Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)

The Government administers the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP), which consists of several different HELP loan schemes to assist students with the cost of their fees.

These loans can help eligible students to pay their student contribution, tuition fees, Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF), or overseas-study travel expenses.

There are several different HELP loans available to assist you with the cost of your course.

HELP loan schemes

There are four HELP loan schemes available:

  • Higher Education Commonwealth Support (HECS-HELP) – for Commonwealth supported students
  • FEE-HELP – for full-fee paying students
  • Student Services and Amenities (SA-HELP) – for both Commonwealth supported and full-fee paying students
  • Overseas Study (OS-HELP) – for Commonwealth supported students.

Find out more about loans for:


Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF)

The electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) is an online form used by domestic students to apply for a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) and/or Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) loan.

You must submit an eCAF for a CSP course to show how you will pay your student contribution – whether you pay up-front or defer your tuition fees with a loan.

Find out how to submit your eCAF

New Zealand citizenship & HELP eligibility

Changes in legislation now allow New Zealand citizens who are Special Category Visa (SCV) holders and long-term residents of Australia to access a HELP loan.

The HELP loan can be used to defer payment of tuition fees and the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF).

Tax file number (TFN) requirements

If you decide to defer your fees via a HELP loan, you will need to apply for a TFN in advance.

Your TFN must be valid, and your personal details with Victoria University must match those held by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Victoria University is not notified about your invalid TFN until several weeks after you submit your Commonwealth Assistance Form. You will receive an email notification once we're advised that your TFN can’t be validated - urgent action is required at this point if you want to keep your HELP Loan.

Further information

Pass rate requirements for CSP & HELP loans

If you begin your enrolment with VU on or after 1 January 2022 and apply for a Commonwealth supported place (CSP), HECS-HELP or FEE HELP, the 50% pass rate will apply.

This means that once you have undertaken 4 or more units in a sub-bachelor level course (e.g. a Higher Education Diploma), or 8 or more units in bachelor and above level courses, you must have passed at least 50% of your total attempted units in order to remain eligible for a CSP, HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP.

You will need to pass at least 50% of your total attempted units across your course of study otherwise you will need to be in a full-fee place (instead of Commonwealth Supported) and/or pay the tuition fees upfront until your pass rates improve to higher than 50%.

VU will contact you if you approach or reach the limit of your pass requirements. We will discuss with you the options available – such as transferring to a full fee place.

Visit the Study Assist website for more details.


The Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) places a limit on the amount of government funding you can assess for your study.

It means you can only be enrolled in a Commonwealth Supported (CSP) place or access a HELP loan for a period of 7 years full-time (or part time equivalent).

The SLE applies to students who commenced a CSP course from January 2022.


You can keep track of your debt by verifying the Commonwealth Assistance Notice that we provide you.

Alternatively, you can access this information these government websites.


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

Please note, there is a time lag between the census day and when your information on myHELPbalance is updated.


myGov offers more information about your HELP debt.

It will show:

  • all of your current HELP debt
  • any indexation (increase) that has been applied to your debt
  • any repayments that you have made, so you can see how much you have left owing.