VET Student Loans

If you are enrolling into a diploma or advanced diploma course, you may have the option to defer payment of your tuition fees via a VET Student Loan.

What is a VET Student Loan (VETSL)?

Vocational Education and Training Student Loans (VETSL) are an Australian Government loan scheme for the Vocational Education and Training sector that is part of the VET Student Loans (VETSL) Program.

Students studying certain Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas who elect not to pay their tuition fees upfront may be eligible to apply for a VET Student Loan to defer the cost of their Tuition Contribution. Eligible courses are subject to VETSL course cap limits which are reviewed annually. Other fees associated with your course, or tuition fees over the VETSL course cap, are to be paid by the student and cannot be deferred to a VETSL.

Other fees associated with your course, or tuition fees over the VETSL course cap, are to be paid via other means by the student and cannot be deferred to a VETSL.

If your tuition fees are higher than the course cap you will need to pay the difference. These payments will be proportioned across each of your census dates and South West TAFE will send you a VET Student Loan Statement of Covered Fees and Fee Notice at least two weeks before each payment is due (your census date).  Any tuition amount that is not able to be deferred to a VETSL as it is over the course cap may be paid upfront by the due date, or included on a SWTAFE payment plan if it meets the criteria.

VETSL debt is repayable by the student to the Government via the tax system based on their repayment income – see Paying Back Your Loan for further information. Interest is not charged on VETSL debt, however indexation is added to debt older than 11 months on the 1st of June each year.  Please note that VETSL debt may reduce a person’s take-home wage and/or affect borrowing capacity until it is repaid. 
 
VETSL approved students are required to complete a VET Student Loan Progression Notice via the Government eCAF Portal each February, June and October to confirm their ongoing genuine student status

For a full list of VET Student Loan eligible courses, visit the Department of Education and Training website. Each VET Student Loan eligible course has an associated capped amount. Eligible students are only entitled to loans up to the specified capped amount of each VETSL Student Loan-eligible course.
For SWTAFE delivered courses please see VET Student Loans 2022 Schedule of fees.

You must read the VET Student Loans Information Booklet before applying for a loan.

Need help after reading the booklet? Contact our Customer Service team for assistance.

Visit the Australian Government’s VET Student Loans site for detailed information about financing tertiary study.

South West TAFE is a signatory to the VET Student Loans Code of Practice, demonstrating its commitment to the principles and practices of good services to students and effective complaint handling

Further information on VET Student Loans and approved courses is available from the Department of Education and Training.

Check your VET Student Loan Eligibility

To be eligible for a VETSL, you need to meet academic requirements prior to your admission into your chosen Diploma course. For further details about being admitted into your chosen course, please see our VET Student Loan Entry Guidelines

To be eligible for a VETSL

  • be an Australian citizen; OR
  • be a New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) holder who meets the long-term residency requirements; OR
  • be a permanent humanitarian visa holder

AND

be assessed by South West TAFE as academically suited to undertake the approved course by either:

  • providing your Australian Year 12 Certificate; OR
  • providing evidence of successful completion of an Australian Qualifications Framework Certificate IV or higher qualification (where the language of instruction is English); OR
  • displaying competence at exit level 3 in the Australian Core Skills Framework in both reading and numeracy through an approved Language, Literacy and Numeracy test.

South West TAFE must reasonably believe you show competence in completing the course. This will be determined through your pre-training review process.

AND

  • Be studying an approved course
  • Apply to the government using the eCAF (Electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form) application process
  • Confirm your engagement and progression to continue to access the loan throughout your course.
  • Not already accessed 100% of your lifetime HELP Loan limit
  • Not already accessed 100% of your course’s VETSL cap

You will be required to provide citizenship documentation (depending on yours, and possibly your parents, place and date of birth) to prove your Australian citizenship before you are invited to apply for a VETSL.
  
Examples of documents that will be required may include either a current Australian Passport, Australian Birth Certificate, Australian Citizenship Certificate, Permanent Humanitarian Visa or New Zealand Special Category Visa. We will contact you if further citizenship information is required for your application.


