VET Student Loans commenced on 1 January 2017, replacing the VET FEE-HELP scheme. If you’re looking for a course with a student loan option, Step Into Training Services (SITS) has been approved to deliver courses for the new VET Student Loans program.
Eligible students can access VET Student Loan for following approved qualifications:
- BSB51918 Diploma of Leadership and Management
- BSB61015 Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management
- CPC50210 Diploma of Building and Construction (Building)
What is VET Student Loan 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 course. The department will pay your loan directly to your approved course provider. You will be responsible for any gap amount in the tuition fees, 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).
How does a VET Student Loan work?
If you are eligible, you can access a VET Student Loan up to a certain amount (called a cap) for the approved programs at Step Into Training Services. SITS receives your covered tuition fees from the Australian Government and you repay your loan through the Australian tax system. When your income reaches the repayment threshold, you start making repayments until you have repaid the whole loan amount. A VET Student Loan is only for tuition fees, and doesn’t cover additional study costs such as your text books, materials and accommodation.
Am I eligible for a VET Student Loan?
To be eligible for a VET Student Loan you must meet the following criteria:
You must be:
- An Australian citizen, or
- A New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) holder who meets the long-term residency requirements, or a permanent humanitarian visa holder.
- Not exceeded the FEE HELP limit.
- Enrolled with an approved course provider in an approved course
- Studying the approved course primarily at a campus in Australia
- You have been assessed by your approved course provider as academically suited
- Meet the Tax File Number (TFN) requirements
- Have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) or are otherwise exempt
- Have read the 2017 VET Student Loans information booklet
- Provided the required documents to SITS and submitted the loan application form by the first census day which is no less than two business days after enrolling
Are you ready to start studying?
Before you can access a VET Student Loan, SITS will assess whether you are academically suited to undertake the approved 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
In addition, SITS must reasonably believe you will be able to successfully complete the course.
How much can I borrow?
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 2019, the FEE-HELP limit is $104,440 for most students. The FEE-HELP limit is a lifetime limit and is not reset or ‘topped up’ by any repayments that you make.
Is there a loan fee?
Yes, for most students. A 20% 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 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 SITS to indicate your wish to access a VET Student Loan through the online application form and complete the online Core Skills Profile for Adults (CSPA) Entrance Test with an exit level of 3 or above. This is free of charge, unless you have completed year 12 or a Certificate IV or above qualification in English. Once enrolled there is a 2 day “Cooling Off” period, where you may seek information and external advice regarding a VET Student loan. SITS 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 with Log in details and password 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 can then submit the eCAF, which will cause the system to email you a copy of your completed form. You should keep this form for your records. If you do not complete the eCAF, or other permitted form, by the required date for your course, you will have to wait until the next part of your course /unit, next semester or trimester to request a VET Student Loan for future study. Retrospective access to VET Student Loans is not allowed under any circumstances
When do I start paying back my loan?
Your VET Student Loans debt forms part of your accumulated HELP debt. You must start repaying your HELP debt through the tax system once your income is above the compulsory repayment threshold, even if you are still studying. The threshold is adjusted each year and for the 2018-19 income year it is $51,957 or above. For the 2019-20 income year, beginning 1 July 2019, the threshold will be $45,881. Repayments made through the Australian taxation system are called ‘compulsory repayments’ and continue until you have repaid your whole debt. How much you must pay back is calculated from the amounts given on your income tax return for:
- Your taxable income,
- Reportable fringe benefits (reported on your payment summary),
- Total net investment loss (including net rental loss),
- Reportable super contributions, and
- Exempt foreign employment income amounts
Where can I get further information?
Students can get further information on the VET Student loans program by reading the VET Student Loans information booklet. All students must read this booklet when applying for a VET Student Loan.
Fee Schedules and Census Dates
What is the Census Day?
The census day is a very important date for you to know about!
The census day for a course, or a part of a course, is the last day you can:
- Complete the eCAF to apply for a VET Student Loan for your course, or
- Withdraw your enrolment without incurring a debt for the course or part of the course
Every part of a course (unit or subject) has its own census day, so that you incur debts as you progress through your course, not for the whole course at the beginning. Every course has 3 census days spread reasonably evenly throughout your course. The census dates are published for every course on the website for your reference. If you are unsure of your census days, check the website or contact us directly to confirm the census day for each unit of study, you enrol in and whether withdrawal is limited to your provider’s business hours. SITS will send you a VET Student Loans fee notice before the census day so that you have all the information you need to make your study and payment decisions.
VET Student Loans – Policies & Procedures
Step into Training Services has in place the relevant processes and procedures in accordance with the VET Student Loans Rules. For ease of reading for students these have been provided in the VET Student Loans Information, including: