VET Student Loans
VET student loans will not be approved for students who do not meet eligibility requirements. A VET student loan gives rise to a HELP debt that continues to be a debt due to the Commonwealth until it is repaid.
For 2022, the HELP loan limit is $109,206 for most students. For more information on VET Student Loans read the information handbook published by the Department of Education and Training available by clicking here.
There is no interest charged on HELP debts. Your accumulated debt is indexed according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This occurs annually in accordance with the Higher Education Support Act 2003. It increases annually to maintain its real value, adjusting in line with changes in the cost of living. Although the loan does not incur any interest, a 20% loan fee applies to full fee-paying students. The loan fee does not count towards your HELP loan limit.
You must start repaying your VET Student Loan debt through the tax system once your income is above the compulsory repayment threshold, even if you are still studying.
The threshold is adjusted each year; for the 2021-22 financial year it is $47,014. Repayments made through the Australian taxation system are called ‘compulsory repayments’ and continue until you have repaid your whole debt. How much you must pay back is calculated from the amounts given on your income tax return.
Anyone who has a VET Student Loan debt and earns above the minimum repayment threshold will be required to repay their debt regardless of where they live, whether in Australia or overseas. Visit Study Assist for more information.
To be eligible for a VET Student Loan you must:
1. Be enrolled in a VET Student Loan eligible course at Gold Training
2. Meet the Citizenship / Residency Requirements:
- Australian Citizen doing at least one unit of your course in Australia, or
- Permanent humanitarian visa holder who will reside in Australia for the duration of your course, or
- New Zealand Special Category visa holder and meet the special eligibility requirements for New Zealand citizens
3. Meet the Academic Suitability Requirements:
- Completed your Year 12 Senior Secondary Certificate of Education in Australia, or
- Completed a Certificate IV or higher qualification in an Australian Qualification Framework or an equivalent qualification delivered in English, or
- Completed an International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) diploma, or
- Achieved an Exit Level 3 score or higher in the Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) assessment. See the Literacy and Numeracy Requirement tab below.
4. Have a Unique Student Identifier (USI)
5. Have a Tax File Number (TFN)
- If you do not yet have a TFN, you can apply via the Australian Taxation Office website. You can still apply for a VET Student Loan if you provide a copy of your Certificate of Application for a TFN along with your ID check receipt from the Australian Taxation Office or the Post Office. You must provide your TFN to Gold Training prior to your first census date to be eligible for a loan.
6. Have not exceeded your HELP loan limit or the VET Student Loan course cap for your course of study (available on each course page).
7. Read and understand the VET Student Loans booklet available on the Department of Employment, Skills and Small Family Business website.
8. If you are under 18, your parent or guardian must sign the Parental Consent Form or you must provide a Centrelink income statement showing that you receive Youth Allowance at the independent rate.
9. Submit your electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) after your two-day cooling-off period.
10. Regularly confirm your engagement and progression in the course to continue accessing your VET Student Loan throughout the duration of your studies.
If you wish to apply for a VET Student Loan to pay for your tuition fees, you will need to satisfy the Commonwealth requirements for literacy and numeracy.
If you cannot provide a copy of your Australian Secondary Certificate of Education (Year 12) as issued by the relevant State Authority; or a copy of an Australian Qualifications Framework Certificate IV or higher qualification (where the language of instruction is English); you will need to attain an ‘Exit Level 3’ or higher in the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) assessment test in reading and numeracy.
Gold Training currently uses the Commonwealth approved LLN Robot Tool. Assessments are based on the community domain of communication, using examples from everyday life to avoid bias relating to specific training or working environments and experience.
If a literacy and numeracy assessment is required you will be advised by Gold Training. You will require a personal email address for this test.
About the Assessment
- A link to the test will be sent to your personal email account immediately before your appointment. You must be able to login to your personal email to access the link.
- The assessment has two components: Reading and Numeracy.
- Consists of thirty questions, 15 for reading and 15 for numeracy.
- The format of questions is a mix of point and click; drag and drop; reorder items and text or numerical entry.
- Marking is done automatically by the tool.
- 13 out of 15 questions for both reading and numeracy must be answered correctly to be assessed at Level 3 of the ACSF.
- The assessment is online and must be conducted with honesty and integrity as per Commonwealth requirements.
- When commencing the assessment, you are required to make a declaration that the assessment will be completed without assistance and that the answers are your own work.
- Mobile devices and the Internet are not permitted to be used to research the answers for this entry requirement.
- Two hours will be allocated to complete the assessment, but you may request additional time should the need arise.
On completion of the LLN assessment
- Your assessment results will usually be available immediately after your assessment.
- Your enrolment officer will advise you of your results. In addition, a copy will be emailed to you. We will discuss your results and your next steps.
- You will need to obtain an ‘Exit Level 3’ for both reading and numeracy components to be eligible for a VET Student Loan.
- If you do not meet the level required, retesting may occur after three months when appropriate literacy and numeracy support has been undertaken. You are encouraged to speak to your lecturer about this.
- Your results will be kept by Gold Training for five years and made available to the Commonwealth when requested.
- As an approved course provider’s student entry results of assessing a student’s competence in reading and numeracy must be reported to the D.E.S.E. Department Secretary in the form, manner and by the time requested by the D.E.S.E. Department Secretary.
You may apply for a loan at any time throughout your study, however the loan can only be approved for units with a future census date. Retrospective access is not permitted.
- You must have enrolled with Gold Training. The full two business days cooling off period as required by the Commonwealth will begin from enrolment confirmation date. You cannot apply for a VET Student Loan less than two days before your first census day. It is recommended that you complete your application as soon as possible.
- Complete the VSL Student Application Form and lodge this along with your eligibility evidence (and Parental Consent Form with parent/guardian evidence if applicable).
- Gold Training will generate your Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN). Permission for Gold Training to do this must be given on the completed VSL Student Application Form.
- After the two business days cooling off period Gold Training will then generate your electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF). This will be sent to your personal email address.
- You will need to verify the pre-populated information and complete other mandatory fields in your application, including your Tax File Number (TFN). If you do not have a TFN you must provide a Certificate of Application for a TFN in the first instance. Gold Training must be advised of your TFN within six weeks of your first census day.
- If there are any errors in the eCAF, please contact Gold Training immediately.
- You must confirm that you have read the VET Student Loan Information Booklet.
- Submit the eCAF as requested by your first census day. A copy of your approval and application will be emailed to you by the Commonwealth. Gold Training will be advised of the outcome of your application.
eCAf fact sheet
If you no longer wish to pay your tuition fees using a VET Student Loan, you must notify Gold Training as soon as possible. If you do not proceed with or cancel your VET Student Loan, you must arrange to pay any outstanding tuition fees to Gold Training as soon as they become due.
A census date is the last day to submit an application for a VET Student Loan, this includes providing all information, and submitting the eCAF. If you miss the first census date for your course, you can apply for a VET Student Loan for your future census dates.
The fees for your course will be spread across a minimum of three fee periods and each fee period will contain at least one census date. The census dates will be set at 20 per cent of the duration of the unit or later. For flexible enrolments (including continuous enrolments, RPL and shorter delivery) the census date will be calculated at 20 per cent of the duration of the unit.
A census date is the day that you will incur a debt for the unit fees.
- If you withdraw formally from units by the census day, you will not incur a debt for those units.
- If you withdraw after the census date has passed, you will be liable for the full debt for that unit if you have taken out a VET Student Loan. Any other outstanding fees not covered by a loan will remain payable.
View the Census dates for BSB50120 Diploma of Business and BSB50420 Diploma of Leadership & Management
If you have applied for a VET Student Loan, and you withdraw from a unit or course before or on the census date, you will not incur a VET Student Loan debt for the unit or course you are withdrawing from and you will receive a full refund/re-credit on your loan.
You will incur a debt if you applied for VET Student Loan and failed to withdraw before the census date. Any up-front payments will be lost and your HELP limit will be reduced.
