VET Student Loans Information

VET Student Loans is a student income contingent loan scheme for the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector that is part of the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP).

VET Student Loans assists eligible students to pay for all or part of their VET tuition fees when studying one of the approved accredited VET courses of study at a VET provider. The approved course list can be found here. Loan caps will apply to all eligible courses.

What is a VET Student Loan in detail?

From 1 January 2017, the Commonwealth VET Student Loans program replaced the VET FEE-HELP loan program.

This Commonwealth Government program allows you to access loans for courses that:

  • have a high national priority
  • meet industry needs
  • contribute to addressing skills shortages
  • lead to employment outcomes.

The program also features loan caps for course loans. Students studying with Star Training Academy, will not be affected by fees above or outside the loan caps, you will be advised of this during your enrolment.  Please note, that loan caps are indexed annually in accordance with the VET Student Loans Act 2016.

For Loan Caps applicable in 2018 see the STA Loan Cap and Approved Courses List.

How Does It Work?

The VET Student Loan program allows eligible students to repay their tuition loan fees for approved diplomas or advanced diplomas.

You can either:

  • repay all your tuition loan fees (up to the loan cap limit) when your income reaches the repayment threshold
  • pay some of your tuition loan fees upfront and repay the balance when your income reaches the repayment threshold.

Your loan is repaid through the Australian tax system when you reach the minimum income threshold for repayment. The minimum income threshold for repayment is set by the Commonwealth each year and is published on Study Assist in the VET Student Loans information booklet. There is a loan fee of 20% for full fee-paying students.

You must be aware that your loan remains a personal debt until it is repaid, and it may reduce your take-home (after tax) wage and your borrowing capacity. You may wish to seek independent financial advice before applying.

Centrelink benefits do not affect your eligibility or the loan amount you can access. Fee concessions are not available for Diploma and above courses.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible, you must either:

  • be an Australian citizen, or
  • hold an eligible permanent humanitarian visa and usually reside in Australia, or
  • be a New Zealand citizen on Special Category Visa (SCV subclass 444) who meets the long term residency requirements.*

* Holders of other permanent visas and temporary visas are NOT eligible for a VET Student Loan

You must also:

  • have a tax file number or be applying for one
  • have a Unique Student Identifier (USI)
  • intend to undertake your course primarily in Australia
  • meet the academic suitability requirements of the VET Student Loans Student Entry procedure (that is, assessed as academically suitable to undertake a high level vocational qualification)
  • have a Commonwealth Higher Education Support Number (CHESSN)
  • not have exceeded your lifetime Commonwealth student loan limit, which is set each year by the Commonwealth
  • have read the VET Student Loans information booklet.
  • have given any requested documentation to STA and submitted the Commonwealth loan application online form (eCAF) by the first census day no less than two business days after enrolling (see How do I apply)
  • comply with ongoing Commonwealth engagement and progression requests to log on to complete their online student engagement form to confirm that you are a genuine student, continuing to study and the progress in your course.  You will get these requests two or three times a year, depending on how long your course is. If you do not complete the form and survey within the required time, you may be ineligible to continue accessing VET Student Loans to pay for the remainder of your course tuition fees.

LIFETIME LOAN LIMIT

The lifetime loan limit is the total amount you can incur in your lifetime under any Commonwealth HELP student loan scheme – whether it is Higher Education FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP or a VET Student Loan. It is indexed each year, in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI). In 2017, the lifetime loan limit is $100,879 for most students (2018 to be advised). Students can view their loan obligations by logging into myUniAssist on the Study Assist website. You will need your Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN) to log in.

What is a Unique Student Identifier (USI)?

The Commonwealth requires all students studying in a nationally recognised training course to have a USI. If you already have one, please ensure you use this same USI whenever you enrol for any training. If you don't have a USI, go to https://www.usi.gov.au/ to register before you apply to enrol, or you can apply as part of your enrolment.

What is a Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN)?

A CHESSN is allocated to all students when they first access a Commonwealth loan. Any Commonwealth student loan you take is recorded against your CHESSN. If you already have a CHESSN, please supply that number.

