Study & career advice

Affordable study: Payment options explained

With so many financial assistance options available for almost every Australian citizen during study, now’s the time to take on further learning and develop your career the way you want.

Most of the courses SEEK Learning offers, including university and TAFE courses, can be paid through government funding options such as FEE-HELP or VET FEE-HELP.

For courses that are not eligible for FEE-HELP or VET FEE-HELP, we also offer private financing. You can find out more by contacting a SEEK Learning consultant today.


FEE-HELP and VET FEE-HELP are loans provided by the Australian Government to eligible students to help pay for part or all of their course fees.

FEE-HELP applies to approved undergraduate and postgraduate courses. VET FEE-HELP applies to approved vocational education and training (VET) courses – most diploma and advanced diploma VET courses are VET FEE-HELP approved.

Getting started - Affordable study: payment options explained

How does FEE-HELP work?

If you are eligible, you don't need to pay for your course upfront. Instead, you can borrow up to the total amount of the tuition fee charged. The Australian Government will pay the amount of the loan to the course provider on your behalf. You only repay the loan when your income reaches a certain level. This means that you can start studying now and pay later.

When do I start paying the loan back?

You only start repaying through the tax system once your income reaches the minimum repayment threshold. For the 2012/2013 financial year, this threshold is A$49,096. This guarantees that the course you choose will pay for itself – you won’t be paying anything back until you don’t get the salary you deserve!

Who is eligible for FEE-HELP?

Almost every Australian citizen is eligible for FEE-HELP and VET FEE-HELP. Only those who have reached their FEE-HELP lifetime limits are ineligible.

Tax deductions

If you're taking a course that's relevant to your current employment, you may be able to claim tax deductions for the cost of your studies. Tax deductions can apply even if your course is paid for with FEE-HELP or VET FEE-HELP, or if you're a full-time student on Youth Allowance.

A tax deduction for your self-education expenses is available if you work and study at the same time and can satisfy any of these conditions:

  • You are upgrading your qualifications for your current employment.
  • You are improving your skills or knowledge for your current employment.
  • You are employed as a trainee and are your course forms part of your traineeship.
  • You can show that at the time you were working and studying, your study led, or was very likely to lead to an increase in employment income.

It's possible to claim a huge range of study-related expenses including all of your course fees, textbooks and stationary.

For more information, see the Australian Taxation Office’s advice on claiming deductions (click on ‘Education and study’).

Austudy, Abstudy & Youth Allowance

Many SEEK Learning courses are approved for Austudy, Abstudy and Youth Allowance. If you're eligible you can recieve a monetary allowance from the government as you study.

  • Austudy: For full-time students aged 25 years or over
  • Abstudy: Financial assistance for indigenous Australians who undertake approved full and part-time study
  • Youth Allowance: For full-time students aged 16 to 24 and people aged under 21 who are undertaking a job search or a combination of approved activities

Applications for these allowances are assessed by Centrelink. Contact your nearest Centrelink office to discuss your eligibility. If you qualify, you will receive fortnightly payments from the government to support your study.

Find out more information on Austudy, Abstudy and Youth Allowance.

Private financing

If you or your course do not qualify for government assistance, SEEK Learning can provide you with a 12-month interest-free payment plan through our finance partner.

For more information, contact a SEEK Learning consultant today.

Employer-sponsored study

If you undertake study related to your current job, your employer may offer to pay for a portion or even your full fees, simply because it’s profitable for employers to upskill their existing workforce.

Lots of companies have atraining budget for their employees, so it’s worth asking whether your workplace can help you.

For more information, contact a SEEK Learning consultant today.

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