The Australian Government administers the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)

There are four types of  Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) loans that Griffith students may be eligible for.

The right loan for you will depend on your circumstances, eligibility and citizenship status.

HECS-HELP provides eligible Commonwealth supported students with a loan to pay all or part of their student contribution.

In 2021, the combined HELP loan limit will be $155 448 for some medicine, dentistry, aviation and veterinary science students, and $108 232 for all other students.

Not all Commonwealth supported students are eligible for HECS-HELP . Permanent resident visa holders and New Zealand citizens (who do not meet the eligibility requirements) must pay their student contribution in full by the census date.

Citizenship and residency requirements

To be eligible for HECS-HELP, a student must be:

  • an Australian citizen who will undertake in Australia, at least one unit of your course of study; or
  • a New Zealand Special Category Visa (NZ SCV) holder who meets the long-term residency requirements, and will be resident in Australia for the duration of your unit(s) of study; or
  • a permanent humanitarian visa holder who will be resident in Australia for the duration of your unit(s) of study; and
  • have read the Commonwealth supported places and HECS-HELP information booklet.

A student must also complete the following by the census date:

  • a Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP loan form
  • provide their Tax File Number
  • provide their Unique Student Identifier (USI)
  • provide a current International Movement Record from Department of Home Affairs. This is only required for eligible New Zealand students applying for HELP loans for the first time.

Notification of Tax File Number

Payment options for the student contribution:

  • receive a HECS-HELP loan for the full student contribution amount
  • make a full upfront payment of 90% of your student contribution by the census date
  • make a partial upfront payment of the student contribution and receive a HECS-HELP loan for the balance. Payments of $500 or more will attract the 10% HECS-HELP discount.

SA-HELP provides a loan to eligible students to pay their student services and amenities fee. Eligible students can choose to defer all or part of their fee for the relevant year.

Australian permanent residents are not eligible for SA-HELP .

They must pay their student services and amenities fee in full by the census date, unless they are approved for a Griffith University Academic Payment Plan.

Citizenship and residency requirements

To be eligible for SA-HELP , a student must be:

  • an Australian citizen; or
  • a New Zealand Special Category Visa (NZ SCV) holder who meets the long-term residency requirements; or
  • a permanent humanitarian visa holder; and
  • enrolled in a course of study; and
  • be studying at least one unit of their course in Australia; and
  • have read the SA-HELP information booklet.

A student must also complete the following by the census date:

  • a Request for SA-HELP loan form
  • provide their Tax File Number
  • provide a current International Movement Record from Department of Home Affairs. This is only required for eligible New Zealand students applying for HELP loans for the first time.

Note: Cross-institutional students are not eligible for SA-HELP .

Notification of Tax File Number

FEE-HELP provides a loan to eligible fee-paying undergraduate or postgraduate students.

In 2021, the combined HELP loan limit will be $155 448 for some medicine, dentistry, aviation and veterinary science students, and $108 232 for all other students.

A loan fee applies to FEE-HELP loans taken out by undergraduate fee-paying students*. There is no loan fee for postgraduate students or for students enrolled in an enabling program. The loan fee does not count towards the borrowing limit.

[*] As part of the Job-ready Graduates Package, the FEE-HELP loan fee will not be applicable from 1 April 2020 to 31 December 2021. A 20% loan fee will apply from 1 January 2022.

Citizenship and residency requirements

To be eligible for FEE-HELP, a student must be:

  • an Australian citizen who will undertake in Australia, at least one unit of your course of study; or
  • a New Zealand Special Category Visa (NZ SCV) holder who meets the long-term residency requirements, and will be resident in Australia for the duration of your unit(s) of study; or
  • a permanent humanitarian visa holder who will be resident in Australia for the duration of your unit(s) of study; or
  • a permanent visa holder undertaking bridging study for overseas-trained professionals who will be resident in Australia for the duration of your unit(s) of study; and
  • have read the FEE-HELP information booklet.

A student must also complete the following by the census date:

  • a Request for FEE-HELP loan form
  • provide their Tax File Number
  • provide their Unique Student Identifier (USI)
  • provide a current International Movement Record from Department of Home Affairs. This is only required for eligible New Zealand students applying for HELP loans for the first time.

Notification of Tax File Number

Eligible students can apply for an OS-HELP loan which is a loan scheme provided by the Australian Government specifically to support overseas study. It is not considered a grant, therefore approved students can receive this loan as well as a grant.

OS-HELP

The myHELPbalance portal allows you to track your available HELP balance.

You will need your Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN), or your Unique Student Identifier (USI) to login to myHELPbalance. Your CHESSN/USI is located on your Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN).

New Zealand citizens who hold a Special Category Visa must meet eligibility criteria and provide proof of long-term residency to be eligible for a HELP loan. You must:

  • have first begun to be usually resident in Australia at least 10 years ago; and
  • were a child under the age of 18 with no spouse or de facto partner when you first began to be usually resident in Australia; and
  • have been physically present in Australia for at least eight out of the 10 years and 18 months out of the past two years; and
  • be resident in Australia for the duration of your unit; and
  • meet the other eligibility for a HELP loan under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA)

For the University to be able to assess eligibility, a student must lodge a Request for International Movement Records from the Department of Home Affairs. While this is a free service it may take up to 45 days for the Department of Home Affairs to process the request.

You must have your International Movement Records assessed by Griffith University, and your HELP loan eligibility approved, by the census date (due date), to be able to defer your fees for the current trimester/teaching period. If you provide your International Movement Records after the census date of your enrolled courses, your eligibility for a HELP loan can only be assessed for future trimesters/teaching periods.

Please note: The date range used to request the record should be from your date of birth up until the current date.

Further information on New Zealand Special Category Visa eligibility and requirements is available on StudyAssist.

Key Dates

Find out key dates relating to your fees

Combined HELP loan limit

From 1 January 2020, a combined HELP loan limit has replaced the FEE-HELP limit, and includes FEE-HELP, VET Student Loans, VET FEE-HELP and HECS-HELP.

Any existing FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP and VET student loan debts will be carried over and count towards your HELP loan limit.  Only HECS-HELP loan debts from 1 January 2020 onwards will count towards your combined HELP limit.

You can track your HELP balance on the myHELPbalance portal, or contact the Australian Taxation office on 13 28 61.

Renewable HELP balance

Your HELP balance is renewable. This means that if you reach your limit, you can make repayments on your HELP debt and access HELP until you reach the limit again.

Repayments starting from the 2019–2020 income year will credit your HELP balance.

Voluntary repayments will credit your HELP balance once they are reported by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Compulsory repayments will only credit your HELP balance once you have completed your tax return, and the repayments are reported by the ATO.

HELP loan repayment

You will start to repay your HELP debt through the taxation system once your repayment income is above the compulsory repayment threshold, even if you are still studying.

The amount you repay each year is a percentage of your repayment income. The percentage increases as your income increases, so the more you earn, the higher your repayment will be. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) will calculate your compulsory repayment for the year and include it on your income tax notice of assessment.

HELP repayment thresholds and rates

Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN)

Each trimester the University is required to send a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) to all students who are Commonwealth supported for a course and/or received Commonwealth assistance in the form of a HELP loan. A student can access their CAN via myGriffith. A CAN is issued within 28 days of the census date.

If you think there is a mistake in your CAN , you have fourteen days from its date of issue to make a written request to tell Student Connect what you think is wrong and why.

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