What is VET Student Loans?
VET Student Loans is a scheme provided by the Australian Government to enable eligible full-fee paying students the opportunity to apply for a loan. Such a loan is to aid in the payment of all or part of a student’s tuition fees for a VET course of study in which the student is enrolled unless the student cancels their request for a VET Student Loan with the VET provider on or before the census day for the units of study that make up the course. The loan will remain as a personal debt obligation until it is repaid to the Commonwealth. The signed Request for Commonwealth Assistance form applies to a loan for the entire VET course of study and is charged on a unit of study basis unless the student pays some of the tuition fees.
The loan is spread across the course with 4 census days one in each fee period. This scheme is an extension of the FEE-HELP scheme (currently applicable to higher education students) and extends to students studying one or more of the following courses:
- Advanced Diploma
- Graduate Certificate
- Graduate Diploma
How do I access a VET Student Loan?
After you submit an enrolment application and satisfy the student entry requirements, the Australian Academy of Beauty and Spa Therapy will advise the Department of Education you wish to access the VET Student Loan scheme.
You will receive an email from the Department with a username and password. You then create an online application. You must have your USI number and tax file number handy
Note all applications are signed electronically and the application will be treated as having been signed if the communication contains:
- Student Identification Number
- Student tax file number
- An acknowledgement the student has read and understood the application
- A confirmation by student of the accuracy of the information in the application.
- If a student is under 18 you then print out the application form and have a parent sign, and provide this to the Academy.
- If a student is under 18 but is independent, proof of independence, e.g. youth allowance receipt must be provided.
- By signing and submitting the form the person accepts that the VET Provider will automatically use the VET Student Loan for those VET units of study on the invoice notice and subsequent invoice notices in relation to the units that contribute to the course unless the student advises the VET Provider in writing that he or she does not wish to use VET Student Loans as his or her method of paying their tuition fees or any unit of study
The Academy will issue an invoice 14 days prior to the census day for each unit of study. You will also receive a VET Student Loan Fee Notice 14 days before course commencement.
On the census day the student will incur a VET Student Loan debt for the units of study contained in the invoice notice if the student has not withdrawn from the VET unit of study prior to the census day indicated on the invoice notice or has paid upfront some or all the amounts due for the VET unit of study.
What is needed to be eligible for VET Student Loans assistance?
To be eligible for VET Student Loans assistance, a student must:
- Satisfy the entry criteria;
- Have not been offered an inducement to undertake the qualification of study;
- Be a full fee-paying student;
- Be an Australian Citizen or a holder of a Permanent Humanitarian sub-class visa;
- Be a New Zealand citizen who:
- Holds a special category visa
- First entered Australia as a minor under 18 years of age
- Has lived in Australia for 8 of the last 10 years
- Has lived in Australia for at least 18 months in the past 2 years.
- Have a FEE-HELP balance greater than zero – that is, they have not exceeded their FEE-HELP limit;
- Be enrolled in a unit of study that meets the course requirements;
- Be enrolled in the unit of study on or before the census day for the unit and remain enrolled at the end of the census day;
- Meet the Tax File Number (TFN) requirements;
- Have completed, signed and lodged with Department of Education and Training a Request for a VET Student Loan. This must be at least 2 days after enrolment in a unit or units of study and 14 days before the scheduled census day.
- You will also be required to advise the Secretary of Department of Education and Training you wish to continue to use the VET Student Loan scheme throughout the course.
What is the census day?
The census day of a unit of study is the last day a student can submit their Request for VET Student Loan form to defer their tuition fees through the VET Student Loans scheme. It is a date the VET Provider sets which is no earlier than 20% of the way through the period in which the unit of study is undertaken. These dates are available on our website under the heading VET Student Loans. Census days will apply to each of the VET units of study in which a person enrols, with the student taking out a loan for any tuition fees that remain unpaid at the end of each census day.
How does VET Student Loans work?
Following the successful lodgement and assessment of a Request for VET Student Loan form, the Australian Government will pay directly to the VET Provider, some or all of the tuition fees associated with a student’s course. This loan is then repaid by the student via the tax system in compulsory and/or voluntary contributions. The loan may affect (by reducing) the persons take home (after tax wage) or salary until the debt is repaid, and may affect borrowing capacity of the person until the debt is repaid to the Commonwealth.
What is the entitlement under the VET student loans scheme?
Over their lifetime, a student will be able to borrow up to the amount of their FEE-HELP limit which is indexed annually by the Australian Government. Repayments do not reset the maximum that can be borrowed.
The FEE-HELP limit for 2017 is $100,879 for most students.
What does VET Student Loans cover?
VET Student Loans extends only to tuition fees. It does not cover accommodation and general living expenses. It is important to note that a loan fee of 20% applies to VET Student Loans. This fee is payable to the Australian Government and added to your loan. It is also not included in the FEE-HELP limit. For the SHB50115 Diploma of Beauty Therapy, if the full VET student loan amount of $10,000 is used total debt would be $12,000.
For the SHB50216 Diploma of Salon Management if a full VET loan of $5000 is used total debt would be $6000
When do the first repayments start?
A student’s first loan repayment starts when their employment income exceeds the minimum threshold permitted for the specific financial year. For the 2016-2017 year, the VET Student Loans threshold level is $54,869.
What else do I need to know about VET Student Loans?
- A VET Student Loan can be used to help a student undertake an approved VET course and can be applied to a student’s VET tuition fees - provided their total FEE-HELP limit has not been exceeded.
- A student may cancel their enrolment by
- withdrawing from each VET unit of study on or before the census day and
- In accordance with our Student Withdrawal Procedures and Refund Policy for Approved Courses
- Withdrawal will result in the student
- not incurring a VET Student Loans debt and/or
- receiving a refund for any upfront tuition fee payments made on or before the census day
- Eligibility for VET Student Loans is not affected by previous qualifications or your study results.
- Any debts to the Commonwealth arising from a VET Student Loan remains with the student until they have been repaid by the student and it is the student’s responsibility to ensure they have sufficient FEE HELP balance to cover the VET Student Loan assistance amounts indicated in the invoice notice.
- A student may wish to seek independent financial advice prior to applying for a VET Student Loan.
For more information on VET STUDENT LOANS, you may:
- refer to the VET student loans information booklet 2017