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Paying my HELP debt

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Started October 2018 by
Modified July by

How is my HELP or study loan repaid?

Your study loan (which includes your HELP, SFSS and TSL) can be paid through compulsory and/or voluntary payments.


Compulsory repayments are made when your income exceeds the repayment threshold.  You should inform your employer of your study loan on your tax file number declaration form, they will know to withhold an amount from your pay throughout the year to cover your anticipated compulsory repayment. Your compulsory repayment rate increases as your income increases – the more you earn, the higher your repayment.


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; and
  • your repayment income is above the minimum repayment threshold.

Voluntary repayments are amounts you pay directly to the Tax Office, are not refundable and are in addition to any compulsory repayments / overseas levy.

How do I show on my tax return that I have a HELP debt to pay?

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 automatically calculate your compulsory repayment for you and include it on your notice of assessment.

I’ve been making HELP repayments through my employer. Why hasn't my loan balance on myGov changed?

The additional amounts withheld from your pay to cover our anticipated HELP debt won't come off your loan account until you've lodged your return and we've calculated your compulsory repayment which is 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 repayment amounts after you’ve lodged your tax return. This means that any amounts your employer/s have withheld throughout the year from your pay will not be applied to your HELP account until your income tax return is lodged and your compulsory HELP repayment is calculated and paid onto our account. You will see it come off your account as an annual lump sum rather than weekly or fortnight payments.

How can I check my HELP or study loan balance?

You can check out how much you have left to pay by logging into your account in our online services via myGov.

My taxable income is under the repayment threshold. Why has a compulsory repayment been taken on my tax return?

Your HELP or study loand repayment threshold is not based on taxable income. It is based on repayment income. This amount is your taxable income plus other amounts such as reportable fringe benefits. Check here for a full list of what is included in your repayment income.

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