New Zealand Citizens

The residency requirements for New Zealand citizens on a Special Category Visa are:

  1. You first began living in Australia at least 10 years before applying for a loan, and at that time, were a child under 18 years of age and did not have a spouse or de-facto partner.
  2. You have been in Australia for at least eight of the 10 years immediately prior to applying and at least 18 months of the last two years.

You will need to provide evidence of your eligibility to STA before requesting a VET Student Loan.

Is a VET Student Loan Available for my course?

VET Student Loans are available for full-time, part-time and online study.

Qualifications that are eligible for Star Training Academy (STA) to offer students a VET Student Loan are:
• BSB50215 Diploma of Business
• BSB51315 Diploma of Work Health and Safety
• BSB60915 Advanced Diploma of Management (Human Resources)
• CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care
• CPP50611 Diploma of Security and Risk Management

STA Administration can also provide you with a list of available courses, by contacting admin@startraining.edu.au

VET Student Loan Tuition Fees are published as required under the VET Student Loans Act 2016 and are regularly updated.  You can view the schedule of VET Tuition Fees below:

SEMESTER 1, 2018 (will be available week commencing 15 January 2018)

SEMESTER 2, 2018 (will be available week commencing 15 January 2018)

How do I apply?

A VET Student Loan is an agreement between you and the Commonwealth Government.

To apply for a VET Student loan:

  • you must meet all the loan eligibility requirements
  • if you are accepted into a course, STA will advise the Commonwealth that you wish to apply
  • the Commonwealth will then email your logon details and password to access the online loan application
  • you will need to provide your valid Tax File Number (TFN), so have it handy when you log on to the online form. If you don't have a TFN, you can apply at most Australia Post outlets. A valid Tax File Number means that the details you provide to STA must match those held with the Australian Tax Office. If you provide an invalid tax file number, you will not be able to access a VET Student Loan for your tuition fees.
  • your loan application is separate to your enrolment with STA. The Commonwealth Government requires that there is a two day cooling off period between your enrolment and applying for a loan.
  • the census day is the last day you can apply for a loan for the fees for that period, so make sure you complete your application promptly.

As with any loan you take, you must understand the terms and conditions before you make a commitment. You must read the VET Student Loan information available on StudyAssist, the Commonwealth Department of Education website for students and consider seeking independent financial advice.

During your study, you may be contacted again by the Commonwealth to confirm your engagement and progression in your course and confirm that you wish to continue to use your VET Student Loan to pay your tuition fees for the course. It is important that you advise STA if any of your personal or contact details change during your study. Further information regarding the VET Student Loan engagement and progression process is available on the Commonwealth Department of Education website. If you do not complete the engagement and progression process, you will not be able to continue access to a VET Student Loan for your tuition fees.

Under 18

There are no age restrictions to apply for a VET Student Loan. For students who are under 18, you must complete one of the following requirements:

  • your parent or guardian must sign the Commonwealth's parental consent form for your loan. This is available from STA or on the Commonwealth Department of Education website. You must provide this form to your college before you can apply for a loan. OR
  • if you are receiving Youth Allowance on the basis that you are independent, you must provide your Centrelink Income Statement noting your independent assessment.

Your parent or guardian will not be responsible for making loan repayments and it will not affect their credit rating.

You can begin the process by downloading and completing the VET Student Loan Enrolment Pack and returning to Star Training in person or by email to admin@startraining.edu.au . Ensure that all handwriting is clear and easy to read and all sections and questions are completed. You will be contacted to arrange a time to assess academic competence and/or provide your documents.See Student Entry Procedure below. If you have the required documentation, you can bring it with you when you return your Enrolment Pack.

Student entry procedure

All students wishing to apply for a Commonwealth VET Student Loan must be assessed for academic suitability to undertake a high level VET qualification. This is aimed at ensuring you have the skills and knowledge to succeed in your course.

Academic assessment is in addition to any other entry requirements for your course, or any other additional selection criteria. Refer to the VET Student Loans Student Entry Procedure .