Withdrawals – Special Circumstances
If special circumstances apply, you may be eligible for re-credit of your HELP balance. In this case, you will need to follow the processes outlined in the Withdrawal and Cancellation Policy & Procedure.
When a student is seeking review or reconsideration of a decision or making an application for recrediting of the student’s FEE-HELP balance, the student will not be victimized or discriminated against.
You will be sent the following notices once your application has been processed:
- VET Student Loans – Statement of Covered fees – this is included with the Fee Notice.
- The Fee Notice will usually be sent out at least 14 days prior to each census date to notify you of what units are due to pass their census date, tuition fees you may have paid up-front and the tuition fees that will be applied to your loan. Your tuition fees will be reasonably apportioned across a number of sequential fee periods and each fee period will contain at least one census day.
- The Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) will usually be sent out within 28 days of the census date passing. This notice will confirm the amount of loan debt you have incurred. It will include your unit tuition fees, any upfront payments you have made, and the VET Student Loan amount you have received. This is not an invoice.
- Please check that all of the details on your Notices are correct and notify Gold Training in writing within 14 days of any changes that may need to be made.
- You may receive more than one Fee Notice and CAN each semester if your enrolled units have different census dates.
Updating Contact Details
Your personal information may be reported to the Commonwealth, State Government, Tuition Assurance Scheme Operators and other agencies in accordance with legislative requirements.
It is important that you inform us about changes to your contact details. We will send you important information about your VET Student Loan. In addition, Gold Training is required to report the correct details to the Australian Taxation Office.
More information on keeping track of your personal loan debt can be found on the Commonwealth website.
Ongoing Student Obligations
The Commonwealth Government has introduced the VET Student Loan Progression process to make sure that you are engaged in the training related to your VET Student Loan.
To demonstrate this and continue to be eligible, you must complete the VET Student Loans— Confirming enrolment and continued course engagement and participation form through the eCAF system, approximately every four months. This is usually around February, June and October.
During each progression period:
- An email will be sent to your personal email account with a link to the form. You will be asked to complete a short survey and indicate one of the following options: Continuing, Deferring, Withdrawn or Completed.
- You will have 14 days to complete the form.
If you do not complete it in time, please contact Gold Training as soon as possible.
If you do not confirm your continuing engagement and participation using the Progression Form, you may be ineligible to continue accessing a VET student loan to pay for your fees.
Student Progression Fact Sheet
The Vet Student Loans Commonwealth Ombudsman investigates complaints about problems that VET FEE-HELP or VET Student Loans students have with their training provider in Australia. More information about the Ombudsman’s role change found on the Ombudsman’s website.
VET FEE-HELP Student Redress Measures
New VET FEE-HELP Student Redress remedies commenced on 1 January 2019. The Department of Education and Training can now remove a student’s VET FEE-HELP debt if it was incurred because of inappropriate conduct by a VET FEE-HELP provider or their agent.
The VET Student Loan Ombudsman (VSLO) in the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman is the primary contact point for any person who believes that they have a VET FEE-HELP debt which they should not have.
- If you believe you have a debt you shouldn’t, you can find information about how to make a complaint, how the VSLO can help and FAQs on the Ombudsman website. More information is available on the VSLO site (QLD) – click here trainingombudsman.qld.gov.au/faqs/
- You can also check your VET FEE-HELP debt records by logging on to the myHELPbalance portal You will need your Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN) to log on. Your CHESSN will be in documentation sent to you by your VET FEE-HELP provider.
- If you are not able to locate your CHESSN, you can check your HELP debt records in your myGov account. If you do not have a myGov account, you can set one up by selecting “Create an account” from this link.
Download our Policies and Procedure to view the following:
- Course Enrolment Policy & Procedure
- Statement of Tuition Assurance & Tuition Assurance Procedures
- Student Complaints, Grievance and Review Policy & Procedure
- Student Entry and Academic Suitability Policy & Procedure
- Withdrawal and Cancellation Policy & Procedure
- Procedure for Re-Crediting Fee-Help Balances
How much can I borrow for the loan?
