VET Student Loans

The VET Student Loan (VSL) program is an Australian Government assistance loan that helps eligible VET students, studying for a diploma qualification or higher, to pay their tuition fees.

VSL only applies to your course tuition fees. You are still required to pay your materials/ auxiliary fees and the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) upfront before the due date.

As part of your course application you will undertake a Pre-Training Review which will assist VU in identifying equivalent units of competency that you may have completed previously. VU will grant you a credit transfer for equivalent units you have previously completed.  You will not be charged fees for units where you have been granted a credit transfer.

Note that a VET student loan gives rise to a HELP debt that continue

Summary of VSL application process

If you would like to defer your course tuition fees via a VSL application, these are the steps involved:

  1. You must meet all the eligibility criteria as outlined on this page 
  2. Complete a VET Student Loan (VSL) request form and provide all supporting documentation (as described on this page), to meet the academic suitability and citizenship/residency requirements.
  3. Submit the completed VET Student Loan request form and supporting documentation by email via ASKVU or in person at one of our VUHQ centres.
  4. If your application is successful, we will notify the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations to send you an electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) invitation email. The eCAF invitation email will contain a 22 character alpha-numeric passkey needed for the next step of the process.
  5. After you receive your eCAF invitation email containing your passkey, you must login to the Government eCAF system and provide your tax file number (TFN) or Certificate of Application for a TFN by the relevant VET census date that applies to you.

Eligibility criteria & required documents

To obtain a VET student loan applicants must meet eligibility requirements. Applicants who do not meet these requirements will need to pay fees upfront for their course enrolment.

To be eligible to receive a VET Student Loan, you must:

  • be studying an approved course
  • meet the academic suitability requirements
  • meet the citizenship/residency requirements
  • provide a parent/guardian consent form if under the age of 18
  • have not exceeded the VETSL debt (VET Student Loan debt) limit
  • have not exceeded the course cap
  • meet the Tax File Number (TFN) requirements, noting that the information you provide us must exactly match the details held at the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
  • have a valid Unique Student Identifier (USI) or otherwise be exempt, noting that the information you provide us must exactly match the details recorded on the USI database
  • confirm your engagement and progression to continue to access the loan throughout your course.


The following documents are required to apply for a VET Student Loan:

  • VET Student Loan (VSL) request form
  • evidence of meeting the academic suitability requirements
  • evidence of meeting the citizenship/residency requirements.

You must complete the VET Student Loan (VSL) request form and provide all supporting documentation to meet the academic suitability and citizenship/residency requirements so we can assess your eligibility.

Loan caps

The government has set a maximum loan amount for each approved course of study. The loan may not be sufficient to cover the tuition fees for a course. We will send you a VET Student Loan Notice with the course tuition fees covered by the loan and any gap fees you need to pay.

If you are enrolled in a course whereby course tuition fees will exceed the course cap, you will be required to make upfront contributions throughout your study with us to cover the amount that will go over the VSL course cap.

Loans caps & changing TAFE provider

If you have changed your course provider (TAFE) but not your course and wish to continue to access VSL for the same course, you will need to complete another eCAF with us to apply for the remainder of the loan.

Example: If the course cap was originally $10,150 and have you already accessed $5000 at another provider for the same course, you will only be eligible for the remainder $5150.

You may be required to provide us with additional information on how much you have accessed with your previous provider. If you do not correctly declare this information, you will be made liable for any tuition fees not covered by the overall VSL course cap.

Tax file number (TFN) requirements

If you decide to defer your fees via a VET Student Loan (VETSL debt), 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 VETSL debt.


A USI is your individual education number. You keep this number for life and will use it for all of your higher education or training, at any university, TAFE or other nationally registered training organisation in Australia.

Your USI identifies you as a student who has undertaken vocational education and training (VET) and/or higher education studies. It also creates an online record of your Australian training achievements in the form of a USI Transcript. It is also used to connect your student loan information to your personal details.

You can log in and check or update your details at any time. For more information, view the USI government website.

Engagement & progression in your course

To continue accessing your VSL, you'll have to confirm your continued engagement and progression in your course by completing a  progression form. Depending on the duration of your course, you may be requested to do this more than once throughout your course.

Victoria University will send you an email to notify you that the Government will be sending you a 'progressing with your VET Student Loan’ invitation email. You'll then have 14 days to complete it.

Keep track of your debt

You can keep track of your debt by verifying the Commonwealth Assistance Notice that we provide you. Or you can access this information on 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 allows you to get more information about your VETSL debt (VET Student Loan debt) online.

It will show:

  • all of your current VETSL 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.