unsa@newcastle.edu.au   |   (02) 4921 6006 

HECS-SPLAINED: Your student loans explained.

HECS got you perplexed? Check out our helpful guide!

What is HECS-HELP?

When you attend university or an approved higher education provider, you can get a HECS-HELP loan to pay for your studies. You can only get a HECS-HELP loan if you are enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place (CSP).

A HECS-HELP loan does not cover costs like accommodation, laptops or text books. A HECS-HELP loan is used to pay your Student contribution amount.

For more info check the Study Assist website here: studyassist.gov.au

Am I eligible?

Not all domestic students are eligible to access a HECS-HELP loan. Only Australian Citizens, New Zealand Special Category Visa Holders who meet eligibility, and Permanent Humanitarian Visa Holders are eligible. Other domestic students have to pay their fees upfront.

What about interest?

Your HECS-HELP loan is interest free! However, it is subject to indexation. This means as everything else changes in value, your HECS-HELP will change too, so it stays in line with changes in the cost of living.

When do I pay back my HECS-HELP loan?

When your income reaches $46,620+ 
You will start paying back your loan when your taxable income reaches $46,620 (the threshold as of February 2021). You will need to advise your employer if you have a HECS-HELP debt so your repayments can be deducted from each pay. Alternatively, a lump sum payment will be calculated when you do your annual return, which can leave you with tax bill instead of a tax return.

The more you earn, the faster you’ll be required to repay your loan. The repayment rate is worked out as a percentage of your income.

How do I apply for HECS-HELP?

To apply for a HECS-HELP loan, you will need:

  • your tax file number (TFN) or a Certificate of application for a TFN.
  • a USI prior to the first census date
  • a Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form, which only your university or higher education provider can give you.

How do I advise that I want to use HECS-HELP?

You will need to complete the e-CAF form through myHub (accessed via myUni).

For more info head over to ASKUON here: askuon.newcastle.edu.au

If you need specific advise or assistance with your financial situation, please check the University of Newcastle’s financial wellbeing resources: https://www.newcastle.edu.au/current-students/support/personal/financial-wellbeing ” 

Information correct as of 11 August, 2023.