FEE‑HELP is a element of the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) loan scheme and assists eligible domestic fee paying students pay to all or part of their tuition fees up to a lifetime limit. It cannot be used for additional study costs such as accommodation or text books.
The total amount of FEE‑HELP you can use is known as the ‘FEE‑HELP limit’. Once you begin using FEE‑HELP, the amount of FEE‑HELP you have left to use is known as your ‘FEE‑HELP balance’.
If you take out a FEE-HELP loan, the Commonwealth pays the loan amount directly to FedUni on your behalf and a FEE-HELP debt is recorded for you with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
To get a FEE-HELP loan, you must:
- be an Australian citizen and meet the residency requirements (you must study at least part of your course in Australia).
- be a New Zealand Special Category visa (SCV) holder or permanent humanitarian visa holder and meet the residency requirements.
- be enrolled in a fee-paying place.
- submit a Request for FEE-HELP form and provide your tax file number (TFN) to FedUni by census date.
- be enrolled in an eligible unit of study by the census date for that unit.
- not have already borrowed up to your HELP Loan limit.
Combined HELP Loan Limit
From 1 January 2020 the Australian Government have introduced the combined HELP loan limit. This limit is a cap on what you can borrow from the Australian Government to cover the costs of your tuition fees. The HELP loan limit will replace the current FEE-HELP limit and will include HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP and VET Students Loans.
Any previous HECS-HELP debts will not be included in the HELP loan limit, however, from 1 January 2020 onwards, new HECS-HELP borrowing will count towards the limit. All other HELP debts will be combined on 1 January 2020 and make up your initial balance.
For 2020, the HELP loan limit is $106,319* for most students. The limit for students studying medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses leading to initial registration will be $152,700*.
* Based on 2020 rates – subject to change for 2021 commencing students
You can check you HELP balance on myHELPbalance
To check your balance you need to know your Commonwealth higher education student support number (CHESSN). A CHESSN is a unique identifying number. It is important that you only have one CHESSN.
Please note, there is a time lag between census date and when your information on myHELPbalance is updated, so to work out your current balance you may need to add any units you have recently enrolled/are currently enrolled in to the total shown on myHELPbalance.
Renewable HELP Balance
The HELP limit is renewable, meaning any compulsory or voluntary repayments made to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) starting from the 2019-20 income year will top up a person's HELP balance. These repayments will be applied to a person's HELP balance from 1 July 2020 onwards. Repayments can be re-borrowed in the future, up to the current HELP loan limit.
For more information please go to studyassist.gov.au
Applying for FEE-HELP
- Complete and submit a signed Request for FEE-HELP assistance form, you can do this as part of your online enrolment process via my Student Centre.
- Complete and submit the form on or before census date.
- Supply your tax file number (TFN) on or before census date.
You will have to start repaying your HELP debt through the taxation system once you earn above the compulsory repayment threshold which is set by the Australian Government and adjusted each year. Please visit Study Assist to find out more information on repaying your HELP debt and the compulsory repayment threshold.