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FEE-HELP is administered under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA) by the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST ), the Australian Taxation Office, higher education providers and Open Universities Australia.
FEE-HELP is a loan scheme that assists eligible fee-paying students to pay their tuition fees. It does not cover accommodation and general living expenses.
FEE-HELP can cover all or part of a student's tuition fees. The Australian Government pays the amount of the loan direct to a student's higher education provider in the case of its student.
Eligible students can borrow up to the FEE-HELP limit to pay their tuition fees. Over their lifetime, students can only borrow up to a maximum of $89,706 for all courses except medicine, veterinary science and dentistry, for which the FEE-HELP limit is $112,134 (this amount is indexed annually).
For postgraduate courses, there is no real interest charged on you debt. Your accumulated HELP debt is indexed annually to maintain its real value, by adjusting it in line with changes in the cost of living (as measured by the Consumer Price Index).
You are eligible for FEE-HELP assistance if you:
If you obtained a loan under HECS, PELS, BOTPLS or OLDPS prior to 2005, the amount you borrowed does not affect your eligibility for FEE-HELP. Only the amount borrowed to pay tuition fees using FEE-HELP after 1 January 2005 is counted towards the FEE-HELP limit.
FEE-HELP debts are added to any existing HECS or HECS-HELP debts to form a single HELP debt.
Students repay their loans through the Australian taxation system once their repayment income is above the minimum threshold for compulsory repayment.
For further information you can download the Australian Government's 2012 FEE-HELP information brochure.
Alternatively you can visit the Government's website Study Assist or call the student funding measures enquiry line on 1800 020 108.