FEE-HELP is for eligible full-fee paying students and covers up to 100% of your tuition fees.
What it covers
The maximum amount you can borrow in your lifetime (called the FEE-HELP limit) is fixed by the Australian Government. This amount includes all loans that you have taken out and cannot be increased even if you have repaid some, or all, of your previous loans.
It is your responsibility to be aware of your FEE-HELP balance and to advise your education provider if you do not have sufficient balance to cover your tuition fees. If your tuition fee exceeds your FEE-HELP balance you can only get a loan up to your balance. You will need to pay the rest up-front. You can check your FEE-HELP balance via myUni Assist.
New VET Student Loans from 1 January 2017
From 1 January 2017, the Australian Government will no longer offer VET FEE-HELP (VFH) loans and a new VET Student Loans program will commence. If you are starting a new program after 1 January 2017, you will need to apply for the new VET Student Loans program.
For information and updates on this new loans scheme, go to the Australian Government VET Student Loans webpage.
Eligibility for FEE-HELP
To be eligible to apply for FEE-HELP you must be:
- a full-fee paying student at RMIT
- an Australian citizen or holder of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa*
- enrolled as either:
- an undergraduate, or
- postgraduate by coursework, or
- research student.
*New Zealand Citizens and Permanent residents are not eligible for FEE-HELP.
Loan payment and repayment
If your loan application is successful the Australian Government will pay RMIT, on your behalf, up to 100% of your tuition fees. This amount will become part of your accumulated HELP debt.
You only start repaying your accumulated HELP debt to the Australian Government once you earn above the minimum income threshold for repayment, which is set each year by the Australian Government, even if you are still studying. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will calculate your compulsory repayment for the year and include this on your income tax notice.
In addition to the compulsory repayments, you can at any time make voluntary repayments to the ATO.
The Australian Government’s Study Assist website has more information about paying back your HELP loan.
Costs and charges
A loan fee of 25% applies to FEE-HELP loans for undergraduate courses.
There is no loan fee if you are applying for FEE-HELP for postgraduate courses.
No interest applies but your HELP debt will be indexed annually by the ATO to maintain its real value in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
How to apply
Before you apply for an optional FEE-HELP loan, you must read the Australian Government’s FEE-HELP information booklet.
To apply, you need to complete the electronic Commonwealth assistance form (eCAF) on the government eCAF system before the census date for the classes you wish the loan to cover.
After you accept your offer to study at RMIT, you will be sent an email from the Department of Education and Training to your RMIT student email account with a unique passkey number for your FEE-HELP application and a link to the government eCAF system.
Access your RMIT Student email account and follow the instructions in the email for how to apply.
After you apply, you can view your FEE-HELP eCAF status in your online account in Enrolment Online.
After you apply
Approval and notification process
RMIT will assess your FEE-HELP application after you submit it. If your application is approved, RMIT will send an email to your RMIT student email account that advises you to view your HELP approval letter in Enrolment Online.
Your HELP approval letter contains important information about the terms of your HELP loan. To view and print your HELP approval letter, log into myRMIT and select the Enrolment Online link. Select the My student record button. Under Financial details, select View HELP approval letters.
Your tax invoice and making payments
You will still receive a tax invoice each semester outlining your tuition fees and charges. If you choose to make up-front payments, they will be deducted from the amount that the government lends you through the loan scheme. There is no discount available on these up-front payments.
If you wish to defer all or part of your tuition fees, you are not required to make a payment for that amount. The amount that you wish to defer will be deferred after the semester census date. However, you are still required to pay all other fees and charges by the original due date listed on your invoice e.g. material or administration fees.
Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN)
A Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) is an official statement from RMIT outlining the HELP loan or student contribution payment option you have chosen and any HELP assistance you have received. Learn more about your CAN including how to access it.
Removal of debt due to special circumstances
If, because of special circumstances, you need to withdraw from your program/course after the census date then you can apply to have your HELP debt remitted.
For more information, including a definition of special circumstances and by when your application must be submitted, please download the Application for remission (removal) of debt in special circumstances form.