The SA-HELP loan is a deferred payment option provided by the Australian Government for your Student Services and Amenities Fee, which means you don't repay your SSAF until your income rises above the minimum repayment threshold.

SA-HELP loans are available to eligible students. Eligibility information can be found on the StudyAssist website. 

The SSAF is calculated for each teaching period based on your individual course load, and what mode of study you are undertaking, up to a capped amount. Because the SSAF is based on your course load, it is payable after the relevant census date, when your enrolment for that period is registered. Not all students are required to contribute to SSAF, and the list of students who contribute / do not contribute to SSAF are on our SSAF webpage. Students who are required to contribute to SSAF must pay their SSAF by the due date shown on their Statement of Account

You can read more about SA-HELP loans on the Australian Government's StudyAssist website or download the StudyAssist fact sheet [PDF 313.54KB].

How do SA-HELP loans work?

Through SA-HELP, the Australian Government pays the SSAF on your behalf. 
You will start paying this loan back through the tax system when your taxable income is higher than the minimum repayment threshold.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) calculates your compulsory repayment for the year and includes this on your income tax notice of assessment. On top of the compulsory repayments, you can make additional voluntary repayments to the ATO.

You must supply your Tax File Number (TFN) when you apply for an SA-HELP loan. If you fail to supply your TFN, your enrolment will be cancelled.

The outstanding balance of your SA-HELP loan will increase each year with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

In each teaching period, you can:

  • pay nothing upfront and incur deferred SA-HELP debt
  • pay your full SSAF upfront to Swinburne each teaching period and accrue no SA-HELP debt for this teaching period.

You can pay by logging in to My Finances. View your Statement of Account to check the amount and choose your preferred payment method.

Are you eligible for the SA-HELP loan?

You are eligible for a SA-HELP loan if you are required to pay the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF), and you:


  • Are enrolled in an undergraduate or postgraduate course, or UniLink diploma, and have a Tax File Number (TFN).  Students of diploma and advanced diploma courses are not eligible to defer payment of the SSAF with a SA-HELP loan.

If you’re a permanent visa holder or New Zealand citizen and do not meet these criteria, you are not eligible for SA-HELP. You must pay your SSAF in full by the date on your Statement of Account.

How to apply for a SA-HELP loan

You can apply for a SA-HELP loan online, after you have accepted your offer of a Commonwealth Supported Place or Full Fee-Paying Place at Swinburne. 

Note: If you’re not paying student amendment fees in full upfront, you must apply for a SA-HELP loan by the census date.

To apply online:

  1. Log in to your student portal, My Swinburne, using your student ID and password
  2. Select the My Study tile
  3. Select the Government Assistance tab on the left-hand side of the window
  4. Click Add and select the SA-HELP form in the dropdown menu
  5. Read the form carefully and fill out all necessary details
  6. Click Submit

When we submit your HELP loan data to the government, your TFN is verified against Australian Taxation Office data. Your TFN must be verified before your census date for you to be eligible to receive the loan.

To ensure your TFN can be verified, check that your Swinburne personal details match what you have supplied to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). If your details do not match, you won’t be eligible for a HELP loan and you’ll be required to pay your fees upfront.

The personal details that must match are:

  • TFN
  • date of birth
  • given name, other given name(s) and family name
  • permanent address details.

To ensure your records match after completing the HECS-HELP loan application, please check your Swinburne personal details and the ATO’s record via their online service. 

  • If you already have a myGov account, you can confirm and update your Tax File Number details directly online.
  • If you don’t have a myGov account, you can create one by clicking the ‘Create an account’ button online.
  • Once you are logged into your myGov account go to the Australian Taxation Office and select the My Details tab
  • If you have difficulties using the ATO’s online services, please contact the ATO enquiries line on 13 28 61.

If your TFN cannot be verified after you submit your HELP loan details to the government, we will alert you via email.

If you need to change, cancel or view the status of your SA-HELP application, simply:

  1. Log in to My Finances using your SIMS username (Student ID) and password.
  2. Choose ‘HELP Forms’ in the left-hand navigation.

Any previously submitted SA-HELP applications are displayed when you log in, along with the status of your application.

For more information about applying for a SA-HELP loan see our help guide HELP assistance: How to manage your HELP assistance applications online [PDF 260KB].

Assistance and further information

If you need more assistance understanding HECS-HELP loans or have a question, we’re here to help.

You can: