VET Student Loans

The VET Student Loans program is an Australian Government loan program that helps eligible students enrolled in approved courses at diploma level or above, at approved course providers pay their tuition fees. The loan has income-contingent repayment arrangements, which means you only need to make repayments if you are earning above the minimum repayment threshold. You can make voluntary repayments at any time.

If you are an eligible student, 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).

To receive a VET Student Loan, you must:

  1. be an eligible student
  2. be studying an approved course
  3. be studying with an approved course provider
  4. apply to the government using the approved form, which will be managed through your provider, and
  5. submit Progression Forms to confirm your ongoing engagement with your studies, and continue accessing the loan throughout your course.

To be an eligible student, you must meet ALL of these criteria which is further detailed below.

You are:

  • an Australian citizen or
  • a qualifying New Zealand citizen* or
  • a permanent humanitarian visa holder, who is usually resident in Australia.

*A qualifying New Zealand citizen is a New Zealand citizen who meets all of the following:
• holds a special visa category, such as the New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV);
• has been usually resident in Australia for at least 10 years;
• was a dependent child when he or she was first usually resident in Australia;
• has been in Australia for periods totalling 8 years during the previous 10 years; and
• has been in Australia for periods totalling 18 months during the previous 2 years.

•Your HELP balance (the amount of your HELP loan limit you have left) is more than $0. This means you have enough HELP loan limit remaining for your proposed studies to be covered by the loan. The HELP loan limit is the limit on how much you can borrow. Any borrowing under FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP, VET Student Loans and, from 1 January 2020, HECS-HELP will count towards your HELP loan limit.

 
You are enrolled with an approved course provider in an approved course and have enrolled in accordance with the application requirements.

You are studying the approved course primarily at a campus in Australia.

You have been assessed by your approved course provider as academically suited to undertake the approved course on the basis of either:

  • providing your Australian Year 12 Certificate or
  • providing your International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) diploma or
  • providing a copy of a certificate showing you have been awarded a qualification at level 4 or above in the Australian Qualifications Framework (where the language of instruction was English)* or at a level in a framework that preceded the AQF and is equivalent to level 4 or above in the AQF 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, your approved course provider must reasonably believe you show competence in completing the course.

You meet the Tax File Number (TFN) requirements.

You have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) or are otherwise exempt.

You have given the required documents to your approved course provider and submitted the loan application form by the first census day no less than two business days after enrolling.

*If your qualification is from overseas, then the certificate provided must be a letter or certificate issued by a Federal, State, or Territory government agency which assesses overseas qualifications and which shows your qualification has been determined to be equivalent or comparable to a qualification in the Australian Qualifications Framework at level 4 or above.

To be an approved course, your course must:

  • be specified by the VET Student Loans (Courses and Loan Caps) Determination 2016 (the courses and loan caps determination) and
    • for state-government subsidised students, lead to a qualification of diploma or advanced diploma in the Australian Qualifications Framework or
    • for full fee-paying / fee for service students, lead to a qualification of diploma, advanced diploma, graduate certificate or graduate diploma in the Australian Qualifications Framework and
  • be provided by an approved course provider and
  • be delivered by an approved course provider or an entity registered with TEQSA or a body approved by the department to deliver the course.

Eligible students will be entitled for loans up to a capped amount which is set by Government for each of SBTA’s qualifications as follows:

Course Code Course Name Total Course Fees

  • BSB50420 Diploma of Leadership and Management $10,717
  • BSB60420 Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management $10,717

Get a Tax File Number (TFN) early

  • If you want to use a VET Student Loan to pay for your study, you must submit your TFN by the census day; otherwise, you will not be able to use the loan for that study period.
  • If you do not have a TFN, you must apply for one at the ATO See section 3.1 for more information.
  • Keep your TFN secure and treat it like your bank PIN.

VETSL and HELP debts are recorded against your TFN so be really careful who you give this information to.  You must advise SBTA a soon as you have received your TF from the ATO.  SBTA will then open up your eCAF to put it into “revision status” for you to update.  You will then receive an email with a link to the eCAF where you can then enter your TFN.  Once you have done this, you must resubmit the revised eCAF. If you do not provide your TFN, you will not be able to use a VET Student Loan for that study period. You must keep your TFN secure. 

Your TFN and personal information in your eCAF will be verified with the ATO at the time your eCAF is submitted. If, by the unit’s census day, your information is not assessed as correct/verified, your application will not be finalised and you will be ineligible for a VET Student Loan.

Supporting documents required

As you are applying for a loan from the Australian Government, you are required to give your SBTA copies of all relevant documents to support your application for a VET Student Loan and evidence of your eligibility. 

Examples of the types of documentation may include (but not limited to):

  • your birth certificate and/or your parent’s birth certificates
  • current driver’s licence
  • passport/s
  • citizenship certificate
  • visa documentation
  • Australian Year 12 Certificate or Australian Qualifications Framework Certificate IV or higher qualification (where the language of instruction is English).

As each individual’s circumstances are different, SBTA will advise you what documentation you will need to provide so they can confirm your eligibility for a VET Student Loan.

From 1 January 2021 students submitting eCAF application forms for VET Student Loans must have a USI. Students who commenced their course or applied for a loan before 1 January 2021 will also have been allocated a CHESSN.

What is the USI?

The Unique Student Identifier (known as a USI) is a reference number made up of a combination of ten numbers and letters. Your USI is used to connect your student loan information to your personal details. You can log in and check or update your details at any time. Your USI is your individual education identifier for life. It also creates an online record of your training attainments in Australia.

USIs have been in place since 2015. Therefore, if you have studied a VET course in the last five years, including while at secondary school, you will already have an existing USI. If you have an existing USI you must continue to use that same USI on your eCAF application. You can locate your USI easily at Get a USI.

Applying for a USI is fast and free, and you keep the same USI for life. You can apply for a USI in as little as five minutes at Unique Student Identifier.

Where do I provide my USI?

You might be asked to provide your USI when you apply to enrol in your course with your provider. SBTA will request your USI as part of the enrolment process.

Students seeking VET Student Loans will be required to provide their USI on their eCAF application. This will either be pre-populated in the eCAF application form by SBTA, or alternatively you should enter your USI in the USI field before you submit your eCAF application form.

Why do I need a USI on my eCAF application form?

You will need to apply for a USI and include your USI on your eCAF application form if you wish to be eligible for a VET Student Loan. 

If you are undertaking either nationally recognised training, or a higher education qualification, you need a USI in order to receive Commonwealth financial assistance, as well as to obtain your qualification or statement of attainment.

You must include your USI on your eCAF application form so that your provider and the Australian Government can provide you with information about any VET Student Loans or HELP loans you may have used. Your CHESSN (if allocated) is also used to help provide this information. The CHESSN will be gradually decommissioned from 2021 and replaced by the USI.

Your USI and your CHESSN (if allocated) are printed on your Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN).

The USI is being extended in 2021 to higher education. You should only have one USI – this will create a single government identifier for your entire tertiary education journey. You should only have one USI for the duration of your studies – even if you change providers, or decide to start a new course a few years after completing one, or change your name. You should always use the same USI for all of your studies.

Why is it important to have only one USI?

In addition to creating an online record of your training attainments in Australia, your USI is an important identifier to be used to monitor and manage your Commonwealth assistance, especially for identifying whether you have reached your HELP loan limit. Your HELP loan limit applies to all study for which you use a VET Student Loan, VET FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP to pay for your course.

How much you can borrow is calculated against individual USIs. If you have more than one USI, you might exceed your HELP loan limit because the loan limit will be applied to each USI you have been issued. If you have been allocated multiple USIs and the sum of the debts across those USIs exceeds the HELP limit you cannot access any more HELP or VET Student Loans to pay for your course. Prior to 2021, CHESSNs were used to monitor and manage loan accounts.

If you have received HELP or VET Student Loans in excess of the HELP loan limit, your provider will be required to return the funds to the Commonwealth and may seek repayment of the excess loan amount from you.

If you have more than one USI, or any other concerns about your USI or CHESSN, please complete an enquiry form on the Study Assist Contact us webpage.

More information on how to get a USI and where to go for USI assistance is available at Unique Student Identifier.

What if you want to enrol in another course or want to change course

If you want to enrol in two different courses with the same provider, you must complete a separate eCAF for each course. If you change your course, you will need to complete a new eCAF for your new course.

You will also need to withdraw officially from any course you have enrolled in and do not wish to continue with by the census day so that you do not incur a VETSL debt for that course.

Withdrawal does not happen automatically when you transfer to a new course or when you stop attending classes. Instead, you must notify your provider in writing of your decision to withdraw. See Chapter 5 for information on withdrawing from your studies.

 

What happens if I change my provider (but not my course?)

If you change your approved course provider and you wish to continue to access a VET Student Loan for the same course, you will need to complete an eCAF nominating your new provider. You will only have available the remaining loan amount to access at your new provider.

For example, if the course cap is $10,000 and you have accessed $4,000 at your previous course provider, you will only have $6,000 loan amount remaining at your new provider for that course.

You will need to withdraw officially from the course at your previous provider. If you do not want to incur a VETSL debt you need to withdraw by the census day.

Withdrawal does not happen automatically when you transfer to a new provider or when you stop attending classes. Instead, you must notify your course provider in writing of your decision to withdraw. See Chapter 5 for information on withdrawing from your studies.

How do I confirm my continued engagement in my course?

To continue accessing a VET Student Loan, you will have to confirm your continued engagement and participation in your course by completing the Progression Form. An email with login details to the eCAF system will be sent to you requesting that you indicate your study intent and complete a short survey. Depending on the duration of your course and the length of time you take to complete the course, you may be requested to complete this form multiple times during the length of your course. If you do not complete the form and survey, you may be ineligible to continue accessing VET Student Loans to pay for the remainder of your course tuition fees.

What happens if the census day has already passed?

You cannot access VET Student Loans for a past census day. You must submit your eCAF on or before the first census day for which you wish the loan to apply.

VET Student Loans Fee Notice

SBTA will send you a VET Student Loans fee notice for each fee period, for the course(s) you are enrolled in for that fee period. This must be sent to your nominated personal email or postal address at least 14 days before the census day. The fee notice will detail a range of information including:

  • the provider’s name and registration code
  • your name, contact details and student identification number as issued by the provider
  • the cost of the unit/s you are enrolled in for that part of your course
  • the census day(s) on which you will incur the debt
  • your USI
  • your CHESSN (if available)
  • the loan fee (if applicable).

You should note that your fee notice may include more than one unit.  SBTA will provide at least three fee notices across your course as your course must include at least three census days. This will ensure your course fees are spread across the course as you progress.

SBTA will also send you a VET Student Loans Statement of Covered Fees which will provide details of the total course fee and how much will be covered by the loan amount. Refer to a copy of Student fee notice sample.

 

Your Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN)

If you are getting a VET Student Loan, SBTA will send you a CAN, within 28 days after the census day, for each study period you are using the loan. Your CAN will include information on:

  • the tuition fees for your course
  • the course for which you have received VET Student Loans
  • any upfront payments you have made
  • any VET Student Loan you have used for that study period.

Check your CAN carefully to make sure that the tuition fees listed on your CAN are the same as those published on your provider’s website. If you notice any errors on your CAN, you have 14 days from the date of the CAN to send your provider a written request for correction (some providers may allow for a longer correction period).  Refer to a sample of the “Commonwealth Assistance Notice”.

 

myHELP balance and myGov

 

There are two websites that help you keep track of what you have borrowed and how much you still have left to pay.

myHELPbalance will help you keep track of how much you have borrowed under VET Student Loans and the various HELP loans from 2005 onwards.

Please note that myHELPbalance only shows the loans you have received under VET Student Loans, HECS-HELP, OS-HELP, FEE-HELP and VET FEE-HELP, but not SA-HELP. The information is displayed on a per-unit basis.

There is a time lag between the census day and when your information on myHELPbalance is updated. To work out a total of your current loan amounts, you will need to add any units you have recently enrolled/are currently enrolled in to amounts showing on myHELPbalance if they are not already there.

myHELPbalance does not show the details of how much of your VETSL or HELP debt you have repaid to the ATO or what you have left owing to the ATO. It will also not show any details about pre-2005 study (including former HECS, OLDPS, PELS and BOTPLS loans).

You can use your CHESSN and other personal details to access myHELPbalance via the home page at Study Assist. If you do not know your CHESSN, contact your provider. The myHELPbalance portal will be updated during 2021 to accept a USI for login purposes.

myGov allows you to get more information about your VETSL and other HELP debts online. It will show:

  • all of your HELP debt (which includes HECS-HELP, OS-HELP, SA-HELP, FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans debts from 1 January 2017 to 30 June 2019 as a consolidated amount)
  • your VETSL debt (VET Student Loans debts from 1 July 2019)
  • any indexation that has been applied to your debts
  • any repayments you have made, so you can see how much you have left owing.

To access this online service, please refer to the instructions on the Australian Taxation Office website.

 

Your VETSL account

You can view your VETSL loan account and other information, such as your payment reference number (PRN) and voluntary repayment options online. To access ATO online services, you need to create a myGov account and link it to the ATO. If you already have a myGov account linked to the ATO, you can log in at any time. For more information, visit View your loan account online. Visit ATO website  https://www.ato.gov.au/

What happens if I fail or withdraw from a unit?

 

You must withdraw correctly by the census day to avoid a VETSL debt!

If you correctly withdraw from a unit or subject by the census day, you will not incur a debt for that part of your course. If you have already made an upfront payment of your tuition fees, you will receive a refund from your provider.

If you fail part of a course (unit or subject), or withdraw from part of a course after the census day, you will still have to pay the tuition fee for that unit. If you used a VET Student Loan, you will incur a VETSL debt. If you made an upfront payment to your provider, you are not eligible for a refund of that payment.

If you failed the unit or subject or withdrew after the census day because of special circumstances you can apply to SBTA to have your VETSL debt removed. If you paid for your units upfront, you will need to contact SBTA for information on the refund process for upfront payments. 

If your provider engaged in unacceptable conduct in relation to your application for a VET Student Loan you can apply to the department to have your debt removed. Examples of unacceptable conduct include, but are not limited to, misleading or deceptive conduct; advertising tuition fees for the course where there are reasonable grounds for believing that the provider will not be able to provide the course for those fees; the use of physical force, or harassment or coercion in connection with the application or enrolment in the course.

How do I withdraw from a unit?

To withdraw from a unit or course without incurring a VETSL debt or forfeiting an upfront payment, you need to complete SBTA’s formal withdrawal process and withdraw in writing by the census day. If the course you are withdrawing from involves enrolment with more than one provider, you will need to withdraw from each one individually. Refer to SBTA’s Application for Withdrawal Form.

SBTA will not charge you a fine, penalty or fee for withdrawing from units before the census day, but you must withdraw in writing. Furthermore, SBTA will not enroll you in subsequent units without your written instruction. Refer to SBTA’s withdrawal procedure which is also available from its website.

Special circumstances

If you withdraw from a unit after the census day because you become seriously ill or for other special circumstances, you can apply to SBTA to have your HELP balance re-credited and your VETSL debt removed. You cannot have your debt removed if you have already successfully completed your unit of study.

Changing your mind is not a good enough reason to apply for special circumstances and you will still be required to repay your VETSL debt. Similarly, failing a unit is not in itself sufficient to apply for special circumstances. However, as noted at section above, if you fail a unit because of special circumstances, you may consider applying to have your HELP balance re-credited.

For SBTA to be satisfied that special circumstances apply to you, you must be able to prove that the circumstances:

  • were beyond your control
  • did not make their full impact on you until on or after the census day
  • made it impracticable (i.e. impossible) for you to complete your unit(s) of study requirements.

Refer to Application for Re-Credit HELP balance form which is also available from SBTA’s website www.sbta.com.au

Refer to Student Review Process procedure as well.

Students who find themselves with a VET Student Loan debt due to a provider’s unacceptable conduct in relation to their application for a VET Student Loan may be able to apply to have the VETSL debt cancelled.

Examples of unacceptable conduct include, but are not limited to, misleading or deceptive conduct; advertising tuition fees for the course where there are reasonable grounds for believing that the provider will not be able to provide the course for those fees; the use of physical force, or harassment or coercion in connection with the application or enrolment in the course.

Students will need to apply to the department and provide details of what led to the debt being raised and any correspondence or paperwork received about their study and debt. To find out more information about unacceptable conduct remissions, visit the Complaints and Grievances webpage at Study Assist

SBTA has a complaints policy and procedure that allows students to lodge a grievance (i.e. an issue or complaint) about any academic (e.g. grade) or non-academic (e.g. fee or debt dispute) matter. Students should contact SBTA in the first instance for issues or complaints relating to academic and non-academic matters. Refer to SBTA’s Complaints and Appeals policy and procedures.

If you are dissatisfied with the manner in which your provider has dealt with your debt complaint, you may wish to contact the VET Student Loans Ombudsman.

The National Training and Complaints Hotline (13 38 73) is also a national service for consumers to register complaints concerning vocational education and training.

What happens if my provider stops delivering my course?

Tuition protection arrangements provide assistance for VET Student Loan (VSL) students who are unable to continue their studies due to a provider default. A provider defaults if they do not commence a course, cease delivering a course, or close entirely.

If SBTA defaults, you will be assisted by the Government’s Tuition Protection Service (TPS) to continue your studies. If SBTA defaults, the TPS will assist you to move to a replacement VSL provider to continue your studies in the same or similar course. If there are no suitable replacement courses available, you may be entitled to receive a loan re-credit for parts of the course you were unable to complete due to the default.

You should ensure you keep up-to-date records throughout your study that demonstrate your progression through the course. This includes statements of attainment or other reports which show the competencies you have achieved. These records will assist you in continuing your studies, should your provider default.

Further information about tuition protection is available on the TPS website.

More information about VETSL debt repayments, including how the ATO calculates your compulsory repayment, is available at Study Assist.

When do I start paying back my loan?

Your VETSL debt forms part of your accumulated VETSL debt. You must start repaying your VETSL 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; for the 2020-21 financial year it is $46,620. 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
  • exempt foreign employment income amounts.

Anyone who has a VETSL debt and earns above the minimum repayment threshold will be required to repay their debt regardless of where they live, whether in Australia or overseas. Visit Study Assist for more information.

If you move overseas and have a VETSL debt you have the same repayment obligations as those living in Australia. This applies if you already live or intend to move overseas for a total of 183 days or more in any 12-month period.

You will be required to notify the ATO by updating your contact details through ATO online services within seven days of leaving Australia. Visit overseas obligations when repaying loans or Study Assist for more information.

How much will my repayments be?

The amount you repay each year is calculated as a percentage of your worldwide income. The repayment percentage increases as your income increases, so the more you earn, the higher your repayment will be.

The ATO will calculate your compulsory repayment for the year and include it on your income tax notice of assessment. You can determine the amount of your compulsory repayment by using the Study and Training Loan Repayment Calculator and the repayment rates on the ATO website.

Refer to the table below for repayment rates for the 2021-2022 financial year

Repayment income

Repayment % rate

Below $47,014

Nil

$47,014 – $54,282

1.0%

$54,283 – $57,538

2.0%

$57,539 – $60,991

2.5%

$60,992 – $64.651

3.0%

$64.652 -$68,529

3.5%

$68,530 – $72,641

4.0%

$72,642 -$77,001

4.5%

$77,002 – $81,620

5.0%

$81,621 – $86,518

5.5%

$86,519 – $91,709

6.0%

$91,710 – $97,212

6.5%

$97,213 – $103,045

7.0%

$103,046 – $109,227

7.5%

$109,228 – $115,781

8.0%

$115,782 – $122,728

8.5%

$122,729 – $130,092

9.0%

$130,093 – $137,897

9.5%

$137,898 and above

10%

 

Can I make a voluntary repayment?

Yes. You can make a voluntary repayment to the ATO at any time and for any amount. Voluntary repayments are in addition to the compulsory repayments made through your tax return.

There are several ways you can make a voluntary repayment, including via BPAY and credit card. Voluntary repayments can be made through ATO online services accessible via myGov. 

For more information on making a payment, go to the ATO’s How to pay webpage. For more information on voluntary repayments, go to the ATO’s Voluntary repayments webpage.

 

Are repayments tax deductible?

Compulsory repayments are not tax deductible. Voluntary repayments made by you or someone other than your employer are not tax deductible. Your employer may be able to claim a tax deduction for voluntary repayments it makes on your behalf, but it may also be liable for fringe benefits tax on the repayments. For more information, visit Australian Taxation Office.

Transitioning to Tertiary Study

Before you decide where to study and apply for an approved course, you will need to make some important decisions. This section provides information about your options, so you can make an informed decision before you enrol in vocational education and training.

Things to think about:

 

Visit My Skills for useful information about career pathways, employment outcomes and salary expectations. My Skills shows you the average price for each approved course you are interested in and can help you find the training and training provider that best matches your needs and expectations. You can also use My Skills to search for VET Student Loans approved courses and approved course providers, and view the maximum loan cap for VET Student Loans for your chosen course.

Visit Job Outlook to access a Career Quiz to help you identify what types of work you most like doing. Alternatively, you can download a free app from the iTunes app store and Google Play by searching for ‘Career Quiz Australia’.

Visit VET Student Loans for the loan caps that apply to all approved courses. Other than for specified exceptions for certain aviation courses, there are three loan cap bands of $5,358, $10,717 and $16,077 (2021 caps), which apply irrespective of whether the course is being delivered face-to-face, online, or via mixed delivery modes. A full list of eligible courses and their associated loan cap can be found at VET Student Loans (Courses and Loan Caps) Determination 2016, or you can search My Skills. The loan caps are indexed each year – the indexed amounts each year are available at VET Student Loans.

A VET Student Loan is an agreement between you and the Commonwealth Government.

To apply for a VET Student loan:

  • you must meet all the loan eligibility requirements
  • if you are accepted into a course, SBTA will advise the Commonwealth that you wish to apply for a loan
  • the Commonwealth will email you a passkey to access the electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form(eCAF) online
  • you will need to provide your valid Tax File Number (TFN), so have it handy when you log on to the online form. If you don’t have a TFN, you can apply at most Australia Post outlets. A valid Tax File Number means that the details you provide to SBTA must match those held with the Australian Tax Office. If you provide an invalid Tax File Number, you will not be able to access a VET Student Loan for your tuition fees. Check your details are correct by logging into your MyGov account  prior to applying for a loan.
  • your loan application (eCAF) is separate to your enrolment with SBTA. The Commonwealth Government requires that there is a two-day cooling off period between your enrolment and applying for a loan.
  • the census day is the last day you can apply for a loan for the fees for that period, so make sure you complete your application promptly.

As with any loan you take, you must understand the terms and conditions before you make a commitment. You must read the VET Student Loan information available on Study Assist, the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website for students and consider seeking independent financial advice.

During your study, you may be contacted again by the Commonwealth to confirm your engagement and progression in your course and confirm that you wish to continue to use your VET Student Loan to pay your tuition fees for the course. It is important that you advise SBTA if any of your personal or contact details change during your study. Further information regarding the VET Student Loan engagement and progression process is available on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website. If you do not complete the engagement and progression process, you will not be able to continue access to a VET Student Loan for your tuition fees.

Under 18:

There are no age restrictions to apply for a VET Student Loan. For students who are under 18, you must complete one of the following requirements:

  • your parent or guardian must sign the Commonwealth’s parental consent form for your loan. This is available from your college or on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website. You must provide this form to your college before you can apply for a loan. OR
  • if you are receiving Youth Allowance on the basis that you are independent, you must provide your Centrelink Income Statement noting your independent assessment.

Your parent or guardian will not be responsible for making loan repayments and it will not affect their credit rating.

All students wishing to apply for a Commonwealth VET Student Loan must be assessed for academic suitability to undertake a high-level VET qualification. This is aimed at ensuring you have the skills and knowledge to succeed in your course.

Academic assessment is in addition to any other entry requirements for your course, or any other additional selection criteria. Refer to the VET Student Loans Student Entry Requirements.

To be assessed as academically suitable, you must either:

  • provide a copy of your senior secondary certificate of education (that has been awarded by an Australian authority or agency), or
  • provide evidence of attainment of an Australian Qualification Framework qualification at Certificate IV or above. You may provide a transcript from your previous provider (or a transcript from the national USI register for qualifications attained from 2015) or evidence of an approved Australian Government assessed overseas qualification. If it is an SBTA qualification, let us know where and when you studied, or
  • undertake an approved literacy and numeracy assessment and be competent at Exit Level 3 (working at level 4) or above. SBTA will assist you through the process to undertake this assessment if required. There is no cost to you.

Credit Transfer (CT) and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

If you have completed previous studies, you could be eligible for reduced fees. You should let SBTA know as soon as possible if you have experience in the area you are studying and think you may qualify for RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) or have previously studied certain units of competency. You can also discuss this with your teacher before you enrol. Refer to SBTA’s CT and RPL policy and procedures.

My Skills

My Skills is the consumer directory for VET. Using My Skills you can compare courses and providers to choose the course that best suits your needs.

My Skills lists all the nationally registered training providers, their contact details, the publicly available courses they are approved to deliver and where they are being delivered. Students can use My Skills to search for VET Student Loans approved courses and approved course providers. Course price and course duration information can also be entered by training providers to assist students in assessing value for money.

My Skills features:

  • course price information: all approved course providers are required to enter on My Skills the fees a student can expect to pay for a course accessed with VET Student Loans
  • a VET Student Loans calculator to assist you to understand how your debt will grow after five and ten years if unpaid
  • information collected from previous students about their satisfaction with training and their employment outcomes.

Study Assist

Study Assist provides information about options for financing your tertiary study, including:

  • HELP loans available in both the higher education and VET sectors
  • courses and providers that offer Australian Government assistance
  • student income support
  • Australian Scholarships and Awards.

VET Student Loans Ombudsman

The VET Student Loans Ombudsman began operating on 1 July 2017. The Ombudsman manages and investigates complaints about the VET FEE-HELP scheme and VET Student Loans program.

National Training Complaints Hotline

The National Training Complaints Hotline (13 38 73) is a joint Australian, state, and territory government initiative which protects students and makes it easier for consumers, such as apprentices, students, employers and others, to lodge complaints if they are concerned about any aspect of the training system. The National Training Complaints Hotline directs complaints to relevant authorities, connecting consumers to the appropriate organisation.

The ATO can help you with:

  • your VETSL and/or HELP debt
  • compulsory repayments
  • voluntary repayments
  • overseas repayments
  • the best time for you to repay your debt.

Contact details:

  • visit Study and training support loans
  • visit View your loan account online for information on viewing your loan account online
  • use ATO online services to view loan accounts and other information such as Payment Reference Number (PRN) and voluntary repayment options
  • call 13 28 61 for information about your VETSL and/or HELP account and personal tax topics
  • call 13 36 77 TTY or 1300 555 727 TTY for hearing or speech impaired students
  • write to Australian Taxation Office PO BOX 1032, ALBURY NSW 2640.

Note: Do not send voluntary repayments to this address.

Services Australia

Services Australia can help you with Youth Allowance, Pensioner Education Supplement, Austudy, and ABSTUDY and other forms of student income support assistance.

Contact details:

  • call 13 24 90 for information on Youth Allowance and Austudy
  • Freecall™ 1800 132 317 for information on ABSTUDY
  • Freecall™ 1800 810 586 for TTY* enquiries
  • call 13 12 02 for information in languages other than English.

*TTY is only for people who are deaf or who have a hearing or speech impediment. A TTY phone is required to use this service.

Department of Home Affairs (DoHA)

Department of Home Affairs can help you with visas and Australian citizenship.

Contact details:

Student Identifiers Registrar

The Student Identifiers Registrar is responsible for administering the Unique Student Identifier (USI) initiative. Your USI is used to connect your student loan information to your personal details. You can log in and check or update your details at any time.

Applying for a USI is fast and free, and you keep the same USI for life. You can apply for a USI in as little as five minutes at usi.gov.au.

If you have studied a VET course in the last five years, you will already have an existing USI. Locate your USI easily at Get A USI.

Use of personal information

Your personal information, including your TFN, is protected by law, including the Privacy Act 1988, and is collected by the department (GPO Box 9880, Canberra ACT 2601), for the purpose of administering the VET Student Loans program, which includes verifying your eligibility for a loan and repayments of amounts in discharge of your VET student loan debt (including if you are residing overseas) under the VET Student Loans Act 2016 (the VSL Act). The department also collects your personal information for the purpose of research, statistics, policy formation and broader HELP program management. The collection, use and disclosure of your personal information is authorised under Part 9 of the VSL Act and Division 180 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA).

The department may disclose your information to Australian Government agencies, including but not limited to:

  • the ATO for the purposes of calculating and administering your VET Student Loan debt
  • the Department of Human Services for the purposes of pre-populating your claim form for a student payment and assessing or reviewing your eligibility or entitlement for a student payment
  • the Commonwealth Ombudsman if you lodge a complaint in relation to your VET Student Loan or compliance by your provider with the VSL Act.

Your personal information may also be disclosed to the VSL Tuition Protection Director for the purposes of administering arrangements relating to tuition protection under the VSL Act if required.

The department may also disclose your information to a domestic entity (other than the ATO) or to an overseas entity for the purposes of VET Student Loan debt collection.

The department will not disclose your personal information for any other purpose without first seeking your consent, unless that disclosure is authorised or required by law.

You can find more information about the way in which the department will manage your personal information, including how to access and correct your information, and how to make a complaint, in the department’s privacy policy, or by requesting a copy from the department at privacy@dese.gov.au. Please also refer to Part 9 of the VSL Act and Division 180 of HESA.

 

For more detailed information refer to the VSL information booklet below

Register here

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