FEE-HELP loan fee exemption and reduction for undergraduate full fee-paying students
An exemption from the FEE-HELP loan fee was provided for units with a census date between 1 April 2020 and 31 December 2021. After this time, the FEE-HELP loan fee will then be reduced from 25% to 20% for all units with a census date on or after 1 January 2022.
Students do not need to do anything for the exemption or reduction to be applied. Student FEE-HELP debt records with the Australian Taxation Office will automatically reflect the loan fee the above changes.
You must meet the following requirements to be eligible for FEE‑HELP:
- You are studying at an approved FEE‑HELP provider (TAFE Queensland is an approved provider).
- You meet the citizenship and residency requirements:
- You are an Australian citizen who will complete at least one unit of your course of study in Australia; or
- You are a New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) holder who meets the long-term residency requirements and who is resident in Australia for the duration of your study; or
- You are a permanent humanitarian visa holder who is resident in Australia for the duration of your study; or
- You are a permanent visa holder who is undertaking bridging study for overseas-trained professionals and who is resident in Australia for the duration of your study.
- You are enrolled in an eligible course of study by the census date.
- You submit the Request for FEE-HELP eCAF to TAFE Queensland by the census date.
- You have not have already borrowed up to your HELP loan limit.
- You are a genuine student and academically suited to your course of study.
- You maintain a minimum pass rate to continue to be eligible to use FEE-HELP.
For more information download the FEE-HELP Information booklet.
Eligible students can borrow up to the combined HELP limit to pay your tuition fees. This includes all FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP, VET Student Loans amounts you have borrowed. It will also include any HECS-HELP loans incurred from 1 January 2020.
Once you begin using your HELP loan limit, the amount of HELP you have left to borrow is known as your available 'HELP balance'. The HELP loan limit is published annually on the Study Assist FEE-HELP website.
For information on the new combined HELP loan limit, please visit the Study Assist website.
There is no interest charged on FEE-HELP debts, however it is subject to indexation, which means the loan maintains its real value by adjusting in line with changes in the cost of living. There is also a loan fee of 25 per cent for FEE‑HELP loans for undergraduate courses. The loan fee does not count towards your FEE‑HELP limit.
Special loan fee exemption for pandemic relief: On 12 April 2020 the Australian Government announced a six-month exemption of the 25 per cent loan fee for students accessing FEE-HELP. This exemption applied to FEE-HELP loan amounts incurred on census days between 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020. This exemption has now been extended to include FEE-HELP loan amounts incurred on census days between 1 October 2020 to 30 June 2021.
All FEE-HELP loan amounts incurred on census days between 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2021 will not incur the usual 25 per cent loan fee. Students will not need to do anything for the exemption to be applied. Student FEE-HELP debt records with the Australian Taxation Office will automatically reflect the loan fee exemption from early June 2020.
You repay your HELP debt through the tax system once you earn above the compulsory repayment threshold. The compulsory repayment threshold is different each year.
You can also make a voluntary repayment to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) at any time.
The basis for assessment of a student’s academic suitability is as follows (eCAF definition, 2017):
- The student has met TAFE Queensland’s entry requirements for the approved course; and
- The student's academic suitability was based on an assessment of one or more of the following:
- Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (Year 12 Certificate) or ATAR score awarded by an agency or authority
- Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Certificate IV or higher qualification
- Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT)
- Professional/paraprofessional qualifications or employment experience
Minimum pass rate
If you began your current enrolment with TAFE Queensland on or after 1 January 2018 and apply for FEE-HELP, the 50 per cent pass rate will apply.
This means that once you have undertaken 4 or more units in a sub-bachelor level course, or 8 or more units in bachelor and above level courses, you must have passed at least 50 per cent of your total attempted units in order to remain eligible for a CSP, HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP. Refer to https://www.studyassist.gov.au/help-loans/fee-help for more information.
You need to ensure that you pass at least 50% of your total attempted units across your course of study. Otherwise you will have to pay the tuition fees upfront until you improve your pass rate.
For the purposes of subsection 104-1(1A) of the HESA 2003 (The Act), in determining whether a student is a genuine student in relation to a unit of study being undertaken as part of a course of study, regard may be had to the following matters:
(a) whether the student is reasonably engaged in the course;
(b) whether the student has been provided with information pertaining to the course requirements for the course, and the cost and duration of the course;
(c) whether the student has satisfied course requirements for the course or participated in assessment activities for the course;
(d) if the course is an online course—the number of occasions on which the student has logged in to the course is not insignificant;
(e) whether the student has provided up-to-date contact details that enable the Department to contact the student to verify the student’s enrolment in the course;
(f) if the student is enrolled in another course—the number of the enrolments and associated course loads would not make successful completion of a course by the student impossible or highly improbable.
Our customer service team is ready to support you through the application process. You can contact us if you have any questions, or need any help with your FEE-HELP application.
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