Q: Do I apply for a HELP loan before I have accepted my enrolment offer?
After you have read the VET FEE-HELP Booklet it is best to wait for your enrolment offer, as your provider will direct you to complete the assistance form or provide the appropriate assistance form in your enrolment package.
Q: Are the VET FEE HELP and FEE-HELP loans means tested? Will my current financial situation affect my eligibility?
No. Income is not an eligibility requirement so this will not affect your application for a loan.
Q: Am I eligible to apply for a HELP loan if I already have an existing HECS debt?
Yes. If you have an outstanding debt under any other scheme, you are still eligible to apply for a HELP loan. The only exception is if you currently have a VET FEE-HELP or FEE-HELP debt you will need to ensure that the new tuition fees will not take you over the total maximum loan limit of $99,389 (2016).
Q: Am I eligible to receive a HELP loan if I am a permanent resident/New Zealand citizen.
The Australian Government has passed legislation to provide Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) loans to New Zealand citizens who are Special Category Visa (SCV) holders and meet the requisite criteria.
If you hold a New Zealand SCV you will be able to access HELP loans, providing you meet all the long-term residency requirements:
• first entered Australia at least 10 years ago, as a dependent child aged under 18 years of age;
• have been ordinarily resident in Australia for the previous 10 years (that is, you have been physically present in Australia for at least eight out of the past 10 years) and 18 months out of the last two years at the time of application for the loan; and
• are otherwise eligible for the loan.
Q: Which courses/qualifications are covered under VET FEE-HELP?
You may apply for VET FEE-HELP for any Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma courses at approved providers.
The Government has just implemented a trial to extend VET FEE-HELP loans to Certificate IV qualifications. Visit http://studyassist.gov.au/ for more information.
Q: Can I still receive my Centrelink benefits if I am using a HELP loan?
You should still be able to receive Centrelink payments whilst receiving a HELP loan depending upon the benefits you are receiving. You will need to phone Centrelink to confirm and advise of any study changes.
Q: Does my HELP loan incur interest?
There is no interest on the loan. It does incur a 20% administration fee added to the total of the loan at commencement. The tuition fees are fixed as per the published schedule of fees at the time of enrolment. For more information visit > http://studyassist.gov.au/
Q: When do my repayments start and how much will they be?
You are only required to start paying your HELP debt when you are earning a sufficient income – i.e. once it is above the minimum repayment threshold, which is currently $54,869 for the 2016-17 income year.
These compulsory repayments are made through your income tax with the option for any voluntary repayments you also wish to make along the way.
The repayments will be a percentage of your income so the more you earn the higher your repayments will be.
For further information, visit the ATO’s website at: www.ato.gov.au
Q: Will Elite Colleges be paid a commission by the colleges for my enrolment?
Yes, Elite Colleges will receive a commission if you enrol in a course. The commission will not add to the course cost.
Q: What is RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning)?
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the formal acknowledgment of your existing skills and knowledge. It’s based on the premise that you do not need to undertake training for skills you already possess. Your current skills and knowledge may have been obtained through:
• Formal training
• Work experience
• Life experience
The RPL application process requires you to provide evidence of, or demonstrate, your current ability to perform the requirements of a subject(s) within your course. If you can show that you have the required skills or knowledge then you will be granted RPL, and exempt from completing the work required for that subject.
Q: What if I have a complaint?
For VET FEE-HELP complaints process please visit http://studyassist.gov.au/ and navigate to contact us (top right).
Policies & Procedures relating to:
For other course or college related complaints please call your college directly or call us at Elite Colleges on 1300 30 82 40.
Q: How do I withdraw from my course or unit of study?
If you wish to withdraw from a course or a unit of study without incurring a VET FEE-HELP debt or forfeiting an up-front payment, you need to complete your approved providers formal withdraw procedure by the census date.
Contact your approved study providers student services or student administration for further information or you can call us on 1300 30 82 40 to speak with our student support team.
Further information is available from the CSP and HELP Handbook 2015 at www.studyassist.gov.au