HECS-HELP is a loan scheme that allows eligible students to borrow from the Commonwealth to pay their student contribution amount.
If students take out a HECS-HELP loan their student contribution is paid to the University by the Commonwealth and a HECS-HELP debt recorded for them with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
HECS-HELP cannot be used for additional study costs such as accommodation, text books, administrative or incidental fees.
To be eligible for HECS‑HELP, you must:
- be studying in a Commonwealth supported place
- You must also be either:
- an Australian citizen who will complete some of your program of study in Australia
- a New Zealand Special Category Visa holder who meets the long-term residency requirements and who will be resident in Australia for the duration of your study
- a permanent humanitarian visa holder who will be resident in Australia for the duration of your study
- submit a valid Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form by the census date
- be enrolled in each course (subject) by the census date
- provide your Tax File Number (TFN) or a Certificate of application for a tax file number before the census date
- provide your Unique Student Identifier (USI) before enrolling
- have enough available HELP balance
Holders of other permanent visas, and New Zealand Citizens, who do not meet the above eligibility criteria, are not eligible for HECS-HELP loans or the 10% HECS-HELP up-front payment discount and must pay all student contributions to the University by the invoice due date.
For more information regarding HECS-HELP including eligibility and residency requirements please read the CSP and HECS-HELP information booklet, available on the Study Assist publications page.
Applying for HECS-HELP
To apply for HECS-HELP eligible students must complete a Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form. Your electronic Commonwealth Assistance form (eCAF) is available in my Student Centre as part of the online enrolment process. Please ensure that you have read the HECS‑HELP and Commonwealth supported places information booklet.
- Log in to my Student Centre
- Select the Campus Finances tile
- Select Commonwealth Requirements
- Select eCAF Summary
- Select Submit to open your incomplete form
- Follow the prompts, answer all questions and provide your Tax File Number (TFN)
- Click Submit Form to accept your CSP and apply for HECS-HELP
Eligible New Zealand Special Category Visa holders will need to apply for HECS-HELP by contacting Student HQ and providing evidence of their eligibility. Please refer to our New Zealand HELP eligibility page for further information.
Domestic cross-institutional students who are offered a Commonwealth Supported Place must complete a Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form online as part of the enrolment process.
HECS-HELP applies for the duration of your program however, if you transfer to another program you will need to complete a new HECS-HELP request form.
Combined HELP loan limit
From 1 January 2020 the Australian Government introduced the combined HELP loan limit which is a cap on what you can borrow to cover the costs of your tuition fees. It includes HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP and Vet Student Loans.
Any existing FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP or VET Student Loans taken out prior to 2020 will count towards your HELP limit. Only HECS-HELP debts incurred from 1 January 2020 will be counted towards the limit.
Once you begin using your HELP loan limit, the amount of HELP you have left to borrow is known as your available 'HELP balance'. You can check your HELP balance on my HELP balance.
For 2021, the HELP loan limit is $108,232. If you plan to study medicine, dentistry or veterinary science leading to initial registration, or eligible aviation courses the HELP loan limit is $155,448.
HECS-HELP upfront payment discount
From 1 January 2021 the Australian Government has reintroduced the upfront payment discount for Commonwealth supported students. The HECS-HELP 10% discount mean that eligible students who make an upfront payment of $500 or more, will receive a 10% discount on their course fees.
To receive the HECS‑HELP discount students must be eligible for HECS‑HELP assistance. Upfront payments must be made before the relevant semester census date. The up-front payment must be $500 or more.
The discount means that if you pay 90 per cent of your student contribution amount as an up-front payment your entire student contribution amount will be paid, as the Government will pay the other 10 per cent directly to your provider.
Students can choose to make a partial payment of $500 or more to receive the 10% discount and then defer the remainder of their fees to their HECS-HELP loan.