Find out if you're eligible for a HECS-HELP loan and how to apply.

Are you eligible for HECS-HELP?

You must be enrolled in a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) and meet the citizenship requirements to apply.

For a full list of eligibility criteria, go to the Australian Government’s Study Assist website.

If you’re an Australian Permanent Resident Non-Humanitarian Visa holder and/or New Zealand citizen, go to the Non-Australian citizens information on the Study Assist website for information about eligibility.

Not eligible?

If you’re not eligible, or don't apply before your census date, you must pay your fees by the due date or your enrolment will be cancelled.

Student Learning Entitlement and Commonwealth Supported Places

On 1 January 2022, the Australian Government implemented the Student Learning Entitlement (SLE). The SLE allows students 7 years of full-time subsidised study in a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP)

Your total SLE amount will be reduced in accordance with your overall study load in a CSP. Once you have utilised all your SLE, you can not longer study in a CSP.

For more information about SLE, visit the Australian Government's Study Assist webpage.

50% pass rate requirement removed

The Australian Government will remove the Job Ready Graduates Low Completion Rate legislation from universities on 1 January 2024. RMIT adopted this change ahead of Semester 2 2023 results release on Monday 27 November so that affected students would no longer need to maintain a more than 50% pass rate to keep their Commonwealth supported place (CSP) or defer fees via HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP loans. See our FAQs for more information.

Before you apply

There are a few things to check before you apply for a HECS-HELP loan.

1. Read the government information booklet

When you submit a request for HECS-HELP to the government, you are declaring that you have read and understood the booklet and your obligations before you access the loan.

2. Make sure your citizenship has been verified

To enrol and be eligible for HECS-HELP, you must verify your citizenship. This is part of the enrolment process in Enrolment Online. If you haven't already done so, verify your citizenship now.

3. Make sure you have a Unique Student Identifier (USI)

The USI is your life-long individual education number. It’s a government requirement that you have a USI to enrol in a higher education program.

4. Have your Tax File Number or certificate of application ready

You must have a Tax File Number (TFN) or certificate of application for a TFN to apply for HECS-HELP. If you don't have a TFN, apply for one now.

Your TFN must also validate on your loan application. Once you have a TFN, confirm the details with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) before submitting your application.

How to apply

Follow the steps below to apply for HECS-HELP. You must submit your HECS-HELP application before the census date for the classes you want the loan to cover.

1. Complete the electronic Application for Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF)

You’ll be prompted to do this during the enrolment process in Enrolment Online. If you didn't apply for a HECS-HELP loan while completing your eCAF, but would now like to access one, you can request a revision of your eCAF by contacting Student Connect.

2. Log in to the government portal

Once you have requested an eCAF, an email will be sent to your RMIT student email address from the Department of Education.

Read the email and follow the instructions to log in to the government’s eCAF portal and begin your application. 

If you can’t find your email, make sure to check your spam folder. 

3. Indicate that you want a HECS-HELP loan

Indicate this on your eCAF. You must submit your eCAF before you can complete your enrolment.

4. Enter your Tax File Number (TFN)

Enter your TFN or certificate of application for a TFN on your eCAF.

Unless your TFN successfully validates with the Australian Taxation Office, your HECS-HELP loan will not be approved and your student contribution (tuition fees) must then be paid in full to RMIT by the due date.

Can’t validate your TFN? 

If you get an email advising of problems with your Tax File Number, immediately follow the instructions to validate your TFN.

5. Submit your application via the government's eCAF portal

Remember to submit your application before your first census date.

There are no provisions to backdate your loan application if you submit after your census date.

How to check your HECS-HELP loan is approved

Your loan is not approved unless you have been issued with a HECS-HELP loan approval letter.

Once you submit your eCAF, with a validated Tax File Number, it will be approved and a loan approval letter will be issued to you the next day.

Follow these steps to access your loan approval letter:

Starting a new program?

If you change your program and/or enrol in a new program, you’ll need to submit a new Request for Commonwealth Assistance and HECS-HELP assistance for that program following the steps above.

Know and track your loan

Your Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN)

Your Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) outlines the HECS-HELP 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 HECS-HELP 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

HECS-HELP and your tax invoice

If your HECS-HELP loan is approved, your tuition fees will automatically defer to your loan shortly after each census date. You’ll still receive a tax invoice each time you vary your enrolment, to give you the option of making an upfront payment to reduce your overall loan amount.

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.

Remember to pay your non-tuition fees

Your HECS-HELP loan doesn’t cover the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) or other administrative fees. You may be eligible to apply for SA-HELP to cover SSAF. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay it upfront by the due date.

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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.