If you’re eligible for the VETSL, the Australian Government may approve your application for an approved course. This means they will pay your loan directly to Swinburne. The debt of this loan will then be managed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).  

There’s a limit to how much you can borrow with a VETSL. This is known as a ‘loan cap’ and is different for every course. As of January 2020, there are three loan cap bands. These are:  

  • A$5,264 
  • A10,528 
  • A$15,793 

Visit the VSL Course Caps Indexed Amounts for Students for up-to-date loan cap amounts. 

Repaying your VET Student Loan

A VET student loan results in a VETSL debt that continues to be a debt due to the government until it is repaid. 

You will not have to start paying back the loan until you reach the compulsory repayment threshold. The compulsory repayment threshold is adjusted annually. As of January 2020 this threshold is A$45,881 for the 2019–20 income year. 

The rate at which you repay the loan is based on your income; as you earn more you will repay a higher percentage of your taxable income towards your loan. 

Are you eligible for the VETSL?

VET Student Loans will not be approved for students who do not meet eligibility requirements.  

Eligibility criteria overview: 

  1. Be an Australian citizen, or a qualifying New Zealand citizen, or a permanent humanitarian visa holder, who is usually a resident in Australia. 
  2. Be studying an approved course.
  3. Be studying with an approved course provider.
  4. Apply to the government using the approved form, which will be managed through your provider. 
  5. Submit Progression Forms to confirm your ongoing engagement with your studies and continue accessing the loan throughout your course.
Academic suitability

You must have:

  • achieved an Exit Level score of 3 or higher in the Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) assessment, or
  • completed secondary school, confirmed by providing a copy of your Secondary School Certificate, or
  • completed a qualification that is AQF level Certificate IV or higher. If the qualification was not undertaken at Swinburne, you must provide a copy of the certificate.
Under 18 students

If you are under 18 when requesting a VET Student Loan:

  • your parent or guardian must sign the VET Student Loan Parent Consent form, or
  • you have received Youth Allowance on the basis that you are independent, you may be required to provide evidence of this.
Loan entitlements

You must not have exceeded:

  • your FEE-HELP limit, and
  • the Loan Cap for your course.
Unique Student Identifier

You must provide a valid Unique Student Identifier (USI).

For the full list of eligibility criteria and for more information on the supporting documents you must provide, read page seven of the Australian Government’s VET Student Loans Information Booklet.

Studying a Certificate IV course or below?

The VETSL is only available for students studying diploma-level courses or above. This means if you’re studying a Certificate IV or below you’re not eligible for the VET Student Loan but you may be eligible for other types of financial support.

When should you apply for a VETSL? 

After you’re admitted into your course, you must wait two business days before you can submit your VETSL request form. 

If you are enrolled in more than one course, you must submit a request for each course. 

To request a VET Student Loan you must complete the Intent to Apply for a VET Student Loan form by logging into My Financials

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

Want to use a VET Student Loan to pay for your study?  

To use a VETSL to pay for your study, you must submit your TFN by the census date. If you don’t have a TFN, get it early by applying for one via the ATO site. Otherwise, if you miss your census date, you’ll not be able to use the loan for that study period.

Managing, maintaining and remaining eligible for the VETSL

VET Student Loan fee notices 

Before each census date we will send you a VET Student Loan Fee Notice which details the fees that will be deferred to your loan. 

We will also send you a Commonwealth Assistance Notice after the census day to confirm the amount of loan debt you have incurred. 

Changed your mind? 

If you no longer want to pay your unit fees using a VET Student Loan, you must notify us by emailing studentHQ. If you choose to cancel your VET Student Loan, you must pay the fees for all units not covered by the VET Student Loan by the due date. 

Keep your contact details up to date 

We'll contact you about your VET Student Loan via your email or mobile phone. We may also send financial documents to your preferred postal address. Find out how to update your personal details.

If you are eligible for a VET Student Loan we will submit your request to the government via the Electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF). The government will communicate with you via your personal email and provide you with an access code and link to eCAF. 

You must complete the Government eCAF to be assessed for the loan. 

To receive a VET Student Loan, the Government requires you to confirm your engagement and progression throughout your course by doing the following: 

  • You must submit the progression form in the Government eCAF system. 
  • You will receive your first progression invitation at least 4 months after commencing your VET Student Loan. 
  • An invitation email with login details will be sent to your personal email address. 
  • You will log into the Government eCAF system, select the appropriate course status relevant to you and answer a short survey that will take about 3 minutes. 
  • You will continue to submit progression forms every February, June and October throughout the duration of your study. 
  • If you have a loan for more than one course then you will need to complete a progression form for each course. 
  • If you do not complete the survey, or if you answer in a way that indicates you no longer need the VET Student Loan, then you will be withdrawn from current and future enrolments. Refer to the fee withdrawal policy for more information.
  • You have 14 days to complete the progression form. However, if you missed the deadline or if you made a mistake in the way you responded on the form contact us! We can initiate a new Progression form immediately. Once submitted correctly your VET Student Loan eligibility continues and you can continue study using the VETSL to defer your fees. 
  • Remember, if you wish to cancel your VET Student Loan and make other arrangements to pay your fees, you must tell us in writing. Email tafefees@swinburne.edu.au.

For further information about your VET Student Loan Progression requirement and FAQs refer to the Australian Government website

You must remain eligible for a VET Student Loan throughout your course. If you become ineligible and haven’t formally cancelled your VET Student Loan in writing, Swinburne may withdraw you from current and future units of study. 

The following situations will mean you are no longer eligible for a VET Student Loan: 

  • Your Tax File Number and personal details can no longer be validated by the ATO. 
    You may have changed your name or contact details at Swinburne or when submitting your tax return, which has caused a mismatch. We will contact you if your TFN fails verification. 
  • You have not submitted one or more Government eCAF Progression forms. 
    Contact us. We can initiate a new Government eCAF Progression form and advise you how to best respond to ensure continued eligibility. 
  • Your contact details are not up to date. 
    We need to report correct residential address and personal email address details to the government and to use in official VETSL communications to you. 
  • You have become a Permanent Resident, or had a citizenship or residency change 
    You must advise any change to your citizenship and residency details immediately to avoid future issues with your VET Student Loan. If you change your citizenship and residency status, you may become ineligible for the loan. Check the eligibility requirements in the VET Student Loan handbook, or contact us for information on 1300 794 628
Have a question or need more assistance?

If you need help understanding VET Student Loans or have a question, we’re here to support you. You can: