Student Loans Australia

Since 2005 Australian Government established Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP). It is designed to provide low interest student loan for tertiary education. Apparently, the programme is an improved version of the previous HECS system.

HELP is funded by both the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST). This study loan is not controlled by the government. The repayments, adjustments and exceptions are the responsibility of ATO.

Study Loan Repayments

The Higher Education Loan Programme is one of the least invasive study loans in the world. This graduate loan is not regarded as a normal debt. Instead, it is paid as a supplementary income tax. This way graduates do not pay the loan if they do not have the income. The HELP scheme does not attract interest. The repayments are adjusted according to the inflation.

Who is Eligible For HECS-HELP Study Loan?

All domestic students in Commonwealth supported regions who are Australian citizens (or holders of permanent humanitarian visa) are eligible for HECS-HELP system. New Zealand citizens and other permanent visa holders do not qualify for the government loan.

Those who satisfy HELP requirements and choose to pay all or at least $500 of fees, are eligible for HECS-HELP discount. It is 20% discount on the amount paid up front.

FEE-HELP: The Fee Paying Student Loan Australia - Wide

FEE- HELP is a study loan for fee paying students to help them with the cost of studies. Only eligible students are considered. The applicant can borrow amount up to the tuition fee charged by the educational institution.

However, there is a limit to how much the borrower can get. For general studies the limit is $85K. For medical courses it is increased to $106K.


Students who qualify for HECS-HELP and wish to complete part of their course overseas may apply for OS-HELP loan. It is a graduate loan to help with accommodation and travel costs.

However, strict conditions apply. Generally, educational institutions will nominate the candidate for OS-HELP funding. This study loan imposes a fee of 20% the amount borrowed and is not awarded for overseas full time study.

What About Graduate Loans For Extra Expenses?

Unfortunately, the cost of your laptop, scientific calculators, meals and accommodation comes straight from your pocket. In this case, abstudy may not fully finance these expenses. However, banks and other lenders do provide student loans. Major banks offer deferred repayments after studies are completed.

NAB bank currently lends $500-$20K under the study loan scheme. Loans from ANZ get up to $6K for full time students. Most banks offer graduate loans for a duration of 5 years. Nonetheless, fees maybe substantial (ANZ charges $200 plus $125 top-up fee).