What is FEE-HELP?
FEE-HELP loans (also known as HELP debts) cover all or part of the tuition costs for undergraduate and postgraduate study, and are paid directly to the university. It offers Australian (and some overseas) students loans to pay for postgraduate courses at approved FEE-HELP providers like Southern Cross University.
Who is eligible for FEE-HELP?
To be eligible for FEE-HELP, you need to:
- be studying with an approved FEE‑HELP provider (like Southern Cross University)
- meet the citizenship and residency requirements
- be enrolled in an eligible unit of study by the census date (the cut-off date for enrolment)
- have not exceeded the FEE‑HELP limit (the cap on how much HELP debt you can incur).
Can overseas students apply for FEE-HELP for postgraduate courses?
Yes. You may be eligible for FEE-HELP if:
- you hold a permanent humanitarian visa and are living in Australia while you complete your unit of study; or
- you hold a permanent visa holder, are studying a bridging course for overseas-trained professionals, and are living in Australia while you complete your study.
What can and can’t FEE-HELP loans be used for?
FEE HELP loans can only be used for tuition fees. They can’t be used for textbooks, accommodation or your living costs while you study.
How to apply for FEE-HELP
To apply for FEE-HELP, you will need:
- a tax file number (or a Certificate of application for a TFN available from the Australian Taxation Office)
- a Request for FEE-HELP assistance form (available from SCU)
- to submit your application before the census date of your unit of study.
Repaying FEE-HELP loans
- HELP debts are repaid through the tax system
- You start repaying your HELP debt when you reach the compulsory repayment threshold (even if you’re still studying). From 1 July 2017, income you earn overseas counts towards this threshold
- Each year your HELP debt repayment is calculated as a percentage of how much you earn
- HELP debts are managed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) – you can access your loan account via myGov
- You can make voluntary repayments on top of your compulsory payment, to repay your HELP debt faster.
Do I pay interest or loan fees?
The good news is, postgraduate FEE-HELP loans don’t incur the same 25 per cent fee as loans for undergraduate courses.
No interest is charged on HELP debts. But your debt is indexed each year against CPI (Consumer Price Index). This means your debt increases each year to keep it in line with the cost of living.
Can I get income support?
If you’re studying full time in an approved course, you may be eligible for Austudy (if you’re over 25) or Youth Allowance. Check with Centrelink to see if you qualify for income support.
What will the total cost of my loan be?
Your FEE-HELP loan is calculated per unit of study. The total cost depends on which course you undertake and the amount of CPI you incur. To find out how much your course will cost you per unit and in total, visit our Course Fees page.
A FEE-HELP loan or income support can help you pursue a new postgraduate qualification.