What is VET-FEE-HELP or HECS?

What is VET-FEE-HELP or HECS?
27 April 2018    Lisa Clark    0 comments
Previously known as known as HECS (Higher Education Contribution Scheme) HECS-HELP is a loan scheme to help eligible students to pay their student contribution amounts through a loan or upfront discounts, unfortunately it doesn’t extend to additional study costs such as text books or accommodation.
How does it work?

The Australian Government will pay the amount of your loan or discount directly to your education institution. Once your income reaches a certain threshold (currently $55,874 for the 2017-2018 financial year), loan repayments are then made through the tax system. If you wanted to pay off your debt faster, you can make voluntary repayments, regardless of how much you earn.

Whose eligible?

To qualify for HECS-HELP, you have to meet the following:
  • Be studying in a Commonwealth supported place
  • Be an Australian citizen or be a New Zealand Special Category Visa holder who meets the long-term residency requirements
  • Be enrolled in each unit at your university by the census date;
  • Meet the relevant HECS-HELP residency requirements
  • Submit a valid request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form by the census date
When do you have to repay your HECS-HELP by?

Your HECS-HELP debt repayments will take effect through your taxes once your income surpasses the compulsory repayment threshold. The minimum Help Repayment Income (HRI) thresholds change each year. Where income exceeds this threshold, a compulsory repayment of at least 4% of your income takes effect as part of your tax assessment.

RATES FOR 2017-18 ARE AS FOLLOWS: 
Repayment Income (RI*) Repayment Rate
 Below $55,874  Nil
$55,874 – $62,238  4.0%
$62,239 – $68,602  4.5%
 $68,603 – $72,207  5.0%
$72,208 – $77,618  5.5%
 $77,619 – $84,062  6.0%
 $84,063 – $88,486  6.5%
 $88,487 – $97,377  7.0%
 $97,378 – $103,765  7.5%
 $103,766 and above  8.0%

It’s super important to stay organised when you have a HECS debt, you can save yourself a lot of time and money by keeping all work related receipts and claiming deductions where you can this will help to reduce your HRI and minimise the annual payment amount.

If you want to know what you owe then head to the ATO Website where you can view your loan, and get other information such as your payment reference number (PRN) and read over other voluntary repayment options.

Image credit: Photo by Shopify Partners on Burst
 
Lisa.jpg Bondi-based freelance journalist, blogger & #girlboss, Lisa Clark, has an acute appreciation for travel, fashion and photography. Through this lifestyle, Lisa creates beautiful and inspiring content across her Instagram @iamlisaclark and her blog www.lisaclark.com.
When she isn't writing for Skillsroad you can find her at the beach with her dog Levi or working on her Social Media Company We Are The Hunted, shooting (and eating) food for her hospitality clients.

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