What is HECS-HELP?
HECS-HELP is a loan program to help eligible Commonwealth supported students to pay their student contribution amounts. Before 2005, this was known as 'HECS'.
HECS-HELP is not just a loan scheme. Under HECS-HELP, eligible students can also receive a 10%* discount when they pay $500 or more of their student contributions (for a study period) up-front.
*From 1 January 2012, the Australian Government has lowered the
HECS-HELP discount from 20% to 10% for up-front student contribution payments of $500 or more.
Am I eligible for a HECS-HELP loan?
To be eligible for a HECS-HELP loan, you must:
be studying in a Commonwealth supported place;
be an Australian citizen or permanent humanitarian visa holder;
enrol with a provider in each unit, by the census date;
read the Information for Commonwealth supported students and HECS-HELP booklet; and
submit a valid Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form (eCAF) by the census date . You can complete your eCAF as part of your enrolment via MyHub.
How does the HECS-HELP discount work if I pay all my student contribution as an up-front payment?
To pay your full student contribution up-front, you only need to pay 90% of the total because the Government pays the other 10% to the University through the HECS-HELP discount.
How does the HECS-HELP discount work if I pay only part of my student contribution up-front?
Not all students can afford to pay their whole student contribution up-front. In this case, eligible students can pay part of their contribution up-front and take out a HECS-HELP loan for the rest through the HECS-HELP loan. Even partial up-front student contribution payments of $500 or more are eligible for the HECS-HELP 10% discount.
What if I don't want to pay any amount up-front?
Eligible students who don’t want to pay any of their student contribution amounts up-front can use a HECS-HELP loan for the whole amount. Students who use a HECS-HELP loan will be required to pay their debt through the tax system when they earn above the minimum threshold for compulsory repayment, even if they are still studying.
How much will a HECS-HELP loan cost me?
There is no real interest charged on HECS-HELP loans. However, your debt will be indexed each year to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index to maintain its real value.
Can I change my payment option?
You can change your HECS-HELP payment option before the census date for the relevant study period. If you have not made an up-front payment by the census, any unpaid student contribution amount at the census date will be deferred automatically as a HECS-HELP loan and become a HELP debt, provided you have included your TFN on your submitted Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form (eCAF) as part of your enrolment.
How do I repay my HECS-HELP loan?
You have to start repaying your HELP debt through the taxation system once your repayment income is above the compulsory repayment threshold, even if you are still studying.
The compulsory repayment threshold is adjusted each year. For the 2012-13 income year, the compulsory repayment threshold is $49,095.
Incorrect Information and Varying your Enrolment
If you believe the enrolment and HECS-HELP details are incorrect, you will need to vary your enrolment. Options are:
- Until the end of Week 2 of the semester/trimester you can add and drop courses via the online enrolment facility, or
- From Week 3 to the semester census date you must contact your School or Faculty Office to add a course, or
- Up until the census date you can drop courses via the online enrolment facility without incurring a HECS-HELP liability.
If you vary your enrolment after you have received your student bill, you can still pay on this invoice. Contact the Student Financials & Scholarships office for amended details on the amount outstanding.
Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN)
Under the guidelines of the Higher Education Support Act (HESA) 2003, the University must issue a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) to all Commonwealth Supported (HECS), OS-HELP, SA-HELP and FEE-HELP students after the census date for each term of enrolment. The CAN sets out details of your enrolment, the fees charged, payments received and any amounts deferred to the Australian Taxation Office as a HELP loan.
The CAN is delivered electronically (eCAN) and will be available for viewing on your MyHub page. After the census date in each term of your enrolment you will receive an email from the Student Financials and Scholarships office to advise that your eCAN is available on MyHub.
You will need to select the View My eCAN link on your MyHub Home Page, located in the My Finances section, to view the details of your CAN. We recommend that you print a copy of the eCAN for your records.
Should you not agree with the details of your eCAN you will have 14 days, from the date of issue of your eCAN, in which to appeal the information. You will find a link to the Appeal form on your My Hub page.
Remission of Debt in Special Circumstances
Students who are unable to continue with their studies due to Special Circumstances, and who withdraw after the Census Date, may be eligible for Remission of Debt in Special Circumstances.