The Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) has 4 different loan schemes that provide financial support to students.
Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)
The Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) provides financial help for students to pay:
- Student contributions (HECS-HELP)
- Tuition fees (FEE-HELP)
- Overseas study expenses (OS-HELP)
- Student service and amenities fees (SA-HELP)
Students can also access financial help for their Vocational Education and Training (VET) tuition fees through (VET Student Loans)
HELP loan limits
For 2022, the HELP loan limits are:
- $109,206 for most students
- $156,847 for students studying:
- Medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses leading to initial registration
- Eligible aviation courses
The Department has published a detailed report on HELP debt and repayments. The underlying data for the report is available below. Additionally, aggregated HELP data is available on data.gov.au.
On 27 October 2020 legislation for the Job-ready Graduates package (the package) of reforms to higher education passed Parliament.
Regarding HELP, changes in this package include:
- Changes to student contribution amounts
- Reintroduction of the HECS HELP upfront payment discount
- Student protection measures
- Loan fees for FEE HELP loans were waived between 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2021. The Government has extended the FEE-HELP loan fee exemption until 31 December 2021 to continue to encourage local students to study for the remainder of 2021
- FEE-HELP loan fees for undergraduate fee-paying places at higher education providers will be reduced to 20 per cent (from 25 per cent). The reduction of the loan fee reduces the financial burden on students and continues to support the sustainability of the HELP scheme.
Most of these changes commenced on 1 January 2021. Due to the extension of the loan fee exemption the reduction of the loan fee will now apply from 1 January 2022.
Further information is available on the package is available on the Job-ready Graduates FAQ's page.
On 19 June 2020 the Education Legislation Amendment (2020 Measures No.1) Act 2020 passed Parliament. Regarding HELP, changes made in the Act include that Unique Student Identifiers (USIs) are required for students commencing new courses and seeking Commonwealth assistance including HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, and OS-HELP from 1 January 2021. Further information is available on the USI website.
From 1 January 2023, the 10 per cent HECS-HELP upfront discount will no longer be available. Students are still able to make upfront payments against their student contribution amounts but will no longer be eligible to receive a discount. This is subject to the passage of legislation.
Support for Students
Find government programs, initiatives and resources to help with your studies.
Information for Providers
Requirements for Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) providers