A VET Student Loan (VSL) helps eligible students to cover fees for vocational education and training (VET) courses. VET Student Loans began on 1 January 2017 and replaced the VET FEE-HELP scheme. VET Student Loans are only available for approved courses at the diploma level and above. This means that you can't get a VSL for a Certificate IV level course or below. A VET Student Loan gives rise to a VETSL debt that continues to be a debt due to the Commonwealth until it is repaid.
For further information about government assistance for financing post-school study visit the Australian Government Study Assist website.
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Vet Student Loans:
What are VET Student Loans?
VET Student Loans are Australian Government loans that help eligible students pay for all or part of their tuition fees for higher level VET courses (diploma, advanced diploma) undertaken at approved providers.
This Commonwealth Government program allows students to access loans for courses that:
- have a high national priority
- meet industry needs
- contribute to addressing skills shortages
- lead to employment outcomes
The program also features loan caps for course loans. This means if the course fees are above the loan cap, the student will need to pay the difference. In 2021 no RuralBiz Training course fee is greater than the current course loan cap.
What is an Approved VET Student Loans Provider?
RuralBiz Training (Kreate Pty Ltd) holds approval to offer VET Student Loans for the following courses:
AHC50116 Diploma of Agriculture
AHC50416 Diploma of Horticulture
AHC51216 Diploma of Community Coordination and Facilitation
AHC51419 Diploma of Agribusiness Management
AHC60216 Advanced Diploma of Horticulture
AHC60319 Advanced Diploma of Agribusiness Management
22273VIC Diploma of Agronomy
The loan caps for these courses in 2021 is $16,077, this amount is indexed annually.
For further information in relation to courses and other VET Student Loans matters please visit the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training website here.
Read the Vet Student Loans information booklet to check your eligibility and find further information.
How Do VET Student Loans Work?
VET Student Loans allows eligible students to access a loan to pay part or all tuition fees for approved courses.
Students can either:
- Access the loan to pay all tuition fees (up to the loan cap limit)
- Access the loan to pay part of the tuition fees and pay the remaining balance upfront
The loan is repaid through the Australian tax system. When students reach the minimum income threshold for repayment. There is a loan fee of 20% for full fee-paying students.
VET Student Loans Eligibility
To be eligible, a student must either:
- Be an Australian citizen; or
- Hold an eligible permanent humanitarian visa and usually reside in Australia; or
- Be a New Zealand citizen on Special Category Visa who meet the long term residency requirements:
- The student first began living in Australia at least 10 years before applying for a loan, and at that time, were a child under 18 years of age and did not have a spouse or de-facto partner
- The student has been in Australia for at least eight of the 10 years immediately prior to applying and at least 18 months of the last two years
- Have a tax file number or be applying for one
- Have a Unique Student Identifier (USI)
- Meet the academic suitability requirements of the VET Student Loans - Student Entry procedure (ie, assessed as academically suitable to undertake a high level vocational qualification)
- Have a Commonwealth Higher Education Support Number (CHESSN)
- Not have exceeded the lifetime Commonwealth student loan limit
Unique Student Identifier
The Commonwealth requires all students studying a nationally recognised training course to have a USI. If a student already has one, the individual must use the same USI whenever enrolling for any training. If a student doesn't have a USI, the individual can register at https://www.usi.gov.au/ or provide authorisation for the training provider to apply on the student's behalf at the time of application.
Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN)
A CHESSN is allocated to all students when they first access a Commonwealth loan. Any Commonwealth student loan taken is recorded against the student's CHESSN. If a student already has a CHESSN, the individual needs to supply that number.
VET student loans will not be approved for students who do not meet eligibility requirements
A VET student loan gives rise to a VETSL debt that continues to be a debt due to the Commonwealth until it is repaid.
RuralBiz Training engages in ethical marketing practices. We do not offer inducements for students to sign up for Vet Student Loans. If you are aware of anyone doing so in relation to our training, please contact us immediately.
How To Apply
A VET Student Loan is an agreement between the student and the Commonwealth Government.
To apply for a VET Student loan:
- A student must meet all the loan eligibility requirements
- A student must read the VET Student Loans information booklet 2017
- If a student is accepted into a course, RuralBiz Training will advise the Commonwealth that the individual wishes to apply
- The Commonwealth will then email log-in details and a password to access the online loan application
- If approved, RuralBiz Training will be advised by the Commonwealth and the enrolment can be finalised.
As with any loan, the individual must understand the terms and conditions before making a commitment.
