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VET Student Loans

From 1 January 2017 VET FEE‑HELP will cease and VET Student Loans will commence.

With the introduction of the new VET Loan Scheme, a phased approach will be implemented to move from VET FEE-HELP to the new program.

If you are an existing student (who has a census date before 1 January 2017) you will be able to continue your studies under the existing VET FEE-HELP arrangements.

You will however, need to “opt in”, that is, let the Government know you want to continue under the current arrangements. If you make that decision you will be able to continue accessing VET FEE-HELP assistance until 31 December 2017.  

More information can be found in the student fact sheets VET Student Loans.

Quick Guide to the new VET Student Loans and OLD VET FEE-HELP Scheme

If you are a continuing student wanting to enrol up to 31 March 2017 and pay fees via VFH you must have a letter or email of confirmation from the Commonwealth that you are opting in to the grandfathering arrangement.

Without a letter/email, the intention to use a VFH loan for payment is not sufficient for you to be able to be enrolled.

If you are a Continuing student and you have not received a communication from the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training you will need to submit an online inquiry on the DET’s website to opt-in and get a confirmation letter/email to show when enrolling.


Continuing or New Student Level of Education VFH Loan in 2016 Eligible for VFH loan in 2017 Eligible for VSL  in 2017
Continuing Below Diploma level Yes No No
No No No
Diploma level and above Yes Yes - opted in Yes*
Yes No - didn't opt in by 31 March 2017 No
No No Yes*
New Below Diploma level No No No
Diploma level and above No No Yes*
Yes No (unless a displaced student) Yes*

* Subject to the course being included in the Approved Course List


VSL = VET Student Loan

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FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans are federal Higher Education Loan Programs (HELP) which assist eligible students undertaking Diploma and Higher Education courses with an approved provider. Under this scheme, you take out a loan from the Commonwealth to cover the cost of your enrolment for courses at a Diploma level and above.

The other fees payable at North Metropolitan TAFE cannot be added to a HELP Loan and will need to be paid at the time of enrolment. Currently this fee is $22.00.

You will start repaying the loan through the taxation system when your income exceeds a set level (currently around $50,000 per year).


To be eligible for VET Student Loans you must:

  • Be an Australian citizen or holder of a permanent humanitarian visa, or a New Zealand citizen special category visa holder subclass 444 who meets the requisite criteria (resident in Australia for the duration of the unit);


  • Have not exceeded the FEE-HELP limit (currently $99,389)


  • Provide your TFN or a Certificate of application for a tax file number to Client Services when you submit your VET Student Loans application. Visit the Australian Taxation Office for more information on tax file numbers.


  • Be enrolled with an approved provider in an eligible unit of study at least 14 days prior to census date for the first unit of your study with VET Student Loans access; and at least 14 days prior to census date for subsequent units [note that students are required to submit the Request for Commonwealth Assistance (VET Student Loans application) at least after two days from the date of first enrolment, at which point they will be issued with a notice outlining their VET Student Loans debt].


  • Have completed, signed and submitted a valid Request for VET Student Loans Assistance form on or before census date. You will receive this form when you enrol and this can be lodged two business days after enrolment.


  • Provide evidence that you have completed an Australian Year 12 Senior Education Certificate or undertaken an approved Literacy assessment  - this testing will be available at North Metropolitan TAFE on enrolment day.

Evidence Test
VET Student Loans student eligibility checklist

Students enrolled in Flexible delivery will have their census date determined by the date of enrolment.  For any assistance determining your census dates, please contact the Client Services. The census date is the last day you can:

  • Submit a request for HELP assistance (to commence a loan)

  • Withdraw your enrolment without incurring the cost or debt for that unit.

There are 3 steps to applying for a VET Student Loan:

   1. Download and read the Vet Student Loans Information booklet for 2017 Opens in a new window to ensure you are aware of your obligations under VET Student Loans.  
       When you complete your eCAF you will be declaring you have read the booklet.

   2. Print out and complete the VET Student Loan enrolment form and bring this when you enrol.  You will also need to provide the following evidence of eligibility:
     •    Your Tax File Number or a Certificate of Application for a Tax File Number  (from the ATO or stamped by the post office)
     •    The original and a photocopy of your Australian Citizenship evidence such as a birth certificate, Australian passport, Citizen Certificate or copy of your Permanent Humanitarian Visa
     •    An Australian Year 12 Senior Secondary Certificate or evidence of previous studies completed at Certificate IV or higher level.  
           Note If you do not have the above, you will be required to complete a Literacy and Numeracy Assessment

   3. Finalise your application by submitting the eCAF (electronic Commonwealth Assistance form).  
       North Metropolitan TAFE will commence this process for you using information you provided on your Vet Student Loan enrolment form, you are however, required to finalise and submit this yourself.
       Shortly after enrolling you will be emailed details on how to complete the eCAF.

Once you have submitted your eCAF and are approved for a Vet Student Loan, you will be provided with an invoice 14 days before your first census date and a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) within 28 days of the census date.

VET Student Loans Fee Schedule

You will only need to fill in one application per course at the beginning of your course and then ask Client Services to add units to your VET Student Loans loan every time you enrol in new units.


Once you have submitted your application form, along with all of the required documentation as outlined above, you will be provided with an invoice 14 days before your first census date and a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) within 28 days of the 'census date'.
This notice is a summary of your enrolment and associated fees for that enrolment period, including:

  • Units in which you are enrolled

  • Tuition fees for each of these units

  • The total VET Student Loans loan you are requesting for the semester

  • The loan fee (if applicable), charged by the federal government for administration of your VET Student Loans debt

Please check all of the details on your notice carefully and notify Client Services within 14 days if there are any errors.


Page last updated March 21, 2017