If you are under 18 at the time of application, you will also be required to provide a signed VET Student Loan Parental Consent form or Centrelink proof of independence.

*To see if you are likely to meet the eligibility requirements, check out the VET Student Loans Eligibility Tool on the My Skills website.

How to apply

To apply for a VET Student Loan, you must:

  • Have been enrolled in an approved course, no less than two business days prior to submitting your eCAF application; AND
  • Read the VET Student Loans information booklet; AND
  • Meet the citizenship or residency requirements (as above); AND
  • Provide a valid Tax File Number; AND
  • Provide a Unique Student Identifier (USI) (If you hold a USI exemption, you will be unable to access Commonwealth financial assistance and will not be eligible for a VETSL.) AND
  • Complete and lodge a Request for VET Student Loan form prior to the census date for each unit.

Before you can formally apply for a VETSL, Commonwealth Government legislation requires you to confirm your eligibility for a VETSL by providing evidence of your citizenship status to be held on file at SWTAFE.  Relevant citizenship evidence and other supporting documentation will be required before your VETSL application can be finalised.

Once you are admitted into your course, you will receive email communication from SWTAFE in regards to providing copies of relevant supporting documents if they are not already held on your student administration file.  We will be in contact with you during each stage of the application process via email or text message to help guide you and answer any queries you may have.

See the documents you will need to support your application for a VETSL.

Once your eligibility for a VETSL is confirmed and you are enrolled in units in your course (to be allocated a census date), SWTAFE will submit your loan request to the government via the Electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF). The Government eCAF Portal will communicate with you via your personal email and provide you with an access code and link to your eCAF.

For all of your tuition fees to be deferred to a VETSL, you must complete the Government eCAF prior to your first census date. Each of your enrolled units has an assigned census date and you will normally have at least 3 census dates throughout your study.

If you miss a census date, you can still apply for a VETSL for your future census dates. However, you will not be able to access a VETSL for past census dates and those fees must be paid upfront or included on a SWTAFE payment plan if it meets the criteria.

Census dates for each unit of study are predetermined and students will not incur VETSL Student Loan liability until after each census date.

Find out about SWTAFE VET Student Loans 2022 Census Dates here

Further information on how you can apply for a VET Student Loan is available at VET Student Loans page of the Department of Education website.

Manage your VET Student Loan

Look out for important VETSL communication:

VET Student Loan Statement of Covered Fees and Fee Notice

At least 14 days before each census date, we will mail or email you a VET Student Loan Statement of Covered Fees and Fee Notice detailing the tuition fees that will be deferred to your VETSL on your upcoming census date and any tuition amounts that might need to be paid that are not covered by your VETSL.

Commonwealth Assistance Notice

We will mail or email you a Commonwealth Assistance Notice within 28 days after each census date to confirm the amount of debt that has been deferred to your VETSL.

Progression Points

To continue to be eligible for a VETSL, you will need to submit a VET Student Loan Progression Notice every February, June and October until the completion of your course.  This notice is issued via the Government eCAF Portal and we will contact you via SMS when this has been issued to your registered email address. If you do not complete the Progression Notice as required, you may be ineligible to continue accessing your VETSL to defer the remainder of your tuition fees for your course.

Changing your mind

If you no longer want to defer your tuition fees using a VETSL, you must notify SWTAFE Customer Service

If you choose to cancel your VETSL, you will be required to pay the fees for any units with future census dates upfront.

Keep your contact details up to date

We send you important information about your VETSL via your email and mobile phone so it is important that your contact details are up to date. Contact SWTAFE Customer Service to change or update your details.

Withdrawing from your course

If you choose to withdraw from your course or are unable to continue studying, you will not incur any VETSL debt for incomplete units with a future census date as long as your withdrawal advice has been provided in writing to Customer Service or your teaching department prior to your census date.

To be eligible for a refund or credit of materials fees and other levies, you must complete, sign and return a ‘Withdrawal Request’ form available from your teaching department.

For further details refer to Student Withdrawal and Fee Refund Guidelines and VET Student Loan Review Guidelines

Further important information