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When you must repay your loan

You must start repaying your loan when your repayment income exceeds the minimum repayment threshold.

Last updated 7 April 2024

Repaying your loan

You must start making compulsory repayments against your study or training support loan when your repayment income exceeds the minimum repayment threshold. This is even if you are still studying or undertaking an apprenticeship.

The repayment thresholds are adjusted each year to reflect any changes in average weekly earnings.

Compulsory repayments are made through your tax return. You can also make voluntary repayments at any time to reduce your loan balance.

Find out more about overseas obligations when repaying loans.

For more information see:

Your repayment income

Your repayment income is calculated using the following amounts from your tax return and payment summaries:

  • taxable income – not including any assessable First Home Super Saver (FHSS) released amounts
  • any reportable fringe benefits (regardless of the exempt status of your employer)
  • total net investment loss (which includes net rental losses)
  • reportable super contributions
  • any exempt foreign employment income amounts.

Example: Repayment income for an income year

Christina has a taxable income of $50,420. In her tax return she claims:

  • total net investment loss of $1,250
  • total reportable fringe benefits of $4,560
  • exempt foreign employment income of $2,580
  • reportable super contributions of $15,000.

Christina's repayment income is $73,810 ($50,420 + $1,250 + $4,560 + $2,580 + $15,000).

End of example

For more information see:

Going overseas

If you have moved overseas and have a Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP), VET Student Loan (VSL) or Trade Support Loan (TSL) loan, you will have the same repayment obligations as those who live in Australia. This applies even if you already live or intend to move overseas for a total of more than six months in any 12 month period.

You will need to update your contact details using our online services through myGov. You will also be required to advise us of your worldwide income if your income exceeds 25% of the minimum repayment threshold for the income year and make a compulsory repayment. This also applies when you pay an overseas levy towards your loan if you earn over the minimum repayment threshold.

If you have a Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS), Student Start-up Loan (SSL) or ABSTUDY Student Start-up Loan (ABSTUDY SSL) loan and go overseas, we will continue to maintain your loan account. Your loan will not be waived and the amount outstanding will continue to be indexed each year until you have paid off your loan. Your loan may grow over time if no compulsory or voluntary repayments are made.

You can still make voluntary repayments when you are overseas.

For more information see:

Deceased estate

A trustee or executor needs to lodge all outstanding tax returns on behalf of a deceased person, up to the date of the person’s death.

Any compulsory repayment included on a notice of assessment or overseas levy included on a notice of overseas levy that relates to the period before the person’s death must be paid from the estate. The remainder of the loan is cancelled. Neither the deceased person’s family, nor the trustee, is required to pay the rest of the loan.


Loan accounts are not provable under the Bankruptcy Act 1966. This means you will have to pay those loans as if you had not been declared bankrupt.