How to Apply for Vet Student Loans in Australia
Vet Student Loans in Australia – VET Student Loans is a loans program provided by the Australian Government to assists eligible students to pay part of their tuition fees.
The government directly pays AIT the amount of the loan, and you pay it back through the Australian taxation system once your annual income reaches the minimum repayment threshold.
Vet Student Loans in Australia
VET Student Loans are especially beneficial for students who could not otherwise afford to pay upfront. There is no interest charged on a VET Student Loan; however, the loan is indexed each year on 1 June.
A VET Student Loan (VSL) helps students to cover fees for vocational education and training (VET) courses. VET Student Loans began on 1 January 2017 and replaced the VET FEE-HELP scheme. VSLs are only available for approved courses at the diploma level and above. This means that you can’t get a VSL for a Certificate IV level course or below.
There is a limit to how much you can borrow under VSLs, called the ‘loan cap’. The loan cap amount is different depending on the course you study.
The total course cost is $6,000. The loan cap for a Diploma of Business in 2019 is $5,171. The VET Student Loans program also sets caps on the maximum loans available. The loan caps are set for each eligible qualification and are based on the field of education.
Eligibility for the Vet Student Loans in Australia
To be eligible to receive a VET Student Loan, a student must: You have to
- be an eligible student
- be studying an approved course
- be studying with an approved course provider
- apply to the government using the approved form, which will be managed through your provider
- confirm your engagement and progression to continue to access the loan throughout your course
- an Australian citizen; or hold a permanent humanitarian visa and usually reside in Australia; or a qualifying New Zealand citizen
- meet the Tax File Number (TFN) requirements
- be assessed as academically suited to undertake the approved course on the basis of an Australian Year 12 Certificate, OR providing a copy of a certificate showing that you have been awarded a qualification at level 4 or above in the Australian Qualifications Framework (where the language of instruction was English);
- complete the request for a VET Student Loan electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) by the census day (Students must wait at least two full business days after they have enrolled in the study before submitting the eCAF)
Also to be Eligible, certain Conditions are Required which could be one of these conditions
- A Senior Secondary Certificate of Education issued at the completion of year 12; or
- Successful completion of an assessment of your reading and numeracy skills at ACSF level 3 (organized by Academia); or
- You have a qualification at Certificate 4 or higher that was delivered in English; and
- Academia is satisfied that you are academically suited for the course seeking enrolment
Under the VET Student Loans program, loans will only be available for qualifications on an approved course list.
- Relationships Australia South Australia Ltd (trading name – Australian Institute of Social Relations) is an approved course provider for the following VET Student Loans:
- CHC62015 Advanced Diploma of Community Sector Management
Loan Cap Band 1 – $5000 (maximum)
- CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling
Loan Cap Band 2 – $10000 (maximum)
- CHC51115 Diploma of Financial Counselling
Loan Cap Band 2 – $10000 (maximum)
- CHC81115 Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution
Loan Cap Band 2 – $10000 (maximum)
FAQ Concerning the VET Student Loan in Australia
What is a VET Student Loan?
The VET Student Loans program is an income contingent loan offered by the Australian Government that helps eligible students pay for some vocational education and training (VET) diploma level or above courses.
What Does it Mean to be Academically Suited for my Course?
To be assessed as academically suited for a VET Student Loan, you must provide either:
- a copy of your Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (year 12 Certificate); OR
- evidence of successful completion of an Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) Certificate IV or higher qualification (where the language of instruction is English).
If you do not have an Australian year 12 Certificate or have not successfully completed an AQF Certificate IV or higher qualification, you will be able to complete an approved Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) test and be assessed as competent at Exit Level 3 in the Australian Core Skills Framework in both reading and numeracy. Your provider will conduct this test and notify you of your result.
What is FEE-HELP Balance?
The FEE-HELP balance is the available amount of VET Student Loans, VET FEE-HELP and/or FEE‑HELP that you have left to use before you reach the FEE-HELP limit.
Will I be Charged Interest?
There is no interest charged on HELP debts. Your HELP debt is, however, indexed each year. It increases annually on 1 June to maintain its real value, adjusting in line with changes in the cost of living (as measured by the Consumer Price Index figure released each March).
Debts are not indexed until they are 11 months old. You can find current and past indexation rates on the ATO website.
How Much Will my Repayments Be?
The amount you repay each year is a percentage of your income. The percentage increases as your income increases, so the more you earn, the higher your repayment will be. The ATO will calculate your compulsory repayment for the year and include it on your income tax notice of assessment.
Is There a Loan Fee?
Yes, for most students. A 20 percent loan fee applies to VET Student Loans for full fee paying/fee for service students. The loan fee does not count towards your FEE-HELP limit.
You do not have to pay the loan fee upfront – it is reported by your provider and is added to your HELP debt at the ATO.
How Much Can i Bborrow? What is the FEE-HELP Limit?
You can borrow up to the FEE-HELP limit to pay your tuition fees. The FEE-HELP limit is the total amount available to you under VET Student Loans, VET FEE-HELP and FEE-HELP over your lifetime.
Any amount you borrow under VET Student Loans, VET FEE-HELP or FEE‑HELP will be added together until you reach the FEE-HELP limit. For 2017, the FEE-HELP limit is $100,879 for most students.
The FEE-HELP limit is a lifetime limit and is not reset or ‘topped up’ by any repayments that you make.
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