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Frequently asked questions

Still have questions? You're not the only one!

Below are some of the most common questions we get asked about the VET Student Loan process.

If you can't find the answer to your question below please contact one of our friendly staff by calling us on 1800 001 001 or email student.loans@smtafe.wa.edu.au

Throughout your course you will be required to complete a VET Student Loan – engagement and progression form through the eCAF system. An invitation will be sent to your current email address. If you do not complete the form and survey within the required time you may be ineligible to continue accessing VET Student Loans to pay for the remainder of your course.

Loan caps will apply to all approved courses. Other than for specified exceptions, there will be three loan cap bands. For 2022 they are $5,406, $10,813 and $16,221. A separate loan cap for the aviation training package will apply. The loan cap will be $81,111 for all courses under this package.

There is no loan fee for subsidised VET qualifications at South Metropolitan TAFE but a 20% loan fee applies to non-subsidised VET courses. You will be required to repay the loan to the Australian Government through the tax system once you reach the minimum income threshold level for repayment.

Once you have borrowed an amount equal to the HELP limit (as indexed at that time), you will not be able to receive further VET Student Loan assistance or HELP assistance to pay your tuition fees. 

You have to start repaying your VET Student Loan debt through the taxation system once your repayment income is above the compulsory repayment threshold, even if you are still studying. The compulsory repayment thresholds is adjusted each year.

The compulsory repayment threshold is $47,014 for the 2021-22 income year. 

Your repayment income is calculated using the following amounts from your income tax return:

  • your taxable income
  • reportable fringe benefits (reported on your payment summary)
  • total net investment loss (which includes net rental loss)
  • reportable super contributions
  • exempt foreign employment income amounts

If you have an accumulated HELP debt and earn more than the minimum repayment threshold, you will have a compulsory repayment included as part of your income tax assessment.

For more information on repaying your HELP debts, including the latest Repaying Your Help Debt guide, visit the Australian Tax Office website.

To check whether you have a debt, confirm the amount you have borrowed or find out your loan balance, students can access their myGov account. Alternatively you can contact the Australian Tax Office on 13 28 61. 

If you have applied for a VET Student Loan, and if you withdraw from a unit or course before or on the census date, you will not incur a VET Student Loan debt for the unit or course you are withdrawing from and you will receive a full refund/re-credit on your loan.

If you withdraw from a unit or course after the census date, you may be eligible for re-credit of your FEE-HELP balance, if special circumstances apply. In this case, you will need to complete and submit an Application for Refund and Re-credit of FEE-HELP balance.

Reminder: You will incur a debt if you applied for VET Student Loan and failed to withdraw before the census date. Any up-front payments will be lost and your FEE-HELP limit will be reduced.

The Australian Government has passed legislation to provide VET Student Loan to New Zealand citizens who are Special Category Visa (SCV) holders and meet the requisite criteria.

Note: New Zealand SCV holders are required to meet eligibility criteria. Please visit the Study Assist website for more information.