Are you eligible for a loan?

The first step is knowing about the different loans on offer, and whether you meet the eligibility requirements. 

FEE-HELP, VET Student Loans and SA-HELP

These are all optional loans. You need to opt-in or opt-out of these loans when you enrol, or before your first census date.

  • FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans are optional Commonwealth assistance loans that cover all or part of  a student's tuition fees. 
  • SA-HELP is an optional loan for eligible higher education students to pay for all or part of their Student Services and Amenities (SSAF) fees

Apply for an optional loan

- When you enrol

If you're eligible for more than one optional loan type (for example, FEE-HELP and SA-HELP), you need to complete these steps for each optional loan you want to access.

Step 1. ‘Opt-in’ for an optional loan

  • If you're eligible, you’ll be automatically prompted in Enrolment Online to indicate whether you want to access an optional loan.
  • Select the relevant button to indicate you want to access an optional loan (‘opt-in’).
  • Provide your consent to enable a Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number to be allocated (CHESSN consent).

Step 2. VET Student Loans (VSL) only - ensure you meet all government requirements for a VSL

Check the VET Student Loan eligibility requirements listed below. Once you've met all of the government requirements,  you can go to Step 3.

Step 3. Log in to the Government eCAF portal and submit your eCAF

After you opt-in to a loan, you’ll get an email from the Department of Education and Training with instructions on what to do next. This will contain your unique passkey and additional information required to log in to the Government's eCAF portal and submit your electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF).

- After you've enrolled

If you ‘opt-out‘ when you enrol (indicate you don't want to access an optional loan) , or your original eCAF has expired, you can still apply before your next census date.

Step 1. Log in to Enrolment Online

  • Log in and go to My Student Record.
  • Under Financial Details, select Manage Commonwealth Assistance and Optional Loans.
  • Select Request, then Yes, I am interested in applying for a <loan type> button. Select Confirm
  • Provide your consent to enable a Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number to be allocated (CHESSN consent).

Step 2. VET Student Loans (VSL) only - ensure you meet all government requirements for a VSL

Check the VET Student Loan eligibility requirements listed below. Once you've met all of the government requirements,  go to Step 3.

Step 3. Log in to the Government eCAF portal and submit your eCAF

After you opt-in to a loan, you’ll get an email from the Department of Education and Training with instructions on what to do next. This will contain your unique passkey and additional information required to log in to the Government's eCAF portal and submit your electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) before your next census date. Once your loan is approved, it will cover the tuition fees for all classes where the census date has not yet passed.

 

Important!

Before your loan can be approved, you need to:

  • verify your citizenship when you enrol.
  • provide your Tax File Number on your eCAF in the government portal. Read the Tax File Number verification section below for further requirements.

Current students

If you’re a current student enrolling into a new program, you’ll need to submit a new request for FEE-HELP, SA-HELP or a VET Student Loan for that program in order to defer your fees. This includes vocational education students who have been transitioned into a new version of the National Training Package.

VET Student Loan eligibility requirements

To apply for a VET Student Loan, you must first meet all of the government requirements:

  • Your program is a VSL Eligible program.
  • You've verified your citizenship status
  • You've enrolled in your program (for at least 48 hours)
  • You've completed your online Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) test via BKSB, with an outcome of 3 or above; OR if you didn't achieve a level 3 outcome, you've:
    •     provided your Australian Year 12 Certificate; OR
    •     provided evidence of successful completion of an Australian Certificate IV or higher qualification (where the language of instruction is English).
  • If you're under 18 years of age, you've provided parental consent by completing the VET Student Loans Parental Consent Form and submitting it via the RMIT Connect portal.

HECS-HELP - How to apply

If you've been offered a Commonwealth supported place in a higher education program, you'll be automatically prompted to complete an Application for Commonwealth assistance and HECS-HELP eCAF when you enrol.

You'll need to complete an Application for Commonwealth Assistance and HECS-HELP eCAF in the government portal, even if you're not eligible for a HECS-HELP Loan.  If you don't submit your eCAF, you'll be unable to continue with your enrolment.

Step 1. Log in to the Government eCAF portal and submit your eCAF

You’ll get an email from the Department of Education and Training with instructions on how to access your electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF). This will contain your unique passkey and additional information required to log in to the Government's eCAF portal and submit your eCAF.

Step 2. Indicate you want to access a HECS-HELP loan on your eCAF

If you're eligible and want to access HECS-HELP, you can indicate this on your eCAF.

Important!

Before your loan can be approved, you need to:

  • verify your citizenship when you enrol.
  • provide your Tax File Number on your eCAF in the government portal. Read the Tax File Number verification section below for further requirements.

If you start a new program, you'll need to submit a new application for HECS-HELP when you enrol in order to defer your fees.

Tax File Number (TFN) validation

Before your fees can be successfully deferred to a HELP loan or VET Student Loan, the government needs to validate your Tax File Number with the Australian Taxation Office.

If your TFN can't be validated before your census date, the government will consider you to be ineligible for a loan and you'll need to pay your fees by the due date.

How to validate your TFN

When you enter your TFN on your eCAF in the government portal, an initial validation check is made. If there are any issues, an alert will be displayed and you need to complete the steps listed below. 

RMIT is also notified by the Department of Education when your TFN can't be validated. However, RMIT is not notified until several weeks after you submit your eCAF. RMIT will send an email notification to your student email account if we're advised your TFN can’t be validated - at this point,urgent action will be required if you want to keep your HELP Loan or VSL.

My TFN can’t be validated - what now?

For your TFN to validate, all of the following personal details must match exactly on your RMIT student record and on your Australian Taxation Office record:

  • your Tax File Number
  • your first name
  • your middle name/s
  • your family name
  • your date of birth
  • your address.

If any of these details don’t match, your TFN can’t be validated.

Step 1. Check your ATO record as soon as possible

Check your details held by the ATO via your myGov account (login required) or by contacting the ATO. If your ATO details are incorrect, you’ll need to update your details with the ATO immediately.

Step 2. Notify RMIT of your updated details

Once you’ve corrected your personal details with the ATO, you need to notify RMIT via the hesa.unit@rmit.edu.au email account.

Don’t forget to tell us what details you updated with the ATO!

We'll let the Department of Education and Training know your details have been corrected so they can validate your TFN.

More information

FAQs about Commonwealth assistance loans

VET Student Loans, FEE-HELP and SA-HELP only

Once your optional loan is approved:

  • You will be issued with a 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 in to Enrolment Online and select My student record. Under Financial details, select View HELP approval letters.

*HELP approval letters are not issued for HECS-HELP.  HECS-HELP is automatically approved for eligible students in a Commonwealth supported place.

All Commonwealth assistance loans:

  • You can see when your loan is approved by checking the loan status - log in to Enrolment Online and select My student record. Under Financial details, select Manage Commonwealth assistance and optional loans to view the status of each loan type.
  • All approved loans are listed on your tax invoice - see  Your Tax Invoice Explained.

If you have an approved HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, SA-HELP or VET Student Loan, the amount of your loan will not be calculated until after the relevant semester census date, when these fees are deferred to the loan schemes.

Therefore, invoices issued before the relevant semester census date will show that semester’s total tuition fees and include them in the amount payable.

Your invoices are issued in Enrolment Online. When you've been issued an invoice, a notification email is sent to your RMIT student email account which you are required to check weekly.

Read more about tax invoices.

Yes. If you want to make an upfront payment towards your tuition fees, you must do so on or before the relevant semester census date.

If you want to make an upfront payment towards your Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF), you must do so before the due date on your invoice.

 

Once your fees have been deferred after each census date, you will be issued with a Commonwealth Assessment Notice (CAN) within 28 days after the deferral.

A notification email will be sent to your RMIT student email account and your nominated personal email when a CAN is available to view via Enrolment Online.

Keep track of your HELP debt and retain your VET Student Loan

It's important that you stay up-to-date with your loan requirements. 

Find out how to keep track of your HELP debt and retain your VET Student Loan.