To be assessed as academically suitable, you must either:

  • provide a copy of your senior secondary certificate of education (that has been awarded by an Australian authority or agency), or
  • provide evidence of attainment of an Australian Qualification Framework qualification at certificate 4 or above. You may provide a transcript from your previous provider or a transcript from the national USI register (for qualifications attained from 2015); or
  • undertake an approved literacy and numeracy assessment and be competent at Exit Level 3 or above in reading and numeracy. STA will assist you through the process to undertake this assessment if required. There is no cost to you.
Credit Transfer

If you have completed previous studies, you could be eligible for reduced fees. You should let STA know as soon as possible if you have experience in the area you are studying and think you may qualify for RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning). You can also discuss this with training staff before you enrol.

Completing a high level qualification with STA may provide standing toward and assist with entry into a higher level degree program with Universities in Australia and abroad. Check individual university admissions procedures for Advanced Standing options.

How will my course fees be charged?

Fees for courses eligible for VET Student Loans are charged by Units of Study. Your course will have at least three Units of Study and your payments will be spread across the duration of your course. Each Unit of Study has a census day, set at no less than 20% into the Unit of Study.

You will be sent an Invoice Notice 14 days before each census day, indicating your fees and census dates. Your debt is incurred on the day after the census day. After a census day has passed, STA will also send you a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) for that Unit of Study. The CAN will provide you with information about your debt, including the loan fee if applicable. If you believe your CAN is incorrect, you should contact your college immediately.

There will be no gap fees associated with training at STA. This means all training will be delivered within the loan cap the Commonwealth allows for the course.

How do I pay back the loan?

You repay your loan through the tax system when your income is above the minimum repayment threshold. Repayment thresholds are adjusted each year to reflect changes in average weekly earnings. The minimum repayment income threshold for 2017-18 is $55,874.

A VET Student Loan is a personal debt obligation that can affect your credit rating and have wage and tax repayment implications. From 1 July 2017, all existing and future debtors from any Commonwealth student loan program who move overseas must make compulsory HELP repayments. If you are living overseas and earning an income that exceeds the minimum repayment threshold, you will be required to make compulsory repayments towards your debt.  Please refer to the ATO website for more information.

More information

For a summary of the important information you need to know, read or download, go to the Commonwealth Government Department of Education website and look at Information for VET Student Loans Students.

Specifically download and read the VET Student Loans Information Booklet.

You can also go to the Australian Governments, Study Assist website.

Rights and Responsibilities

If you are considering applying for a VET Student Loan, you should familiarise yourself with your obligations by reading the VET Student Loan Information Booklet.

Further information is available at:

Grievance Procedures (Academic & Non Academic)

STA undertakes to deal with grievances promptly.  You are entitled to raise concerns about your academic results or appeal a result.

Further information can be found in the Student Handbook and the individual Complaints and Appeals (Grievance) Policy, located on the STA website http://www.startraining.edu.au/downloads/

You may raise a concern or grievance for a range of non-academic matters, including harassment, vilification, discrimination, misuse of personal information, financial matters and course applications.

In the first instance, you can talk to a trainer/assessor, counsellor (referal mechanism) or other administration officer.

Withdrawals and Refunds

If you choose to withdraw, you may be entitled to a refund of any up-front payment you've made, or re-credit of your loan balance if you have taken a Commonwealth loan.

You must withdraw in writing by completing the appropriate withdrawal form:

The loan amount you incur will depend on the timing of your withdrawal. There are no penalties if you withdraw on or before the census day. However, once a census day has passed, the loan amount for the Unit of Study is incurred.

In some special circumstances, you may apply to have your debt reversed.

Students also have the right to apply for a review of a decision not to re-credit a loan balance. See the VET Student Review Procedures.

Tuition Assurance

Approved providers for VET Student Loans must have Tuition Assurance measures in place, to protect the student if STA ceases to provide a course in which you are enrolled, or ceases operations.

Please note, the Commonwealth Department of Education is implementing interim VET Student Loan Tuition Assurance measures in 2018. Further details can be found in the Statement of VET Tuition Assurance.

Personal Information

When you enrol at STA, the collection, storage, use and disclosure of any personal information you provide are protected by legislation. This includes the Australian Privacy Principles and the Privacy Act of 1988. You can access the Star Training Privacy Policy on the website.