VET Student Loans

Students commencing VET study in 2017 and beyond

Due to changes in legislation, VET Student Loans (VSL), which commenced on 1 January 2017, has replaced the VET FEE HELP scheme.

VET Student Loans is a Commonwealth Government loan scheme that assists eligible students in eligible Diploma courses to pay all or part of their VET tuition fee. The eligible courses are listed on the VET Student Loans Approved Course List.

If you are eligible for VET Student Loans assistance, the Australian Government pays the amount of the loan direct to the approved training provider and records a debt against your Tax File Number with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The loan will remain a personal debt until it is repaid to the Commonwealth.

You are required to repay your loan through the Australian taxation system once you start earning above the minimum repayment threshold. The current minimum threshold may be found on the government's StudyAssist website. Voluntary repayments can be made at any time directly to the ATO, regardless of income. Until the debt is repaid, a VET Student Loan will reduce your take-home (after-tax) wage or salary and may have an impact on your credit rating.

To check your eligibility for a VET Student Loan  click here.

If you have indicated as part of the application process that you wish to access the Australian Government VET Student Loan to pay for your tuition fees (in full or in part) please read the following, as you may be required to provide further documentation.

It is a Commonwealth legislated requirement that all students wishing to apply for a Commonwealth VET Student Loan must be assessed by their provider for academic suitability to undertake a high level VET qualification.  This is a student protection measure introduced from 1 January 2017.

To be assessed as academically suited, you must provide either:

  • a copy of your Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (year 12 Certificate) or
  • evidence of successful completion of an Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) Certificate IV or higher qualification (where the language of instruction is English).

If you do not have an Australian year 12 Certificate or have not successfully completed an AQF Certificate IV or higher qualification, you must sit an approved Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) test and be assessed as competent at Exit Level 3 in the Australian Core Skills Framework in both reading and numeracy. Your provider will conduct this test and notify you of your result.  For information about Notre Dame’s VET Student entry procedure - VET Student Loan click here.

A VET Student Loan is a personal debt obligation that can affect your credit rating and have wage and tax repayment implications. It is also important to understand that a VET Student Loan gives rise to a HELP debt that continues to be a debt due to the Commonwealth until it is repaid.  You may wish to seek independent financial advice before applying for a VET Student loan.

A VET Student Loan will not be approved for students who do not meet eligibility requirements.

You can access further information about the Commonwealth VET Student Loan here.

Submission of Application for a VET Student Loan

If you tell us you want access the Australian Government VET Student Loan scheme to pay for your tuition fees in full or in part, you will be emailed a link to the Australian Government’s online VET Student Loan Application Form after your enrolment, provided you have met the VET Student Loan Student Entry Procedure and there is at least two business days before the census date for your enrolled unit(s).

This form must be submitted by census date, which is also the final date you can withdraw from your course without incurring tuition fees. For more information about VET Student Loans your rights and responsibilities, go here to access relevant Commonwealth government Student Fact Sheets

Student engagement and progression

As of 1 July 2017 the Government will require you to communicate your agreement to continue to use the VET Student Loan to pay your tuition fees.   This will happen three (3) times each year.    This is called a progression confirmation and comes in the form of an email asking you to log in to the ecaf site and complete a two question survey.   Notre Dame will ensure that you receive these communications.

Each time your VET Student Loan is used to pay your tuition fees Notre Dame will send you a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN).  This will occur within 28 days after the census day, for each study period that you are using the loan.  Your CAN will include information on:

  • the tuition fees for your course
  • the course for which you have received VET Student Loans
  • any upfront payments you have made, and
  • any VET Student Loan you have used for that study period.

You are advised to check your CAN carefully.  If you notice any errors on your CAN, you have 14 days from the date of the CAN to send Notre Dame Fees Office a written request for further information and correction if required.