When I began thinking about going back to Uni, I fretted about whether my postgraduate studies would be covered by HECS or FEE-HELP. I had utilised HECS-HELP loans to fund the tuition for my undergraduate bachelor of laws. In addition, I had also utilised FEE-HELP to fund two graduate certificates.
All up I had borrowed around $60,000.00 worth of HELP loans. I vaguely understood there was a life-long limit that you could reach where HELP loans would no longer be available to you and I certainly wasn’t in a position pay the MBA fees outright. I know of people who preferred to self-fund their MBA as an added incentive to do well in the course. Financially, that’s not an option for me so I’m very grateful for these study assistance schemes. Further, I have been regularly paying my HELP debt back since 2009 (hellooo, disappointing tax returns) so I don’t miss that (capped) 8% chunk from my pay these days.
It’s easy to find out your HELP debt
Imagine my relief when I logged in to the myUniAssist portal to find out that I had around $76,000.00 available to borrow through FEE-HELP. This is JUST enough left to cover the Melbourne Business School MBA tuition. If that isn’t motivation to pass every subject, I don’t know what is! If you are wondering how much you have incurred, I highly recommend putting yourself out of your misery and logging in.
HECS-HELP vs FEE-HELP
Anyway, there are some major differences between HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP which are beneficial to know. For one, as at the time I’m writing this post, there doesn’t appear to be a limit on the HECS-HELP amount you can borrow, however you must be studying in a Commonwealth Supported Place (usually an undergraduate course). There is however a life-time limit for FEE-HELP, i.e. no matter how much you repay, your borrowings cannot exceed the limit.
Here’s a HECS-HELP vs FEE-HELP comparison table, current at the time of writing this post. All of the information is on the Commonwealth Government’s Study Assist website.
That Career Girl