SA-HELP loan

Overview

SA-HELP loans are only available to students required to pay the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). The loan is a deferred payment option, which you don't repay until your income rises above the minimum repayment threshold.

If you are a local or online undergraduate, postgraduate, UniLink or Open Universities Australia (OUA) student, you must pay the SSAF in each teaching period of your course.

SA-HELP loans are available to all eligible students. 

If you are a vocational education (formerly TAFE) or international student, you don't have to pay the SSAF, so are not eligible for SA-HELP loans.

The SSAF is calculated for each teaching period based on your individual course load, up to a maximum of $303. 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. 

You can read more about SA-HELP loans in detail on the Australian Government StudyAssist website or download this booklet [PDF, 392 KB].

 

Eligibility

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

and

  • are enrolled and have a Tax File Number (TFN)

If you are 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 it works

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.

Extra costs

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

Making SA-HELP loan repayments

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 Financials. View your Statement of Account to check 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 SA-HELP loan 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 SA-HELP loan applications will be displayed, 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 more information 

If you need more assistance understanding SA-HELP loans or have a question, you can: