This page contains legislative updates regarding student fees.

The Australian Government has announced a range of reforms to improve the higher education sector. These reforms are designed to deliver on the following aims.

Improvement to the sustainability of higher education through:

  • new repayment thresholds
  • combined HELP loan limit.

Student support that delivers outcomes through:

  • improved support for regional higher education
  • rural and regional enterprise scholarships.

Increased transparency and accountability through:

  • performance-based funding growth for universities
  • transparency for university teaching and research.

This page was last updated 5 September 2018.

2018 Student Loan Sustainability Bill

A new set of repayment thresholds

From 1 July 2019, the new minimum HELP repayment threshold will be $45,881, with a 1% repayment rate.

There are a further 17 thresholds and repayment rates, up to a top threshold of $134,573, at which 10% of income is repayable.

Please see the paying back your loan section on the Government's StudyAssist website for more information on:

  • new repayment thresholds
  • how much you owe for HELP debts which are managed by the ATO
  • when you have to repay your HELP debt
  • your repayment amounts
  • interest and indexation
  • how to make voluntary repayment.

Combined HELP limit

From 1 January 2020, a combined HELP loan limit will replace the the FEE-HELP limit and will include:

  • VET Student Loans

Only new HECS-HELP borrowing from 1 January 2020 will count towards your HELP limit. Any existing FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP or VET Student Loans taken out prior to 2020 will count towards your new HELP balance.

This means that any HECS-HELP loans taken out before 2020 will not count towards your new HELP limit.

Note: From 1 January 2020, you can top up your HELP balance by making repayments on your loan. Repayments starting from the 2019-20 income year will top up a person’s HELP balance. Any compulsory or voluntary repayments can be re-borrowed in the future, up to the current HELP loan limit.

HELP loan limit for 2020

From 1 January 2020, the loan limit will increase to $152,700 for students studying medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses. The loan limit for all other students will be increased to $106,319.