VET Student Loans

Complete all of these steps before the census date to get a loan

Check your census date

Census dates are linked to each unit, you will normally have 3 or more census dates throughout your study depending on the duration of your course.

If you miss a census date you can apply for a VET Student Loan for your future census dates.

Census dates are also the last day you can withdraw from your unit our course without incurring fees. If you withdraw after census date your fees will be deferred to your loan.

Check your Statement of Account for your census dates, fees and payment due dates.

Find out more about census dates.

Read more about withdrawing from a unit and withdrawing from your course.

Apply for a Tax File Number early

To be eligible for a VET Student Loan you must provide your Tax File Number (TFN) prior to the census date.

Applications to the Australian Taxation Office for a new TFN will take time, especially at the start of the year.

If you have applied for a TFN, you can apply for a VET Student Loan and provide a copy of your Certificate of application for a TFN from the Australian Taxation Office. You must provide your TFN to us prior to your census date to access the VET Student Loan.

Apply for a TFN at the Australian Taxation Office website.

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.

We will contact you if your TFN cannot be verified. 

Tax File Number (TFN Verification)

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 HECS-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.

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

If you don’t have a myGov account, you can create one by clicking the ‘Create an account’ button at

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.

Check your eligibility and supporting documents

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

Citizenship and residency

You must:

  • be an Australian citizen doing at least one unit of your course in Australia, confirmed by providing a current passport, birth certificate, citizenship certificate, or
  • hold a permanent humanitarian visa and live in Australia for the duration of your course, confirmed by providing official documentation, or
  • hold a New Zealand Special Category visa and meet the special eligibility requirements for New Zealand citizens, confirmed by providing your international movement records.

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.

Request a VET Student Loan Parent Consent form by emailing

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).

You may need to pay some of your fees while studying

Your loan may not cover all of your fees.

Each course has a VET Student Loan Course Cap, this is the maximum amount you will be loaned for the course. If your fees are higher than the Course Cap you will need to pay the difference to Swinburne, once your Course Cap is reached.

You can choose to make payments towards the difference before the payment due date, or to reduce the amount deferred to your loan. Payments will be allocated to units with a future census date.

Check the Unit costs and indicative course fees lists for course fees, caps, loan fees and individual unit fees.

Read important information about the VET Student Loan Program

You must read the VET Student Loans Information Booklet before applying for a loan.

A VET student loan results in a HELP debt that continues to be a debt due to the government until it is repaid.
You will start repaying the loan when you reach the minimum repayment threshold. 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.

Check the Study Assist website to find out more.

We encourage you to seek independent financial advice to be sure a VET Student Loan is right for you.

Submit the VET Student Loan request form

After you are admitted into your course there is a 2-business day cooling off period before you can submit your request.

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 MyFinancials.

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

Complete the Government eCAF

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 access the loan. 

Manage your loan

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.

VET Student Loan Progression

To continue to be eligible for a VET Student Loan, you will need to submit a VET Student Loan Progression form through the government’s eCAF system.
You may be required to submit the VET Student Loan Progression form more than once.

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.

Assistance and more information

 If you need more assistance understanding VET Student Loans or have a question, you can: