What is FEE-HELP?
FEE-HELP is a Government loan for students enrolled in fee paying places and Kent is an approved FEE-HELP provider.
Eligible students may use a FEE-HELP loan to pay their Tuition fees. A FEE-HELP loan to pay all or part of your tuition fees but does not cover costs like accommodation, laptops or text books.
You start repaying your HELP debt through the Australian tax system once you earn above the compulsory repayment threshold, which is $47,014 in 2021-22. For the most up-to-date information on HELP debt repayments, check the ATO’s website at www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Study-and-training-support-loans/When-must-you-repay-your-loan.
If you go overseas and have a HELP debt, you still need to make repayments as if you were living in Australia.
Am I eligible?
To get a FEE-HELP loan, you must:
- be an Australian citizen and study at least part of your course in Australia; or
- be a New Zealand Special Category visa (SCV) holder or permanent humanitarian visa holder and meet the residency requirements. Permanent residentscan only get FEE-HELP for approved bridging studies
- be enrolled in a fee-paying place at Kent
- be enrolled in an eligible FEE-HELP course (see above)
- submit the Request for FEE-HELP loan form to your provider by the census date
- have an available HELP balance
- have a Unique Student Identifier(USI) prior to the first census date
- maintain a pass-rate of 50 per cent or above to continue to be eligible for FEE-HELP
- not undertake more than 2 years’ worth of higher education study in the last 12 months of your course unless Kent has assessed you as capable of taking on a higher study load.
How do I Apply?
To get a FEE-HELP loan, you will need your tax file number (TFN), or Certificate of application for a TFN, and a Request for a FEE-HELP loan form (eCAF), which Kent will give you.
Your form must be filled in and submitted to Kent before the relevant census date. The census date is the last day you can apply for FEE-HELP, otherwise you will be required to pay the amount upfront. You can find census dates here.
You only need to apply for FEE-HELP once for the duration of your course.
How much can I borrow and what is the HELP loan limit?
You can borrow up to the HELP loan limit to pay your tuition fees. The HELP loan limit is the total amount available to you under FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP, VET Student Loans, VET FEE-HELP. Any amount you borrow under FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP, VET Student Loans, VET FEE-HELP will be added together until you reach the HELP loan limit.
For most students the HELP loan limit is $109,206 n 2022. If you have studied before, you can check your available HELP balance at www.myHELPbalance.gov.au.
It is your responsibility to keep track of your HELP loans and repayments to ensure you have enough available HELP balance to pay for your study. You must ensure that you have enough available HELP balance at the census date to cover the amount of the fees you wish to defer to FEE-HELP.
Any compulsory or voluntary repayments made to the ATO on your HELP debt, from the 2019–20 income year onwards, will be re-credited to your HELP balance (i.e. making HELP repayments will increase the available HELP balance you have to undertake further study).
Will I be charged interest or a Loan Fee?
There is no interest charged on your HELP debt but indexation will be applied on 1 June each year. Indexation maintains your debt’s real value by keeping it in line with the cost of living, as measured by the consumer price index. You can check current indexation rates at www.ato.gov.au/indexation.
If you get a FEE-HELP loan to pay for your undergraduate course, you will have to pay a 20 per cent loan fee. The loan fee does not count towards your combined HELP limit.
What are the pass requirements?
A 50 per cent pass rate applies. This means that once you have undertaken 4 or more units in a sub-bachelor level course, or 8 or more units in bachelor and above level courses, you must have passed at least 50 per cent of your total attempted units in order to remain eligible for FEE-HELP.
You need to ensure is that you pass at least 50 per cent of your total attempted units across your course of study, otherwise you will have to pay the tuition fees upfront until you improve your pass rate.
If you choose to change courses you re-set the 50 per cent pass rate.
What if there are changes to my enrolment?
If you want to withdraw from a unit or course without getting a HELP debt or losing an upfront payment, you must follow Kent’s formal withdrawal process by the relevant census date.
If you withdraw from a unit of study after the census date because you become seriously ill or because of another unforeseen event, you can apply to request a refund of your upfront payment or a re-credit of your available HELP balance.
To do this, you will have to meet specific special circumstances criteria, which means you will have to demonstrate that what happened to you:
- was beyond your control
- did not make its full impact on you until on or after the census date
- made it impracticable for you to complete the requirements for your unit(s) of study.
You will need to apply within 12 months of your withdrawal day. If your HELP balance is re-credited, your HELP debt for the unit will also be reduced. This process does not apply if you have successfully completed your unit of study, or you changed your mind about studying, or you failed the unit.
Requests for re-crediting of HELP debts should be sent to StudentFinance.Syd@kent.edu.au or StudentFinance.Melb@kent.edu.au accompanied by independent supporting documentation. Students will be informed of the outcome within ten (10) working days.
If you withdraw from a unit after the census date, due to changing your mind, you will be legally obliged to repay your HELP debt and will not be able to apply to have your HELP debt remitted.
Further information regarding payments and refunds can also be found at:
Please read our Statement of Tuition Assurance in the event that Kent cannot offer your course.