What is HELP?

Higher Education Loan Programme

 

HELP, also known as the Higher Education Loan Programme, is a scheme designed by the government to assist tertiary students with the cost of their higher education expenses and remove up-front costs by providing contingent loans. You may qualify for one of five HELP loans, depending on your specific situation and where you prefer to study.

HECS-HELP

This HELP loan is for Australian citizens and permanent humanitarian visa holders enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place.

FEE-HELP

This HELP loan is for Australian citizens and permanent humanitarian visa holders enrolled in full fee paying places at approved higher education institutions.

VET FEE-HELP

This HELP loan is for eligible vocational education and training (VET) students enrolled in higher level VET courses.

OS-HELP

This HELP loan is for Australian citizens and permanent humanitarian visa holders overseas that are enrolled in an undergraduate Commonwealth supported place

SA-HELP

This HELP loan is for other Australian citizens and permanent humanitarian visa holders enrolled in eligible higher education courses that can be used for student services and amenity fees.

You must begin repaying your HELP debt through the taxation system once your repayment income reaches the compulsory repayment threshold amount. This is true even if you are still studying when that threshold is met.

 

Your repayment income consists of your taxable income plus any of the following:
  • Total net investment loss
  • Total reportable fringe benefits
  • Reportable superannuation contributions
  • Exempt foreign employment income
2017-2018 repayment income thresholds and rates:
Repayment Income Repayment Rate
Below $55,874 Nil
$55,874 – $62,238 4.0%
$62,239 – $68,602 4.5%
$68,603 – $72,207 5.0%
$72,208 – $77,618 5.5%
$77,619 – $84,062 6.0%
$84,063 – $88,486 6.5%
$88,487 – $97,377 7.0%
$97,378 – $103,765 7.5%
$103,766 and above 8.0%
2016-2017 repayment income thresholds and rates:
Repayment Income Repayment Rate
Below $54,869 Nil
$54,869-$61,119 4.0%
$61,120-$67,368 4.5%
$67,369-$70,909 5.0%
$70,910-$76,222 5.5%
$76,223-$82,550 6.0%
$82,551-$86,894 6.5%
$86,895-$95,626 7.0%
$95,627-$101,899 7.5%
$101,900 and above 8.0%
2015-2016 repayment income thresholds and rates:
Repayment Income Repayment Rate
Below $54,126 Nil
$54,126-$60,292 4.0%
$60,293-$66,456 4.5%
$66,457-$69,949 5.0%
$69,950-$75,190 5.5%
$75,191-$81,432 6.0%
$81,433-$85,718 6.5%
$85,719-$94,331 7.0%
$94,332-$100,519 7.5%
$100,520 and above 8.0%
2014-2015 repayment income thresholds and rates:
Repayment Income Repayment Rate
Below $53,345 Nil
$53,345-$59,421 4.0%
$59,422-$65,497 4.5%
$65,498-$68,939 5.0%
$68,940-$74,105 5.5%
$74,106-$80,257 6.0%
$80,258-$84,481 6.5%
$84,482-$92,970 7.0%
$92,971-$99,069 7.5%
$99,070 and above 8.0%

For more information, please visit the ATO website.

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