What Is VET Student Loans?
From 1 January 2017, VET Student Loans will be implemented. This is a new student loans program that replaces the current VET FEE-HELP scheme, to give eligible students access to quality higher level VET qualifications, particularly those students who could not otherwise afford to pay upfront.
There are specific criteria students must meet to be eligible for a loan through VET Student Loans. Students must have been assessed as academically suited to undertake the eligible course and their FEE-HELP balance must be greater than zero. Furthermore, a student must be an Australian citizen; or hold a permanent humanitarian visa and usually reside in Australia; or be a qualifying New Zealand citizen.
Eligible students will be entitled for loans up to a capped amount. Providers may charge above the cap for a course, and if so, students will be expected to pay the difference. Payments will be required according to the provider’s billing period.
Certain Diplomas, Advanced Diplomas, Graduate Certificates and Graduate Diplomas are eligible for VET Student Loans that are linked to industry needs and employment outcomes. Eligible courses, and the providers approved to deliver them, are also be available on www.myskills.gov.au – Australia’s directory of training.
Students accessing VET Student Loans Program are required to repay their loan to the Government. Repaying the loan is required when your income reaches the repayment threshold. The threshold can be found at www.studyassist.gov.au.
**Important note – VET FEE-HELP Information is applicable to eligible domestic students enrolled prior to 31st December 2016 with PGA International Golf Institute (RTO31270)
What Is VET FEE-HELP?
VET FEE-HELP is a Federal Government loan scheme for the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector that is part of the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP). VET FEE-HELP assists eligible students undertaking certain VET courses of study (diploma, advanced diploma, graduate certificate and graduate diploma courses). It allows them to borrow funds up to their VET FEE-HELP limit to help pay for all or part of their tuition fees. The loan currently has a 20% loading attached and is indexed annually at designated CPI levels. VET FEE-HELP loans must be paid back through the taxation system once a threshold income is reached (in 2015-16 this amount is $54,126). Student loans carry an expectation of repayment to the government and future provisions maybe subject to change by the government of the time.
How do I repay the loan and is it interest charged?
VET FEE-HELP debts become part of your accumulated HELP debt. The debt is indexed each year by movements in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to maintain its real value. The debt is paid through the tax system once your income is above the minimum repayment threshold for compulsory repayment, for the 2015–2016 income year it is $54,126.00. You can make voluntary repayments to reduce your HELP debt at any time; some voluntary repayments attract a bonus. Visit www.ato.gov.au for further details.