Student under 18 - There are no age restrictions to apply for a VET Student Loan. For students who are under 18, a parent or guardian must co-sign the loan request. When applying online:
- The student will need to print the application
- Have a parent or guardian sign the application
- Then provide the application to RuralBiz Training
A parent or guardian will not be responsible for making loan repayments and it will not affect their credit rating. A student will begin making repayments once the individual's income reaches the minimum payment threshold.
Student Entry Procedure
If a student wishes to apply for a Commonwealth VET Student Loan, the individual must be assessed for academic suitability to undertake a high level VET qualification. This is a measure introduced by the Commonwealth Government from 1 January 2016.
This academic assessment is IN ADDITION to any entry requirements that may be required for the specific course a student wishes to undertake.
A student must:
- Provide a copy of his/her senior secondary certificate of education from an Australian agency; OR
- Undertake an approved reading and numeracy assessment and meet the required standard. The assessment tool used is the Core Skills Profile for Adults (CSPA) testing by the Australian Council for Educational Research Limited (ACER) and the individual must attain a minimum of Exit Level 3 in both reading and numeracy; OR
- Provide a copy of the student’s certificate of a Level 4 or above qualification in the Australian Qualifications Framework and the course for the qualification was delivered in English.
Please contact our office by phone on (02) 6884 8812 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you require more information about the academic suitability assessment.
Note: If students wish to supply their senior secondary certificate of education, but have lost or mislaid it, they may be able to order a replacement for a fee. Please visit the relevant education site for further information:
State Site Australian Capital Territory www.bsss.act.edu.au New South Wales www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au Northern Territory www.education.nt.gov.au Queensland www.qcaa.qld.edu.au South Australia www.sace.sa.edu.au Tasmania www.tasc.tas.gov.au Victoria www.vcaa.vic.edu.au Western Australia www.tisc.edu.au
How Course Fees Are Charged
Fees for VET Student Loans eligible courses are charged by Units of Study; payments are spread across the duration of the course. Each Unit of Study has a census day, set at no less than 20% into the Unit of Study.
A student will be sent a Statement about covered fees stating whether the enrolment is accepted on the basis that part or all of the tuition fees for the course will be covered by a VET Student Loan.
A student will be sent an Fee Notice no less than 14 days prior to each census day, indicating the individual's fees and census dates.
The debt is incurred on the day after the census day.
After a census day has passed, RuralBiz Training will also send a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) for that Unit of Study. The CAN will provide the student with information about the debt incurred, including the loan fee where applicable. If a student believes the CAN is incorrect, then he/she should contact RuralBiz Training immediately to rectify.
For certain courses, there may be a gap between the course fee and the loan cap that the Commonwealth will allow for the course. The student will be advised of this upon enquiry, and also about other payment options that may be available. In 2019 no course offered by RuralBiz Training exceeds the allowed commonwealth loan cap.
Lifetime Loan Limit - The lifetime loan limit is the total amount a student can incur in a lifetime under any Commonwealth student loan scheme – whether it is a VET Student Loan, VET-FEE HELP or a Higher Education FEE-HELP loan. It is indexed each year, in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI). In 2017, the lifetime loan limit is $100,879 for most students.
Students can view their loan obligations by referring to the Study Assist website here.
Repaying the Loan
A student must repay the loan through the tax system when the individual's income is above the minimum repayment threshold. Repayment thresholds are adjusted each year to reflect changes in average weekly earnings.The compulsory repayment threshold for the 2019-20 income year will be $45,881. The amount you repay each year is a percentage of your income. The percentage increases as your income increases, so the more you earn, the higher your repayment will be. The ATO will calculate your compulsory repayment for the year and include it on your income tax notice of assessment. Find more information on the study assist website.
A VET Student Loan is a personal debt obligation that can affect a student's credit rating and has wage and tax repayment implications.
For further information please refer to the ATO site here.
Withdrawals and Refunds
A student may withdraw from a VET course of study or unit/s of study by providing an email or letter of intention to withdraw.
Please refer to the RuralBiz Training Student Handbook for our withdrawal policy.
There are no penalties if a student withdraws on or before the census day. However, once a census day has passed, the loan amount for the Unit of Study is incurred.
Rights and Responsibilities
If a student is considering applying for a VET Student Loan, the individual should familiarise themselves with the loan obligations by reading the VET Student Loan information booklet 2017.
Further information is available at:
Student may wish to seek independent financial advice as well.
Policies and Procedures
The following policies and procedures relate to VET Student Loans and may be downloaded:
- Helpful Links and Documents