HELP loans and VET Student Loans

Find out about HELP loans and VET Student Loans, including eligibility and how to apply.

What is a student loan?

A HELP loan or VET Student Loan (VSL) is a government loan that allows you to defer part or all of the cost of your studies. If you have an approved HELP loan or VSL, your fees will automatically defer to your loan shortly after each census date. You pay back your loan (debt) through the tax system once you earn above the compulsory repayment threshold or you can make voluntary repayments to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) at any time.

Eligibility

Your eligibility for a HELP loan or VET Student Loan depends on criteria such as your citizenship status, and whether you're in an undergraduate, postgraduate or vocational education program. 

Find out what you may be eligible for on the Australian Government's Study Assist website.

If you’re an Australian Permanent Resident Non-Humanitarian Visa holder and/or New Zealand citizen, find out about your eligibility on the Non-Australian citizens page.

New Zealand students on a Special Category Visa

If you're a New Zealand citizen on a Special Category Visa (SCV), you may be eligible for a HELP loan or VET Student Loan. 

If so, you need to provide us with proof that you meet the long-term residency requirements. This may include, but isn't limited to, the following:

  • Australian academic transcripts (including VET transcripts) dated when you were a minor
  • School reports or certificates
  • Enrolment papers from when you were a minor
  • Australian proof of age card from when you were a minor
  • Australian student ID card or concession card
  • Stamped passport
  • Payslips or payment summaries from when you were a minor
  • Completed Certificate of application for a Tax File Number form, Tax File Number advice, or notification of assessment of income tax dated from when you were a minor
  • Copies of your international movement records from the Department of Home Affairs  

Once you have your documentation, please submit it via Student Connect

New government eligibility rules in 2022 - low completion rates

From 2022, there are new government rules about eligibility for higher education student funding as part of the Australian Government’s Job-ready Graduates legislation. If you're starting a program in or after 2022 and are enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place (CSP) or have a HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP loan, these changes affect you. For details, go to the Low completion rate and government funding webpage.

Apply for a loan

Select which type of loan you'd like to apply for below.

View your HELP loan or VET Student Loan status

If you have a HELP loan or VET Student Loan, you'll find the below information in Enrolment Online under the Financial details menu.

Feature

Details

View Commonwealth Assistance (eCAF)

View the status of your loans for your program or request an invitation to apply for a loan.

View Commonwealth Assistance approval letters

View the letter from RMIT confirming the approval of your loan.

View Commonwealth Assistance Notices (CANs)

View the CANs for your program. The CAN shows the HELP debt for each of your enrolled courses, as well as your total HELP debt for your program.  

Your Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN)

Your Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) outlines the loan debt you've incurred and any upfront payments you've made towards your fees.

RMIT will issue you with a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) within 28 days of each class census date. A notification email will be sent to your RMIT student email account and your nominated personal email when your CAN is available.

If there are any discrepancies between your loan debt and the amount you were expecting to pay, you have 14 days from the CAN issue date to submit a written request for a correction.

To view or print your Commonwealth Assistance Notice

Loan limit

There's a combined limit to how much you can borrow under HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans. This is called your HELP loan limit.

If you’ve reached your combined HELP loan limit, you’ll need to pay your student contribution (tuition fees) before the census date. If you don’t pay your remaining fees, your enrolment will be cancelled after the census date for failing to meet the requirements of your CSP.

How to check your combined HELP loan limit

Go to the myHELP balance portal to find out your current HELP limit and how much of your HELP balance you have left to borrow. For more information about the combined HELP limit, go to Study Assist.

For more information about your specific loan, see the HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, SA-HELP or VET Student Loans webpage. 

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.