Each semester you are emailed a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN). This is emailed within 28 days of the Census date and you have 14 days to advise of any mistakes. It is important that you keep a record of all CANs that are sent to you, to ensure that you do not exceed the HELP loan limit.
If you want to check your HELP balance you will require your CHESSN number, found in the top right-hand corner of your CAN statement. You can then access your details at the My HELP Balance portal.
If you’ve used FEE-HELP before (and HECS-HELP after 1 January, 2020), it’s your responsibility to make sure you have enough HELP balance left for your new course. Students will be required to submit a CAN statement to Bond outlining all previous tuition fees deferred to FEE-HELP (and HECS-HELP deferred after 1 January, 2020).
You will need to start repaying your HELP debt when your income reaches a certain level, which in 2020-21 is an annual income of $46,620. The amount to repay (commencing at a rate of 1%) is calculated by the tax office each year. Once out in the workforce, you should let your employer know you have a HELP debt so they can withhold money from your taxable salary to cover your repayments.
Graduates’ rate of repayment increases as their annual income increases. There is a 10% repayment rate for those with an income greater than $136,740, so higher income earners can repay their loans faster.
Your HELP loan limit is not a lifetime limit. Repayments made after 1 July, 2019 towards your accumulated HELP debt will credit your HELP balance and can be re-borrowed in the future, up to the current HELP limit.
The repayment rates are available on the Study Assist website.