Each course has a loan cap indicating the maximum amount that can be borrowed towards that course. You can check the cap for your course on each course page.
There is no loan fee for subsidised VET qualifications at Gold Training but a 20% loan fee applies to non-subsidised VET courses.
Each student also has a HELP loan limit which is the total amount that can be borrowed from the Australian government across multiple loan schemes. Once a student has borrowed an amount equal to their HELP loan limit (as indexed at that time), they will not be able to put any additional fees on a loan.
How do I know how much I owe?
Gold Training will send you a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN), no later than 28 days after each census date, for each study period you are using the loan. This will show each additional amount being added to your loan.
You can check the total amount you have borrowed and your loan balance online if you have linked the Australian Taxation Office to your myGov account. Alternatively, students can contact the ATO directly on 13 28 61.
Do I have to pay interest on my loan?
There is no interest charged on VETSL debts, however your debt is indexed each year. It increases annually on 1 June to maintain its real value, adjusting in line with changes in the cost of living as measured by the Consumer Price Index.
Debts are not indexed until they are 11 months old. You can find current and past indexation rates on the Australian Taxation Office website.
When do I have to start repaying my loan?
You must start repaying your VETSL debt through the tax system once your income is above the compulsory repayment threshold, even if you are still studying. The repayment threshold can change each financial year.
Repayments made through the Australian taxation system are called ‘compulsory repayments’ and continue until you have repaid your whole debt. The amount you must repay each financial year is calculated based on your income tax return.
You will be required to repay the debt regardless of where they live, whether in Australia or overseas. For more information on repaying your loan, visit the Study Assist website.
Can I start repaying my loan early?
After the census dates have passed your fees are deferred to the Australian Taxation Office. You can make voluntary repayments at any time, but these will be in addition to any compulsory payments if you are earning above the minimum repayment threshold. See the ATO website for information on how to make voluntary repayments.
Why have I received an invoice for my fees?
We are required to issue a VET Student Loans Fee Notice to your nominated personal email 14 days before each census date for your course.
The fee notice details the cost of the units that will be incurred on your VET Student Loan once the census date passes.
After each census date passes, we issue a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) confirming that the fees have now been deferred and reported to the ATO.
If you believe anything is incorrect on either of these documents, you need to notify us in writing as soon as possible to firstname.lastname@example.org
Otherwise, no action needs to be taken. These documents are for your record.
How often will I receive these notices?
VET Student Loans legislation requires that students have a minimum of three census dates across the duration of a course. Many courses will have more census dates than this.
What is a CHESSN?
A Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN) is allocated to all students when they first access a Commonwealth loan. Any Commonwealth student loan you take out is recorded against your CHESSN, and it is used to keep track of the total amount borrowed.
Can I withdraw from my course without incurring a debt?
If you officially withdraw from a unit or subject on or before the census date, you will not incur a debt for that part of your course, and any upfront payment made will be fully refundable.
If you fail part of a course (unit or subject), or withdraw from part of a course after the census date, you will still have to pay the fees for that unit. If you used a VET Student Loan, you will incur a VETSL debt. If you made an upfront payment, you are not eligible for a refund of that payment.
If you failed the unit or subject or withdrew after the census date because of special circumstances, you can apply to have your VETSL debt removed, or upfront payments refunded.
What is a Progression? Why do I have to complete it?
Part of your obligations in taking out a VET Student Loan is to complete regular progressions at approximately four-month intervals throughout your course. After completing your course, you may need to complete a final progression indicating to the Commonwealth government that you have completed the course.
You complete progression forms through the eCAF system. An invitation will be sent to your current email address.
The progression form indicates to the federal government that you are still engaged in your studies and still require access to your VET Student Loan. If you fail to submit it, you may be ineligible to continue accessing your VET Student Loan to pay for the remainder of your course fees.
Gold Training reserves the right to cancel enrolment or refuse future enrolment to students who fail to submit their VET Student Loan progressions.