At AlertForce, we believe that money should never become a roadblock between a potential student and their education. Everyone deserves a shot at bettering their C.V. and in turn, their career prospects, which is why we're pleased to offer VET FEE-HELP on a number of our courses. This government initiative is designed to help more people follow and achieve their dreams in education. In this article, we're going to take a look at just what VET FEE-HELP is, whether or not you might be eligible, and a few other frequently asked questions about the scheme.

Just what is VET FEE-HELP?

In simple terms, VET FEE-HELP is a loan designed to help students pay for certain VET (Vocational Education and Training) courses. Unlike a traditional student loan, VET FEE-HELP can only be used to cover the cost of the course. This means that rent, food and other expenses must be paid for by other means.

You can use VET FEE-HELP to cover the entirety of your course fee, or just a portion of it.

However, VET FEE-HELP is still pretty flexible. You can use it to cover the entirety of your course fee, or just a portion of it, if you have a bit of cash stashed away and would prefer that route. Though there are certain limits with regards to how much you can borrow, in the majority of cases, most of the fee will be covered.  

Who is eligible for VET FEE-HELP?

Though VET FEE-HELP is not available to everyone, the government has ensured that it's relatively open to most, provided you meet certain criteria. First of all, you must be studying at an approved VET FEE-HELP provider, of which AlertForce is one. You'll also need to be an Australian citizen or hold a New Zealand Special Category Visa that meets long-term residency criteria. If you are in possession of the former, you must enrol in at least one unit of study towards your course, in Australia.

You're also eligible if you hold a permanent humanitarian visa and will be in Australia for the duration of your course. Additionally, you'll need to be studying an approved VET course, and must not have exceeded the FEE-HELP limit.

VET FEE-HELP is a great way to finance your course at AlertForce.VET FEE-HELP is a great way to finance your course at AlertForce.

How much am I allowed to borrow?

As we head in 2017, the VET FEE-HELP limit has been raised by $1,490 to $100,879 for the majority of students, states the government's Study Assist website. You should always bear in mind, though, that this limit counts for a lifetime, and can never be reset or increased by making repayments as with other types of loan. The approved courses at AlertForce cost nowhere near in the six-figure region, so you should find that your VET FEE-HELP loan will easily cover the expense, leaving you to get on with the important stuff – getting that shiny qualification under your belt! 

With VET FEE-HELP, your repayments are calculated via the taxation system.

How do I pay back my loan?

Your VET FEE-HELP isn't the same as a loan you'd take out from a bank to buy a new car. With such a loan, you'd be paying back in monthly installments until the debt is settled. With VET FEE-HELP, your repayments are calculated via the taxation system, in that they are automatically deducted from your payslip once your earnings are above the compulsory repayment threshold. For the 2016/17 financial year, that threshold is $54,869, so until you earn more than this, you won't be paying a cent. The amount you repay each month will be determined by what you earn, from a minimum of 4 per cent, to a maximum of 8 per cent.  

Which AlertForce courses are VET FEE-HELP approved?

Two of our courses allow students to apply for a VET FEE-HELP loan: the Diploma of Work Health and Safety and the Diploma of Quality Auditing. You can find out more about our policies regarding VET FEE-HELP right here, or get in touch with our team for further guidance.