HELP loan balance and limits

Your HELP debt includes any of the following unpaid loans:

  • HECS-HELP
  • FEE-HELP
  • VET FEE-HELP
  • OS-HELP
  • SA-HELP
  • VET Student Loans.

No interest is charged on HELP debts; however, once your HELP debts are 11 months’ old, indexation is added (on 1 June each year). See the ATO website for current and past indexation rates.

Your myGov account shows you how much you owe and any repayments you’ve made. If you don't have a myGov account, follow the instructions on the ATO website to set one up, or call the myGov help desk on 13 23 07 (select option 1).

Commonwealth Assistance Notices (CAN)

After each census date, we’ll issue your Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) in the Web Enrolment System (WES). It’s important to check all the details on each of your CANs for accuracy, including your units, fees, payments and loan amounts.

Combined HELP loan limit

The combined HELP loan limit is a cap on how much you can borrow from the Australian Government to cover the costs of your course fees. The loans included are:

  • HECS-HELP debt with a census date from 1 January 2020
  • all FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP, VET Students Loans.

Not included in the combined HELP loan limit are:

  • HECS-HELP debts with a census date before 1 January 2020
  • SA-HELP
  • OS-HELP.

Loan limits

For 2021, the HELP loan limit is $108,232 for most students.

The limit for students studying medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses leading to initial registration, or eligible aviation courses is $155,448.

The HELP loan limit is indexed each year by the Consumer Price Index.

Renewable HELP balance

The renewable HELP balance is your available borrowing capacity for HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans.

How your available HELP balance is calculated

Your available HELP balance is your HELP loan limit of that given year, minus your HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans borrowing.

Taking out a loan will reduce your available HELP balance, and making a repayment will increase your available HELP balance.

Renewable means that any repayments you make on your HELP debt will credit your available HELP balance. So if you reach the HELP loan limit, you can make repayments on your HELP debt and access HELP again (up to the limit). Repayments starting from the 2019–20 income year will top up your HELP balance.

Check your HELP debt

You can find out how to check my HELP debt through your myGov account.

Check loan limits and available borrowing balance

On the Australian Government Study Assist webpage, you can see the 2020 loan limit changes.

To check your available borrowing balance under the combined HELP loan limit, you can use the Australian Government's myHELP balance portal. However, the portal doesn’t show:

  • how much you owe (your myGov account does)
  • loan fees or indexation on your debt, or
  • any debts incurred before 2005.

Your responsibilities

  • Check your available HELP balance.
  • Keep track of your entitlements to make sure you don’t go over the combined HELP loan limit.
  • If you’re approaching your loan limit and your HELP balance may not be enough to cover your coursen fees or student contributions, you need to advise Monash (and any other providers you’re studying with). We’ll need to know how much FEE-HELP you want to access for your units.

Repaying your debt to the Australian Taxation Office

You have to start repaying your HELP debt through the tax system once you earn above the compulsory repayment threshold.

The compulsory repayment threshold for the 2020-21 income year is $46,620 (this changes each year).

How much your compulsory payments are will depend on how much you earn – the more you earn, the more you have to repay each year. See the Australian Government’s loan repayment web page for a full list of the 2020-2021 loan repayment thresholds and rates.

You can also make voluntary repayments to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) at any time.

What happens if you move overseas

If you move overseas and your worldwide income is above the minimum repayment threshold, you still need to make repayments on your HELP debt.

Each financial year, you’ll need to report your worldwide income to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) by 31 October.

If you plan to move overseas for 183 days or more (around 6 months) in any 12 month period, you must notify the ATO by completing an overseas travel notification through ATO online services. To do this, link your myGov account to the ATO.

For more information, see what if I move overseas?

Got a question? Monash Connect can help