To defer student services and amenities fees you must complete a SA-HELP form in addition to your HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP request form. Log in to the Student System to submit your SA-HELP form in the 'My Commownealth Support' screen.
SA-HELP is a loan scheme that assists eligible students to pay their student services and amenities fee. Eligible students can choose to defer all or part of their fee for the relevant year.
To obtain a SA-HELP loan you need to meet all of the following conditions:
- be an Australian citizen, hold a permanent humanitarian visa or be a New Zealand citizen who has been a long-term resident of Australia since childhood and meet certain eligibility criteria (see the Study Assist website for details);
- be enrolled in a course of study;
- meet the tax file number (TFN) requirements by providing either your TFN or Certificate of application for a tax file number as proof that you have applied for a TFN (you can obtain this document from the ATO); and
- have lodged your Request for SA-HELP assistance form by the census date.
* Non-award and cross-institutional study is not eligible for SA-HELP, except for those students participating in the Bridging for Overseas Trained Professionals (BOTP) program.
When is the due date for submitting my Request for SA-HELP assistance form?
If you wish to access the SA-HELP loan scheme to defer your student services and amenities fee, a completed Request for SA-HELP assistance form must be received by the relevant census date for the topics concerned.
How do I apply for a SA-HELP loan?
In order to submit a SA-HELP form you must:
- Log in to the Student System
- Select the 'My Commonwealth Assistance' tab
- Choose your course and click on the 'Add New Form' button
- Click on the 'Complete Form' button next to 'Request for SA-HELP Assistance'
- Complete the form including your Tax File Number and click on the 'Submit' button to lodge the form
Please note: Even if you have already submitted a request for HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP you must complete the SA-HELP form for each course you are enrolled in as well if you wish to defer your student services and amenities fee.
Can I take out a SA-HELP loan if I don't have a HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP loan?
Yes, provided you meet the eligibility requirement. Only Australian citizens, permanent humanitarian visa holders and New Zealand citizens who have been long-term residents of Australia since childhood and meet certain eligibility criteria (see the Study Assist website for details) are eligible to defer fees using HELP loans. Other New Zealand citizens and permanent residents are not eligible to defer fees and must pay their student services and amenities fees upfront.
Do I have to submit a Request for SA-HELP assistance form each year?
No, once you have successfully lodged your Request for SA-HELP assistance, it is valid the length of your course. If you are studying multiple courses, then you must submit a Request for SA-HELP assistance form for each course. If you transfer from one course to another, you must submit a new Request for SA-HELP assistance form for the new course.
In some cases, where you are readmitted to a course of study that you have been absent from, you may be required to submit a new Request for SA-HELP assistance form for that course.
What if I don't complete my Request for SA-HELP assistance form in time?
You will be responsible to pay the student services and amenities fee that applies for any topics with census dates prior to the date you submit your form. Once your form has been submitted and approved all student services and amenities fees for subsequent census dates, on or after the submission date, will be deferred to your SA-HELP loan.
Any unpaid student services and amenities fees will be subject to the University's Students with Outstanding Debt policy.
If I withdraw from my topics will I still have a SA-HELP debt?
If you withdraw prior to the relevant census date for the topics concerned you will not incur a SA-HELP debt. The University is not able to remove your SA-HELP debt if you withdraw after the census date has passed.
When do I repay my SA-HELP debt?
You do not need to start repaying your SA-HELP debt until your income is above the minimum threshold for compulsory repayment. In the 2016-2017 tax year the income threshold is $54,869. Visit the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website for more information about repayments, including early voluntary repayments.
To check your current outstanding HELP balance, you can either contact the ATO on 13 28 61 or log in to myGov and click on the 'Accounts' tab to access your 'loan accounts'. For more information about accessing your current outstanding HELP balance, visit the ATO's Repaying your student debt website.