Vocational & Career

VET Student Loans for diploma courses

Course Description

What is the VET Student Loans program?

The VET Student Loans program is an Australian Government loan program that helps eligible students enrolled in approved courses at approved course providers pay their tuition fees. 

If you are an eligible student, the Department of Education and Training (the department) may approve your VET Student Loan for an approved Diploma Course with Kiama Community College. The department will pay your loan directly to the College. You will be responsible for any gap amount in the tuition fees, if any, which are not covered by the loan. You will owe a debt to the Australian Government for the loan, which will be managed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Am I eligible?

To receive a VET Student Loan, you must:

  1. be an eligible student
  2. be studying an approved course (Diplomas at Kiama Community College are approved courses)
  3. apply to the government using the approved form, and
  4. confirm your engagement and progression to continue to access the loan throughout your course.

To be an eligible student, you must be:

  • an Australian citizen, or
  • a qualifying New Zealand citizen,  or
  • permanent humanitarian visa holder, who is usually resident in Australia.

 

The College will assist you by confirming your eligibility and providing you with the Vet Student Loan Information booklet.

 

You will also need to be assessed as academically suited to undertake the Diploma course on the basis of either:

  • providing your Australian Year 12 Certificate; OR
  • providing evidence of successful completion of an Australian Qualifications Framework Certificate IV or higher qualification (where the language of instruction is English); OR
  • displaying competence at Exit Level 3 in the Australian Core Skills Framework in both reading and numeracy through an approved Language, Literacy and Numeracy test.

 

How much can I borrow? What is the FEE-HELP limit?

You can borrow up to the FEE-HELP limit to pay your tuition fees. The FEE-HELP limit is the total amount available to you under VET Student Loans, VET FEE-HELP and FEE-HELP over your lifetime. Any amount you borrow under VET Student Loans, VET FEE-HELP or FEE‑HELP will be added together until you reach the FEE-HELP limit.

For 2017, the FEE-HELP limit is $100,879 for most students.

The FEE-HELP limit is a lifetime limit and is not reset or ‘topped up’ by any repayments that you make.

Will I be charged interest?

There is no interest charged on HELP debts. Your HELP debt is, however, indexed each year. It increases annually on 1 June to maintain its real value, adjusting in line with changes in the cost of living (as measured by the Consumer Price Index figure released each March).

Debts are not indexed until they are 11 months old. You can find current and past indexation rates on the ATO website.

Is there a loan fee?

Yes, for most students. A 20 per cent loan fee applies to VET Student Loans for full fee paying / fee for service students. The loan fee does not count towards your FEE-HELP limit.

You do not have to pay the loan fee upfront – it is reported by your provider and is added to your HELP debt at the ATO.

For example, if you are undertaking a course that costs $1,000, the loan fee is $200 (i.e. 20% of $1,000). So your VET Student Loans debt for that course will be the cost of the course ($1,000) + the loan fee ($200) = $1,200.

You do not pay the loan fee if you are a student who is subsidised by a state or territory government.

How do I apply for a VET Student Loan?

To apply for a VET Student Loan you must complete the Request for a VET Student Loan eCAF by the census day.

You must first enrol with us and indicate you wish to access a VET Student Loan. We will then give the department your enrolment information, including the nearest applicable census day, through the electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) system.

You will then receive an email from the department allowing you to sign into the eCAF system. Once you sign-in, you will need to verify the pre-populated information and complete the mandatory fields. You must then wait at least two full business days after you have enrolled in your studies before submitting the eCAF.

You must submit the eCAF on or before the first census day for which you would like the loan to apply.

If you are under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian must complete and sign a parental consent form. The completed parental consent form must be given to your provider before you can be issued with an eCAF application form.

 

For the latest information on the VET Student Loans program, refer to the VET Student Loans page on the Study Assist website at www.studyassist.gov.au or the Department of Education and Training’s website at www.education.gov.au/vet-student-loans.

Download the VET Student Loan information booklet here

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