VET FEE-HELP is only available to current enrolled students who OPT IN to continue using their existing VET FEE-HELP Loan. To learn more about the changes made by the Department of Education and Training you can read the Government's FAQ sheets Click Here
I am a current student, how do I OPT IN?
How do I repay my loan?
You start repaying your VET FEE-HELP loan when your repayment income is above the threshold for the year (Note that the threshold is adjusted each year to reflect any changes in average weekly earnings). The current repayment income threshold for the 2015 - 16 financial year is $54,126. Your repayment income is calculated using the following amounts from your income tax return:
Your taxable income;
Reportable fringe benefits (as reported on the payment summary);
Total net investment loss (which includes net rental losses);
Reportable super contributions; and
Any exempt foreign employment income amounts.
If you have an accumulated HELP debt and earn above the threshold, a compulsory repayment will be included as part of your income tax. You must advise your employer if you have an accumulated HELP debt. Your employer must withhold an additional amount from payments made to you, to cover your compulsory repayment. For more information on repaying your HELP debts, including the latest Repaying Your Help Debt guide visit the Australian Taxation office website: www.ato.gov.au.
Is there any interest on the loan?
There is no interest charged on your VET FEE-HELP debt. However, your debt is indexed annually by the Australian Tax Office to maintain its real value. Any indexation amount does not increase your FEE-HELP balance. While there is no interest, a loan fee of 20%, which is paid to the Government, applies to all students accruing VET FEE-HELP loans. The loan fee does not count towards your FEE-HELP balance.
What is a 'census date' and why is it important for me?
Census date is the last day you can withdraw from a course or unit of study without incurring the VET FEE-HELP debt. If you do not withdraw by the census date you are liable for the VET FEE-HELP debt for that semester period.
Should I withdraw from a unit of study prior to or on my census date, will I incur a debt?
If you withdraw prior to or on your census date you will not be incurring a VET FEE-HELP debt and you will be receiving a refund for any up-front VET payments made on or before those census dates.
What happens if I withdraw after the census date?
If you withdraw from your unit after the census date as per MCI's withdrawal procedure you will have incurred a VET FEE-HELP debt. If after the census date, special circumstances occur and you are unable to continue your studies, you can apply with us to have your FEE-HELP balance re-credited for that unit(s). You should note that there are time limits for applying to have your FEE-HELP balance re-credited due to special circumstances. Please refer to our Re-crediting VET-FEE-HELP Balance Procedure for further details on Policies and Procedures page or the footer of this page.
How do I find out what my FEE-HELP balance is?
You may wish to contact the Australian Tax Office on 13 28 61 to get the balance of your HELP account or to order an information statement. It is important to keep a record of all Commonwealth Assistance Notice which are sent to you by your provider.
What happens to my debt if I die?
Any compulsory repayment included on an income tax notice of assessment relating to the period before the person's death must be paid from the estate, but the remainder of the debt is cancelled. Neither the deceased person's family nor the trustee is required to pay the remainder of the accumulated HELP debt.
Can I claim the course expenses if it is work related and I have used VET FEE-HELP to pay for it?
The VET FEE-HELP information booklet outlines that students may be entitled to a tax deduction for their tuition fees, including fees deferred through VET FEE-HELP assistance.
Should I get independent financial advice about VET FEE-HELP?
You may wish to seek independent financial advice about your VET FEE-HELP loan.
Should you have any more questions about VET FEE-HELP, you may;
1. Call MCI Institute on 1300 333 435
2. Visit the Study Assist Website studyassist.gov.au
3. Read the 2016 VET FEE - HELP Booklet