Financial help for students
If you've done a budget, but there's still a shortfall in your
finances, don't panic. You might be entitled to an allowance or
student loan from the Government to fund certain parts of your
The Australian Government offers a number of allowances to help
Youth Allowance helps
young people who are studying full time, doing a full-time
apprenticeship, training, or looking for work. You will receive a
fortnightly payment based on your current relationship status,
where you live and the number of children you have.
You may be able to get Youth Allowance if you are:
- 16 to 21 years old and looking for full-time work or
undertaking approved activities
- 16 to 17 years old and have finished Year 12 or an equivalent
- 18 to 24 years old and studying full-time, or
- 16 to 24 years old and doing a full-time Australian
Austudy helps full-time
students, trainees and apprentices aged 25 or more. You may be able
to get Austudy if you are:
- aged at least 25
- studying full-time in an approved course at an approved
educational institution, or
- doing a full-time Australian
Apprenticeship or traineeship.
ABSTUDY can help with
study and living costs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
students and apprentices. You are eligible for ABSTUDY if you:
- are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australian,
- are covered under one of the seven ABSTUDY
Higher Education Loan Program
HELP is a Government initiative introduced to support students
struggling with their finances. Under the program there are several
loans available to students that will cover a range of expenses,
such as course fees, textbooks or resources.
For details on specific limits and eligibility criteria for all
types of HELP visit the Government's Study Assist website.
FEE-HELP is an interest-free
loan scheme available to fee-paying undergraduate and postgraduate
students to help cover tuition costs.
The loan cannot be used to cover any extra costs such as
accommodation or classroom resources.
There is a loan fee of 25% for FEE-HELP for undergraduate
courses. For example, if you are using FEE-HELP to pay for $1,000
of tuition fees, you will owe $1,250. This loan fee does not apply
to postgraduate courses.
HECS-HELP (Higher Education
Contribution Scheme) is available to Commonwealth supported
students to pay for their student contributions. It cannot be used
to cover the cost of extras like textbooks or accommodation.
SA-HELP covers the cost of
student services and amenities fees charged by the university or
An OS-HELP loan assists eligible
students who wish to study part of their course overseas. The loan
can be used for travel costs, accommodation or study expenses.
You can only receive one OS-HELP loan per 6-month period with a
maximum of two during your lifetime.
Video: What you need to know before applying for a HELP
Video about HELP loans
What should you be aware of when it comes to applying for and
repaying a HELP loan?
Other student loans
Student Start-up Loan
The Student Start-up Loan (SSL) is available to students who
currently receive Youth Allowance, Austudy, or ABSTUDY Living
Allowance payments. If you're eligible, you can receive a tax-free
payment twice a year.
For more details on the eligibility criteria and loan amounts,
visit the Department of Human Services'
The SSL will be added to your HELP debt and will need to be repaid
once your income reaches the minimum repayment
Trade Support Loan
The Trade Support Loan (TSL) is available for eligible
Australian apprentices. The loan can help cover living costs, such
as rent and bills or expenses associated with the apprenticeship,
like the cost of tools.
The Australian Apprenticeships
website has more information about the eligibility criteria and
how much you can borrow.
You will need to repay the loan through the tax system when your
income reaches a certain amount. Visit the ATO's webpage on the minimum repayment
Check out the eligibility criteria to find
out what financial assistance from the Government you may be
Last updated: 19 Mar 2018