Loan fee exemption
On 12 April 2020 the Australian Government announced a six-month exemption of the 20 per cent loan fee for full fee paying VET Student Loan students. This exemption applies for VET Student Loan amounts incurred on census days between 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020. Students will not need to do anything for the exemption to be applied. Student VET Student Loan debt records with the Australian Taxation Office will automatically reflect the loan fee exemption from early June 2020.
Students concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on their studies should contact their provider (TAFE or other training institution).
If a student’s circumstances change due to impacts of the virus, and they are unable to commence/continue studies as planned, they should immediately contact their training provider to withdraw or defer their enrolment to a later date.
VET Student Loans providers are being encouraged, where possible, to consider flexible arrangements for impacted students. Examples may include flexible course delivery, such as through online delivery of courses or additional sessions to make up for days missed by students who are prevented from attending classes. These options may not be feasible in all situations. Students impacted by isolation periods or illness are encouraged to contact their provider to discuss options.
Where illness prevents a student from completing their study mid-way through a unit, students may be able to submit a ‘special circumstances’ application to re credit their HELP balance/remit the associated debt for the incomplete unit. Special circumstances applications are submitted to the training provider – check the provider’s website for application documentation and processes. Time limits apply. More information is available in Section 5 of the VET Student Loans Information Booklet.
Students who are unable to contact their provider may submit an enquiry using the VET Student Loan enquiry form.
If a student’s provider has closed, please go to the Tuition Protection Service website for further information and assistance.
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Resources for Students
VET Student Loans Information Booklet
The VET Student Loans Information Booklet provides a summary of the key points a person applying for or receiving a VET Student Loan needs to know. You must read this booklet before applying for a VET Student Loan.
Fact Sheets and Forms
- eCAF Fact Sheet
- Student Obligations Fact Sheet
- Student Progression Fact Sheet
- VET Student Loans Course Caps Indexed Amounts (for students)
- VET Student Loans Parental Consent Form (for students under 18)
- Student Fact Sheet: Tax File Number (TFN) Mismatch
- Students can search for courses and course providers, including VET Student Loan approved courses and providers on the My Skills website
- Information for students about government assistance for financing tertiary study is available on the Study Assist website
Frequently Asked Questions
VET Student Loans are available for certain diploma level and above qualifications. You can search VET Student Loans approved qualifications on the My Skills website or check the VET Student Loans (Courses and Loan Caps) Determination 2016.
Students are eligible for a VET Student Loan if they:
- are enrolled in a VET Student Loans approved course offered by a VET Student Loans provider;
- meet citizenship/residency requirements;
- have an available HELP balance of more than $0; and
- meet student entry requirements.
To see if you are likely to meet the eligibility requirements, check out the VET Student Loans Eligibility Tool on the My Skills website.
Detailed eligibility information can be found in the VET Student Loans Information Booklet. You should also speak to an approved VET Student Loans provider about accessing a VET Student Loan to pay for your studies. The provider will confirm if you are eligible to access a VET Student Loan.
For information on available assistance for other qualifications (e.g. lower level certificate vocational education and training courses) students should talk to their provider, check the My Skills website or refer to their relevant state or territory education website.
VET Student Loans are only available for approved courses. Eligible students will be entitled for loans up to a capped amount. The VET Student Loans (Courses and Loan Caps) Determination 2016 lists all VET Student Loan approved courses, as well as the maximum loan cap for each approved course. Students can also search VET Student Loans approved courses and providers on the My Skills website. VET Student Loans approved courses are identified by a highlighted 'VSL' symbol.
Students should note that providers may charge above the loan cap for a course. In such instances, students are expected to pay the difference. Payments will be required according to the provider's billing period.
After you enrol in a VET Student Loans approved course at a VET Student Loans approved provider (provider), let your provider know that you wish to access a VET Student Loan. Your provider will assess whether you are eligible and ask you to provide documents to prove that you meet the eligibility criteria. Once your provider is satisfied that you are eligible, they will give the department your enrolment information through the electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) system. You will then receive an auto-generated email from email@example.com, providing details on how to sign into the eCAF system so that you can submit a Request for a VET Student Loan eCAF. This is your formal application for a VET Student Loan.
