The difference between HECS and FEE-HELP

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.

Piggy BankAll 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

HECS AND FEE HELP COMPARISN

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