HELP loans

HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP are Commonwealth provided loans that assist eligible students to pay their tuition fees.

The Australian Government pays the subject fees directly to the education institution on behalf of the student and the loan amount is recorded with the Australian Tax Office against their tax file number.

The debt is then gradually repaid through tax payments once a minimum income threshold is met.


Students are eligible for HELP loans if they are:

An Australian citizen and studying at least one subject of their course of study in Australia or, the holder of a permanent humanitarian visa and will be resident in Australia for the duration of their subject.


A New Zealand citizens holding a Special Category Visa (SCV) who meet the below criteria are also eligible to apply for a HELP loan, providing they:

  • Have first entered Australia as a dependent child aged under 18 years.
  • At that time did not have a spouse or de facto partner.
  • Have been physically present in Australia for at least eight out of the past 10 years and 18 months out of the past two years.
  • Meet the other eligibility criteria for a HELP loan under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA).

Applying for HELP loans

Applications are made by completing a Request for Commonwealth Support form that students receive during their enrolment.

HELP loans do not cover additional study expenses that may include computer software.

For more information on HELP loans, visit the Australian Government Study Assist website.