Cancel your VET debt in special circumstances

You can apply to your education provider to cancel your VET debt in rare circumstances.

This includes for VET Student Loans and VET FEE-HELP.

For instance, if you are sick, injured or some other event stopped you from finishing a unit.

This is known as special circumstances or special consideration.

You will need to prove all of the following:

  • you had no control over the circumstances, for instance you were sick or injured
  • the full impact of the circumstances was after the deadline to withdraw from study — the census day
  • the circumstances were serious enough to stop you from finishing your study.

You can’t get a refund for a unit that you passed.

How to cancel your debt

To apply to cancel a debt you will need to contact the student administration area of your education provider.

You must do this within a year of the census day for the unit unless your provider allows you more time.

You will need to provide evidence to prove you couldn’t finish your study.

How long it takes

It typically takes three to six months for a provider to decide whether your debt can be cancelled.

To find out more contact your education provider.

If your education provider decides your debt can be cancelled

If your provider decides your debt can be cancelled, your information will be passed on to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

It can take up to six months after your information has been passed to the ATO for your debt to be cancelled.

You can find out if your debt has been cancelled by checking how much you owe in education and training loans.

If you’re having trouble finding out if your debt has been cancelled contact the ATO.

If your education provider decides your debt can’t be cancelled

You can appeal if your education provider decides they can’t cancel your debt.

First you must write to your provider and ask for an internal review. You must do this within 28 days of their decision.

If you’re unhappy with the outcome you can ask the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) to review it.

How to apply for a review

Before you apply for a review you should read about what the AAT can do for you.

Updated 25 June 2018


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