Make sure to check your spam/junk email folders if you cannot see the email in your inbox. Once you have submitted your eCAF, you will receive an email confirming your loan approval.
If you are having any difficulties submitting your eCAF, please see the eCAF fact sheet or talk to your provider.
Please refer to the eCAF Fact Sheet. If you are still having any difficulties or if the enrolment details on your eCAF are incorrect, contact your VET Student Loans provider.
Reminder: You must submit your eCAF on or before your first census day. If you do not submit your eCAF on or before the census day, you will not be able to access a VET Student Loan for that fee period.
If your provider is unable to help you, please submit an enquiry below.
A census day is the last day on which you can complete and submit an eCAF in order to access a VET Student Loan for that part of your course. It’s a good idea to complete and submit your eCAF as soon as you can to avoid missing out. (Note: you must wait at least two business days after your enrolment to submit your eCAF - this is to make sure you’ve had time to fully understand your loan obligations).
The census day is also the last day on which you can withdraw from part of a course without incurring tuition fees. You must defer, withdraw or cancel your enrolment in writing according to your course provider’s published processes before the census day or you will still incur a VET Student Loan debt for that fee period.
VET Student Loans approved courses must have at least three census days spread across at least three fee periods (such as terms/semesters). This is to ensure you only incur a debt proportionate to your study content and duration. Your course provider must publish the census days for your course before the enrolment period opens.
Your myGov account will show you how much you owe and any repayments you have made. If you don't have a myGov account, you can set one up following the instructions on the ATO website or you can call the ATO on 13 28 61.
myHELPbalance will show you how much you have borrowed (e.g. how much debt you have incurred).
You will need your Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN) to login to myHELPbalance. A CHESSN is a unique identifying number you will have for your whole student life. You can find this on your Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN), given to you by your university or higher education provider.
If you can't find your CAN or CHESSN, ask your provider.
For more information about how to view and manage your VETSL debt, please refer to the VET Student Loans Information Booklet.
Students should refer to the Debt Complaints page for all complaints.
As the national regulator for VET, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) is responsible for investigating allegations of issues with the quality of training or student treatment by training providers. ASQA uses information from the complaints process to determine how it regulates certain providers. Should you have concerns regarding your experiences, you may wish to submit a formal complaint to ASQA via their complaints page.
For further assistance and information regarding complaints and grievances, please refer to the Debt Complaints page.
Please refer to the Debt Complaints page and see the frequently asked question, “My provider agreed to cancel my VET FEE-HELP/ VET Student Loans debt but it is still showing that it has not been cancelled”.
Information on what to do if your provider defaults (closes or ceases to deliver your course) is available on the Tuition Protection and Provider Default page.
To continue accessing a VET Student Loan, you must demonstrate that you are a genuine student continuing with your studies.
To do this, you must complete the Progression Form in the electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) system (via the above-mentioned email) when it is sent to you. The Progression Form asks if you intend to continue studying and accessing a VET Student Loan, and contains a short survey.
This process is to increase student protection for students accessing the VET Student Loans program.
Refer to the ‘Student Progression Fact Sheet’ for more information or contact your provider if you have any queries.
Courses that are approved for VET Student Loans, and the maximum loan amounts students can borrow per course, are set by the Australian Government.
The VET Student Loans (Courses and Loan Caps) Determination 2016 sets out the approved courses and maximum loan caps and is updated annually.
Course providers may charge above the maximum loan cap for a course. In such instances, students will be required to pay the difference to the provider in accordance with the agreed payment terms.
Indexation is applied to the course loan caps to reflect the rise in the cost of delivering the course over time, by adjusting them in line with changes in the cost of living. Indexation is applied annually, with effect from 1 January each year.
If you are enrolled in a course where the tuition fees are higher than the loan cap, you will be able to use the extra amount for the remainder of the course for any census days that occur after indexation is applied on 1 January. Access to the increased maximum loan cap is applied automatically – you do not need to submit another VET Student Loans application. For more detailed information on how indexation may affect you, please refer to the VET Student Loans Information Booklet.
Students can search VET Student Loans approved courses and providers, and view the maximum loan caps, on the My Skills website.
I still need help
If the FAQ's above have not answered your question, you can submit an enquiry using the VET Student Loan enquiry form.