Your study loan (which includes your HELP, SFSS and TSL) can be paid out with either compulsory and/or voluntary payments.
Compulsory repayments are made when your income exceeds the repayment threshold. Your employer will withhold an amount from your pay throughout the year to cover your compulsory repayment, and your compulsory repayment rate increases as your income increases – the more you earn, the higher your repayment.
Make sure you let your employer know about your study loan when you start working for them by selecting 'yes' at "Do you have a Higher Education Loan Program (HELP), Student Start-up Loan (SSL) or Trade Support Loan (TSL) debt?" on your tax file number declaration form.
You can also choose to make voluntary repayments at any time to reduce the balance of your debt. You may still have to make a compulsory repayment or pay an overseas levy if, after making your voluntary repayment:
you still have a debt; or
your repayment income is above the minimum repayment threshold.
You don't have to provide information about your HELP loan when it comes time to lodge your tax return. If your income is above the minimum repayment threshold, we'll calculate your compulsory repayment and include it on your notice of assessment.
I’ve been making HELP repayments but my loan balance on myGov hasn’t changed. When will it update?
If you’ve been making compulsory payments (see above), the additional tax withheld from your pay won't come off your loan account until you've lodged your return and we've calculated your compulsory repayment based on your repayment income.
Because your actual tax and HELP repayment liability is based on your repayment income for the full year, we can only calculate your tax payable and your compulsory HELP repayment for the year after you’ve lodged your tax return. This means that even though you may have had tax withheld throughout the year, the compulsory HELP repayment portion of your tax liability can’t be taken off your loan until you've lodged.
If you have outstanding tax returns but have been making compulsory HELP payments through your salary and wages, your study loan account balance on myGov won't be updated until you lodge those tax returns.It pays to keep up to date - we add indexation to your study loan based on the total account balance as at 1 June each year.
Once you've lodged your tax return, you can see how much you've paid as a compulsory repayment on your notice of assessment. Your HELP repayment will appear as a lump sum that will be applied against your total loan balance (rather than as multiple weekly or fortnightly transactions). You can also check out how much you have left to pay by logging into your account in our online services via myGov.