VET Student Loans from 1st January 2017

The Commonwealth government has announced a re-design of the current VET FEE-HELP loan scheme from 1 January 2017 (subject to the passing of legislation). The new VET Student Loans program will replace the existing scheme from 1 January 2017.

Course eligibility for VET Student Loans is limited to courses that have a high national priority, meet industry needs, contribute to addressing skills shortages and lead to employment outcomes. Further information and the eligible VET Student Loans course list are available from the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training website: http://education.gov.au/vet-student-loans

 

Student eligibility

There are specific criteria students must meet to be eligible for a loan through VET Student Loans.

Students must have been assessed as academically suited to undertake the eligible course and their FEE-HELP balance must be greater than zero. Furthermore, a student must be:

  • an Australian citizen; or
  • hold a permanent humanitarian visa and usually reside in Australia; or
  • be a qualifying New Zealand citizen.

 

What do students need to know?

A range of measures will be implemented from 1 January 2017 that will affect students hoping to access income contingent loans to pay for their course fees. 

Loan caps

  • Eligible students will be entitled for loans up to a capped amount.
  • Providers may charge above this cap for a course, and if so, students will be expected to pay for the difference according to the provider’s billing period.

Eligible courses

  • Certain Diplomas, Advanced Diplomas, Graduate Certificates and Graduate Diplomas are eligible for VET Student Loans that are linked to industry needs and employment outcomes.
  • If you wish to access a loan to study a higher level VET course you will need to select one of these eligible courses.
  • A list of eligible courses can be found at www.education.gov.au/vet-student-loans. 

Providers

  • All private providers are required to apply to deliver courses under VET Student Loans.
  • Existing VET FEE-HELP providers may be given provisional approval to deliver courses while applications are assessed.
  • If you select a provider that does not receive official approval, you can only access  VET Student Loans until 30 June 2017.
  • Should your provider not receive approval to engage in the VET Student Loans program past 30 June 2017, you will have the option of transferring to an approved provider that offers your course.             

Repayment

  • Repaying the loan is required when your income reaches the repayment threshold. The threshold can be found at www.studyassist.gov.au .
  • The maximum loan amount you can borrow from the Australian Government is $99,389 in 2016 for all HELP* courses including higher education courses.

Engagement

  • You will be required to demonstrate you are progressing throughout your course.

From 1 July 2017, you will be required to log in online and acknowledge that you accept the loan you will receive for the course. Support

  • If you have any questions, concerns, or require more information regarding any element of VET Student Loans Department of Education and Training HELP Student Enquiry line on 
  • 1800 020 108 or email VETStudentLoans@education.gov.au

Why are VET Student Loans replacing VET FEE-HELP?

This program is being implemented to provide sustainable and affordable opportunities for students to undertake higher level VET courses. The program aligns to industry needs and employment outcomes, to provide students with the skills required by employers and industry. 

Previously, some providers have used unscrupulous marketing practices to target potential students into signing up for courses they may not be ready to undertake, or to request a loan for a course without the proper resources to make an informed decision. VET Student Loans puts an end to this behaviour and protects students by banning the use of brokers and limiting third party training.

VET Student Loans also has safeguards to prevent providers from accessing the program for courses they cannot deliver or have not been delivering with satisfactory results for students.

For more information, visit www.education.gov.au/vet-student-loans

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