The Australian government recently announced changes to the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP). These include a new lower minimum repayment threshold, an increase to the FEE-HELP loan limit, and a combined, renewable loan limit.
A new set of repayment thresholds
From 1 July 2019, the new minimum HELP repayment threshold will be $45,881 with a one per cent repayment rate. The top threshold of $134,573 will have a ten per cent repayment rate.
For information on the new repayment thresholds, please see Paying Back My Loan on the Study Assist website.
Increase to the FEE-HELP loan limit for 2019
From 1 January 2019, the FEE-HELP loan limit will increase from $127,992 to $150,000 for students studying medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses. The FEE-HELP loan limit for all other students will be increased to $104,440.
Combined, renewable HELP loan limit
- Combined HELP loan limit – from 1 January 2020, a combined HELP loan limit will replace the FEE-HELP limit and will include FEE-HELP, VET Student Loans, VET FEE-HELP and HECS-HELP. Only new HECS-HELP loans will be counted towards the limit. Any existing FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP or VET Student Loans will count.
- Renewable HELP balance – From 1 January 2020, you can top up your HELP loan limit by making repayments on your debt. Repayments relating to the 2019-20 income year will top up a person’s HELP balance. Any compulsory or voluntary repayments can be re-borrowed in the future, up to the current HELP loan limit.
Further information view the 2018 Sustainability Bill announcement on Study Assist website.