Explore your fees and payment options. Learn about the VET Student Loan program and check your eligibility.
From 1 January 2017, the Commonwealth VET Student Loans program will replace the existing VET FEE-HELP loan program.
This Commonwealth Government program allows you to access loans for courses that:
The program also features loan caps for course loans. This means if your fees are above the loan cap, you will need to pay the difference. Most TAFE NSW students will not be affected by loan caps, but if you are, you will be advised of this during your enrolment.
You can continue to study under your VET FEE-HELP loan if you're an existing student and you'll finish your course before the end of 2017. If you're not going to finish in 2017, your college will contact you to discuss your options.
For all continuing VET FEE-HELP students, the Commonwealth Government has a new "opt in" process:
The deadline to opt in is 31 March 2017. If you don't opt-in by then, you won't be eligible for a loan for any fees after 31 December 2016 and you'll need to pay your fees yourself. If you're having difficulties opting-in or haven't received an email or letter, you need to contact the Commonwealth opt-in website at www.education.gov.au/vet-student-loans/vet-fee-help-opt-in.
For more information please contact your campus/college or refer to the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training website.
The VET Student Loan program allows eligible students to repay their tuition loan fees for approved diplomas or advanced diplomas.
You can either:
Your loan is repaid through the Australian tax system when you reach the minimum income threshold for repayment. The minimum income threshold for repayment is set by the Commonwealth each year and is published on Study Assist in the 2017 VET Student Loans information booklet. There is a loan fee of 20% for full fee-paying students. There is no loan fee for eligible students in some NSW Government subsidised (Smart and Skilled) training places.
You must be aware that your loan remains a personal debt until it is repaid, and it may reduce your take-home (after tax) wage and your borrowing capacity. You may wish to seek independent financial advice before applying.
For more information about the fees for Government subsidised training places, please visit Smart and Skilled - Prices, fees and subsidies in 2017. Centrelink benefits do not affect your eligibility or the loan amount you can access. Fee concessions are not available for Diploma and above courses. However, fee exemptions may be available for eligible students in a Smart and Skilled place. Please contact your campus/college for further information or refer to fees information.
To be eligible, you must either:
* HOLDERS OF OTHER PERMANENT VISAS AND TEMPORARY VISAS ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR A VET STUDENT LOAN
You must also:
WHAT IS A UNIQUE STUDENT IDENTIFIER (USI)?
The Commonwealth requires all students studying in a nationally recognised training course to have a USI. If you already have one, please ensure you use this same USI whenever you enrol for any training. If you don't have a USI, go to www.usi.gov.au to register before you apply to enrol, or you can apply as part of your enrolment.
WHAT IS A COMMONWEALTH HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENT SUPPORT NUMBER (CHESSN)?
A CHESSN is allocated to all students when they first access a Commonwealth loan. Any Commonwealth student loan you take is recorded against your CHESSN. If you already have a CHESSN, please supply that number.
NEW ZEALAND CITIZENS
The residency requirements for New Zealand citizens on a Special Category Visa are:
You will need to provide evidence of your eligibility to TAFE NSW before requesting a VET Student Loan.
VET Student Loans are available for full-time, part-time and online study.
Click here (PDF, 300Kb) to view the TAFE NSW VET Student Loan Approved Course List. Your TAFE NSW college can also provide you with a list of available courses.
If course prices are above the maximum loan a student may borrow, other payment arrangements are available. You will be advised of these when you enquire.
VET Student Loan Tuition Fees are published as required under the VET Student Loans Act 2016 and are regularly updated.
A VET Student Loan is an agreement between you and the Commonwealth Government.
To apply for a VET Student loan:
As with any loan you take, you must understand the terms and conditions before you make a commitment. You must read the VET Student Loan information available on StudyAssist, the Commonwealth Department of Education website for students and consider seeking independent financial advice.
During your study, you may be contacted again by the Commonwealth to confirm that you wish to continue to use your VET Student Loan to pay your tuition fees for the course. It is important that you advise TAFE NSW if any of your personal or contact details change during your study.
There are no age restrictions to apply for a VET Student Loan. For students who are under 18, you must complete one of the following requirements:
Your parent or guardian will not be responsible for making loan repayments and it will not affect their credit rating.
All students wishing to apply for a Commonwealth VET Student Loan must be assessed for academic suitability to undertake a high level VET qualification. This is aimed at ensuring you have the skills and knowledge to succeed in your course.
Academic assessment is in addition to any other entry requirements for your course, or any other additional selection criteria. Refer to the VET Student Loans Student Entry Procedure on the TAFE NSW website.
To be assessed as academically suitable, you must either:
If you have completed previous studies, you could be eligible for reduced fees. You should let TAFE NSW know as soon as possible if you have experience in the area you are studying and think you may qualify for RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning). You can also discuss this with your teacher before you enrol.
Fees for courses eligible for VET Student Loans are charged by Units of Study. Your course will have a least three Units of Study and your payments will be spread across the duration of your course. Each Unit of Study has a census day, set at no less than 20% into the Unit of Study.
You will be sent an Invoice Notice 14 days before each census day, indicating your fees and census dates. Your debt is incurred on the day after the census day. After a census day has passed, TAFE NSW will also send you a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) for that Unit of Study. The CAN will provide you with information about your debt, including the loan fee if applicable. If you believe your CAN is incorrect, you should contact your college immediately.
For a few courses, there may be a gap between the course fee and the loan cap that the Commonwealth will allow for your course. You will be advised of this when you enquire, and also about other payment options that may be available.
LIFETIME LOAN LIMIT
The lifetime loan limit is the total amount you can incur in your lifetime under any Commonwealth student loan scheme – whether it is Higher Education FEE-HELP, VET Student Loans or a VET Student Loan. It is indexed each year, in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI). In 2017, the lifetime loan limit is $100,879 for most students. Students can view their loan obligations by logging into myUniAssist on the Study Assist website. You will need your Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN) to log in.
You repay your loan through the tax system when your income is above the minimum repayment threshold. Repayment thresholds are adjusted each year to reflect changes in average weekly earnings. The minimum repayment income threshold for 2016-17 is $54,869.
A VET Student Loan is a personal debt obligation that can affect your credit rating and have wage and tax repayment implications.
From 1 July 2017, all existing and future debtors from any Commonwealth student loan program who move overseas must make compulsory HELP repayments. If you are living overseas and earning an income that exceeds the minimum repayment threshold, you will be required to make compulsory repayments towards your debt. Please refer to the ATO website for more information.
For a summary of the important information you need to know, read or download the VET Student Loans – Frequently asked questions factsheet. Or go to the Commonwealth Study Assist website.
If you are considering applying for a VET Student Loan, you should familiarise yourself with your obligations by reading the VET Student Loan information booklet.
Further information is available at: