HECS-HELP is designed to help students at university who don’t have the money upfront to pay the fees, by allowing them to study for a degree and deferring payment until they are earning money in the workforce. There are three main ways to manage HECS-HELP and all of them can help you achieve your goal of a university degree.
Deferring till you’re earning: how does it work?
You only start repaying your HECS-HELP debt once your taxable income is greater than $41,912 a year (based on the 2010-11 financial year). Then 4% of your salary will be automatically deducted to repay your HECS-HELP fees. This will rise as your earnings do, to a maximum 8% of your salary when it hits $83,408. Remember, with HECS-HELP there's no interest charged on your loan, although it does increase in line with the CPI each year.
Are you eligible for HECS-HELP?
To be eligible for HECS-HELP, you need to be an Australian citizen and satisfy the necessary requirements. Find out more about eligibility for HECS-HELPS.
Youth Allowance and Austudy
If you're at TAFE or university full-time, you could be eligible for Youth Allowance or Austudy benefits to help you get by. Youth Allowance is for full-time students and apprentices who are 16 - 24, while Austudy is for full-time students and apprentices who are 25 or more. Both the Youth Allowance and Austudy are subject to income and assets tests. Find out if you're entitled to these payments, as well as how you can maximise your income without losing any of the benefits you're entitled to.