Real ways to study now, and pay later
Posted August 18, 2014, by Vivien Luu
Thinking of studying at TAFE or university but worried that you can’t afford it? While there’s no denying how expensive tertiary education can be, there’s also no denying it has a huge effect on your earning potential and employability. And if you’re an Australian citizen or resident you could be eligible for a number of financial assistance schemes that will help you with your study expenses.
Whether you’re looking at a bachelor degree, a certificate or diploma, want to complete a postgraduate degree at university or you’re just getting started with your first apprenticeship, there are options that allow you to study now and pay later.
But before you start to think we’re about to sell you a high-interest credit card, let’s set the record straight: even if we wanted to, we wouldn’t have to. Australia’s student loans are low-interest and only need to be paid back once you earn enough to afford it – so there’s no anxiety about your card being repossessed!
So how do you know what you’re eligible for? How much can you borrow? What are the repayments like? Take a look at the six areas of financial support below and you might just be pleasantly surprised.
Got a course in mind and want to see whether it’s supported by government loans? Take a look at our courses page and keep an eye out for HECS-HELP, VET-HELP and FEE-HELP icons, or just select ‘government support’ to refine your search to see which courses you can afford.
Government study loans
|What is it?||A low-interest government loan scheme that’ll help you pay part of your tuition fees for an undergraduate degree.|
|Loan limit||No limit|
|Fees||No loan fees|
|Paying it back|
|What is it?||A low-interest loan from the government that helps you to pay for all or part of your university fees. This loan only covers tuition, not associated study costs.|
Ideal for when you’re paying full fees, such as postgraduate studies or when you aren’t able to get a Commonwealth Supported Place for your undergraduate studies.
|Paying it back||When your income hits $45,881 per annum (2019-20) you will need to start repaying your loan through your tax|
|What is it?||A low-interest loan from the government that is used to pay all or part of your TAFE tuition fees, but doesn’t cover associated study costs such as accommodation or books.|
|Paying it back||When your income hits $53,345 per annum you will need to start repaying your loan through your tax|
As a cash-strapped student or apprentice you could also be eligible for a range of income support options from Centrelink and other government bodies:
- Youth Allowance: A regular payment for full-time students or apprentices aged between 16 and 24
- ABSTUDY: Financial support for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students or apprentices
- Austudy: Government welfare payments for full-time students or full-time apprentices aged 25 or over
- Support for Adult Australian Apprentices (SAAA): Financial assistance for apprentices aged 25 or over, designed to help cover the costs of living while on apprentice wages.
Other financial assistance
You may also be eligible for:
- Fares Allowance: If you’re living away from home in order to study, then this allowance can help to cover the cost of travelling between your residence and place of study
- Education Entry Payment: A payment of $208 paid annually to help with study costs for individuals on specific income supports
- Child Care Benefit: If you have children who need childcare while you study then this financial benefit could help you to make ends meet
Viv is a writer who enjoys researching and writing about creativity, how the human mind works, and neuro processes. She values creativity above all else and admires people who pursue their career dreams, no matter the sacrifice. In her spare time, she binges on HBO shows and epic fantasy novels.