Changes to the HECS-HELP discount and voluntary repayment bonus

HECS HELP discount

From 1 January 2017 the federal government will remove the HECS-HELP discount of 10% for eligible students who pay their contributions upfront as well as removing the voluntary HELP repayment bonus of 5%.


Up Front Payment of Student Contributions


Eligible students are able to pay all or part of their student contributions up-front and defer any remaining fees through the HECS-HELP loan system.

Currently, full or partial contribution payments of $500 or more attract the HECS-HELP discount of 10%.

From 1 January 2017, the government will remove the 10% discount.  This change will apply to any courses with a census date on or after this date.


Last chance to get the 5% repayment bonus


Currently and up until 31 December 2016 you receive a 5% bonus on a voluntary HELP repayment of $500 or more.  The bonus works by crediting your account with an additional 5% of the value of your repayment.  For example, a voluntary repayment on your HELP account of $1,000 currently results in $1,050 being credited off your account.

From 1 January 2017 this voluntary repayment bonus no longer applies.

Keep in mind that voluntary repayments are optional and are in addition to the compulsory repayments that are paid through the income tax system.  You may be required to make a compulsory repayment on top of any voluntary repayments you have made if you still have a debt and if your income is above the minimum compulsory repayment threshold.


How to make a voluntary repayment


To make a voluntary repayment and receive the 5% bonus you will need to act fast.

Firstly, you will need your Payment Reference Number (PRN).  Your PRN is printed on your Account Information Statement or you can confirm it by calling the ATO on 13 28 61.  Due to Christmas period closures, you will need to contact the ATO prior to 23 December should you need to confirm your PRN.

Your voluntary repayment must reach the ATO before 31 December 2016 so please be aware of any processing deadlines that your bank may have in place over the holiday period.

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