Repayments are taken out of what you earn through the tax system.
You won’t need to make repayments until you are earning more than $51,957 a year. This is called the repayment threshold. This changes every year.
You can choose to pay off your HELP debt sooner.
How much you must pay
How much of your HELP debt you must pay back is a percentage of how much you earn.
The more you earn, the higher your repayment.
To find out the percentage you need to pay back, read about HELP repayment thresholds and rates.
The amount taken out of your pay will be included on your income tax notice of assessment.
You should get this notice at the end of the financial year.
You can estimate how much you will need to pay back in a year using the study and training loan repayment calculator.
Until 30 June 2019
You will need to make repayments when you earn more than $51,957 a year.
After 1 July 2019
You will need to make repayments when you earn more than $45,881 a year.
Interest and indexation
There is no interest charged on HELP debts. But you must pay indexation.
Indexation adjusts the value of your loan to changes in the cost of living.
Your loan is indexed on 1 June each year. Read more about HELP indexation rates.
When you start work
When you start work, your employer should ask you to fill out a tax file number declaration form.
You must tell your employer you have a HELP debt on this form.
HELP loan repayments will be taken out of what you earn each time you are paid.
If you don’t tell your employer you have a HELP debt
If you earned more than $51,957 you will likely need to pay a tax bill at the end of the financial year.
If you don’t want to tell your employer your tax file number
You need a tax file number to get a HELP loan. But you don’t need to give it to your employer.
If you don’t give your tax file number to your employer, you will need to pay a higher rate of tax.
How HELP repayments work
Your employer puts some money aside to cover your HECS repayments each time you’re paid. These are called compulsory repayments.
Your employer will send your compulsory repayments to the Australian Tax Office at the end of the financial year.
When you lodge your tax return, the tax office will figure out how much you owe for your HECS debt.
If your employer withheld too much money, you may be entitled to a refund. If they didn’t hold enough, you may end up with a tax bill.
Updated 7 September 2018