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Government HELP loans

The Australian government’s Higher Education Loan Program, or HELP, is a government loan scheme that enables eligible students to defer their fees through a loan.

  1. Government HELP loans
  4. SA-HELP

Government HELP loans

Any amount deferred through HELP becomes part of an accumulated HELP debt, which you will be required to repay through the tax system once you meet a certain salary threshold. For more information on the repayment of HELP loans, visit the Government's Study Assist website.

The types of loans available include:

  • HECS-HELP: allows eligible Commonwealth supported students to defer all or part of their student contribution through a loan
  • FEE-HELP: assists eligible domestic full fee paying students to access a loan to help cover all or part of their tuition fees through a loan
  • SA-HELP: assists eligible students to defer all or part of their Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) through a loan
  • OS-HELP: assists eligible students enrolled in a Commonwealth Supported Place who want to undertake some of their study overseas, to cover a range of expenses such as airfares, accommodation and other travel or study expenses through a loan

Check your Commonwealth assistance notice (CAN)

After each census date you will be emailed your CAN. This is not an invoice requesting you to pay any fees to the University. It is an official statement outlining your unit of study enrolment for that session, student contribution and any HELP debt or loan fee you may have incurred.

For seven days from when it's sent, you will be able to access your CAN in Sydney Student (go to 'My finance', then 'Your finances', then 'CAN statements').

After this you will need to refer to the copy sent to you in the email.

Log in to MyHelpBalance

Use your Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN) provided on your CAN or your USI to log in and track any Commonwealth assistance used for tertiary study. You can use CHESSN or USI to log in to myHELPbalance and track any Commonwealth assistance used for your tertiary study.

Paying back your loan

Once your income reaches a certain level, you are required to start paying back your accumulated HELP debt through compulsory repayments directly to the Australian Taxation Office.

You also have the option of making voluntary repayments.

Find out how this works on the Study Assist website.

Student Centre



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or +61 2 8627 1444 (outside Australia)

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Last updated: 28 August 2023

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