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

Students who qualify for the VSL still need to make upfront payments for materials and auxiliary fees and the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF).

To be eligible for VSL, you must complete the electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) by the relevant VET/TAFE census date.


To receive a VET Student Loan, you must:

  • be studying an approved course
  • provide a parent/guardian consent form if under the age of 18
  • be academically suited
  • meet residency requirements
  • have not exceeded the VETSL debt (VET Student Loan debt) limit
  • have not exceeded the course cap
  • meet the Tax File Number (TFN) requirements
  • have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) or otherwise be exempt
  • 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.

If you are under 18 years of age, a parent/guardian must complete and sign a VET student loans (VSL) parental consent form.

This form must be provided to us prior to an electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) being issued.

Please note: this is not required if you have been assessed by Centrelink as meeting the requirements of receiving the independent Youth Allowance. In this case, you need to provide your Centrelink Income Statement.

To be assessed as academically suited, you must provide one of these two documents:

  • your Australian Year 12 Certificate
  • evidence of successful completion of Certificate IV or higher (where the language of instruction is English).

If you do not have either of these, you can complete an approved Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) test and be assessed as competent at Exit Level 3 in both reading and numeracy.

To meet the citizenship and residency requirements you need to provide evidence that you meet one of the following categories:

  • an Australian citizen
  • a qualifying New Zealand citizen, or hold a special visa category such as the New Zealand Special Category Visa, and meet the long-term residency requirements
  • a permanent humanitarian visa holder.

Australian citizen

You can provide your Australian passport; or, if you do not have a passport, you can provide other documentation to confirm your Australian citizenship.

New Zealand citizen

If you're an eligible NZ citizen with an NZ Special Category Visa, you'll need to provide evidence that you've been living in Australia for the qualifying period.

See the FAQs - NZ page on the StudyAssist website to find out if you're eligible for a VET Student Loan and how to apply.

Permanent humanitarian visa holder

You'll need to provide us with your passport details that include your visa status. We will then confirm your visa status via Visa Entitlement Verification Online.

VET Student Loan (VSL) request form

If you haven't requested a VET Student Loan (VSL) during enrolment, complete the VSL request form so we can assess your eligibility.

Check your eligibility for a VET Student Loan

Use the VSL Eligibility Tool to check your eligibility for a VET Student Loan (the tool should be used as a guide only).

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.

For your TFN to validate, the following personal details on your VU student record must match the details recorded at the ATO:

  • Tax File Number
  • given name(s)
  • middle name(s)
  • family name
  • date of birth.

If any of these details do not match, your TFN cannot be validated.

You will need to identify why there is a mismatch of information and change your details with either the ATO or VU by the relevant census date.

If your personal details with the ATO are incorrect you will need to update them in one of these ways:

If your personal details at VU are incorrect you will need to update them by filling out a Personal Details Amendment form (A11).

Once your details have been corrected and you have let us know we can then validate your TFN with the ATO.

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.


The previous VET FEE-HELP (VFH) scheme was replaced by the current VET Student Loans.

However, if you accessed VFH in 2018, you can continue using VFH assistance for the rest of 2018. VFH ends on of 31 December 2018. If you continue studying the same course that you had accessed VFH for as of 1 January 2019 you will automatically be an upfront-paying student.

Your options are:

  • apply for a VET Student Loan (if eligible)
  • apply for a payment plan (if eligible)
  • pay your fees up front.

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.