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  • Types of loans

    There are a number of loans available from the Australian Government to help you complete further training and study.


    The Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) assists eligible students with their student contribution or tuition fees from a university or other higher education provider.

    There are different types of HELP loans available, depending on the student's circumstances. If you have obtained one of these loans, you will have a HELP debt.

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    The VET Student Loans (VSL) program offers protection for students and focuses on courses that address industry needs, creating better opportunities for employment.

    VSL offers income contingent loan support to eligible students studying certain diploma level and above vocational education and training qualifications. Use the VSL Eligibility ToolExternal Link as a guide to help check your eligibility for a VET Student Loan.

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    The Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS) was a voluntary loan scheme to help tertiary students cover their expenses while they studied.

    This scheme closed on 31 December 2003. However, all existing SFSS debts continue to be collected through the tax system.

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    The Student Start-up Loan (SSL) and ABSTUDY Student Start-up Loan (ABSTUDY SSL) schemes started on 1 January 2016 and replaced the Student Start-up Scholarship payment.

    This is a voluntary loan available to eligible students in higher education who receive:

    • Youth Allowance
    • Austudy
    • ABSTUDY Living Allowance.

    The Services Australia administers the payments.

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    Under the Trade Support Loans (TSL) program, eligible Australian apprentices are offered loans over a four year period. A 20% discount applies to the loan on completion of the apprenticeship.

    TSL payments are administered by the Australian Apprenticeships Centres and the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

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    Last modified: 15 Apr 2020QC 44853