FEE-HELP loans

Overview

A FEE-HELP loan can help you pay all or part of your tuition fees if you are a full-fee paying undergraduate, postgraduate, UniLink or Open Universities (OUA) student.

FEE-HELP loans let you defer some or all of the cost of your further education, until you earn above the minimum repayment threshold.

If you receive a FEE-HELP loan, the Australian Government pays the loan amount directly to Swinburne on your behalf. You then repay that loan through the tax system.

An unlimited number of FEE-HELP loans are available to eligible students each academic year.

Make sure you check the other loans and discounts and scholarships that you may be eligible for.

You can read about FEE-HELP loans in detail on the Australian government StudyAssist website or download this booklet [PDF, 482KB].  

Eligibility

You are eligible for a FEE-HELP loan if you are studying an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, or UniLink or OUA course at Swinburne, and you:

The FEE-HELP limit is the maximum amount you can borrow from the government in your lifetime towards your education costs. It is fixed and cannot be topped up.

It’s your responsibility to ensure the Swinburne tuition fees for your intended course fall within the FEE-HELP limit. If your tuition fees exceed the limit, you will have to pay the excess in full up-front, or your enrolment will be cancelled.

How it works

Through FEE-HELP, the Australian Government pays some or all of your tuition fees to Swinburne on your behalf.

If you don't want to or can't pay for your full-fee paying course up-front, a FEE-HELP loan allows you to pay back the Australian Government through the tax system once 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 amount, you can make additional voluntary repayments to the ATO.

You must supply your Tax File Number (TFN) when you apply. If you fail to either pay your fees in full up-front or apply for a FEE-HELP loan and supply your TFN by the census date, your enrolment will be cancelled.

Extra costs

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

A loan fee of 25% is added to FEE-HELP loans for undergraduate students. So the amount you need to pay back will be 25% more than the cost of your course. This 25% loading does not apply to postgraduate students.

You will also need to pay the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). This is billed each teaching period and compulsory for all local undergraduate and postgraduate students. The SSAF is calculated based on your course load up to a maximum of $290.

The SSAF is not covered by your FEE-HELP loan. If you need financial assistance to cover this cost, you can also apply for a SA-HELP loan.

Making FEE-HELP loan repayments

In each teaching period, you can:

  • pay nothing upfront and incur deferred FEE-HELP debt
  • pay part of your tuition fees upfront and the balance will accrue to your FEE-HELP debt.

You can pay by logging in to My Financials. Check your Statement of Account for the amount and choose your preferred payment method.

How to apply

You can apply for a HELP loan online, after you have accepted your offer of a Commonwealth Supported Place at Swinburne. 

Note: If you are not paying your student contribution in full upfront, you must apply for a HELP loan by the census date.

To apply online:

  1. log in to My Financials using your SIMS username (Student ID) and password
  2. choose ‘HELP Forms’ in the left-hand navigation
  3. choose ‘Add New’ to view the list of forms available
  4. choose the form you want then select ‘Complete Form’
  5. check your details are correct (e.g. your date of birth must be entered in dd/mm/yyyy format)
  6. enter your Australian Tax File Number (TFN). If you are eligible to defer your fees to a HECS-HELP loan you must submit a valid TFN prior to the census date of the teaching period. If you have missing information you will be required to pay your fees upfront for that teaching period.
  7. choose ‘Submit’.

Tax File Number (TFN) verification

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 HELP loan application, please check your Swinburne personal details and the ATO’s record via their online service. 

Swinburne personal details:

  • Log in to My details, using your SIMS username (Student ID) and password, to check your personal details
  • To change your permanent details such as your name, date of birth, permanent address etc., you have to complete the Amendment to Personal Details form and submit it to studentHQ.  

ATO personal details:

  • If you already have a myGov account, you can confirm and update your Tax File Number details directly online at https://my.gov.au/
  • If you don’t have a myGov account, you can create one by clicking the ‘Create an account’ button at https://my.gov.au/
  • Once you are logged into your myGov account, go to 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.


Managing your application

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

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

Any previously submitted FEE-HELP loan applications will be displayed when you log in, along with the status of your application.

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

Assistance and more information

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

You can: