Remission of Higher Education Loan Program debts for teachers in very remote areas

Qualified teachers who teach for at least four years at a school in a very remote location may be eligible to have their Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debt remitted.

To be eligible, they must complete four years full time equivalent teaching over a six year period, or the pro-rated part time/casual equivalent, at a school in a very remote area of Australia.

For current teachers in a very remote school the clock will start on their four year placement from the beginning of the 2019 school year. Service prior to the start of the 2019 school year will not count towards the four‑year requirement.

HELP debt eligible to be remitted will be outstanding amounts owed relating to their initial teacher education at the start of their placement. This can be a combination of HECS‑HELP and/or FEE‑HELP, up to a maximum of five years (for example, three years undergraduate and two years postgraduate). This proposal will not be applied retrospectively to HELP debt already repaid.

The Department of Education and Training will determine eligibility after an individual has met the criteria and applied.

Waving Indexation

From 14 February 2019, teachers at a school in a very remote location of Australia will not be charged indexation on their accumulated HELP debt. This will not apply retrospectively.

The Department of Education and Training will determine eligibility with state and territory governments, and notify the Australia Taxation Office of waivers and remissions.

These measures are subject to the passage of legislation.