HECS-HELP, you need to submit an application before the census date. This application is called a Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form. You can find this in your eStudent portal. 

You’ll also need a Tax File Number (TFN). If you don’t have one, don’t worry. Getting a TFN is quick and simple.

How much can I borrow?

For 2020, the HELP loan limit is $106,319 for most students (for those studying medicine the limit is $152,700).

For 2021, the HELP loan limit will be $108,232. If you plan to study medicine the HELP loan limit will be $155,448.

Once you begin using your HELP loan limit, the amount you have left to borrow is known as your 'HELP balance'.

Your HELP balance is renewable. You can check your balance at any time at myHELPbalance.

To check your balance, you need to know your Commonwealth Higher Education StudentSupport Number (CHESSN). This is a unique identifying number that will be supplied to you. 

Need help?

If you’re confused about HECS, or need help applying, please contact our friendly team.