Two important dates for those with HECS/HELP debts

May 30, 2011

There are now two important dates that you need to consider if you have a HECS/HELP debt.

Since The Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) was introduced for tertiary education in Australia, it has charged an "interest rate" on 1 June each year.  A few years ago the Government changed the name of the debt to the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) but it essentially is the same thing. The rate charged is the Consumer Price Index (CPI) factor, or inflation, for the year.  Generally this ranges between 3% to 5%.   Makes for a pretty cheap loan compared to the interest rates that the banks charge these days for unsecured personal loans, which can be anything between 8% to 13%.

If you were lucky, like me quite a few years ago, there can be years of negative inflation, that is, deflation, and your HELP debt can be reduced.  In my instance I got $10 off my overall debt.  Enough to buy a poor student a few jugs of beer back in those days!

Now the smart university students make voluntary repayments of their debt just before 1 June to avoid any "interest" being charged on their debt for the previous year as well as getting a 10% discount on any repayment made over $500.  That is, if you debt is $11,000, you only have to pay $10,000 and the last $1,000 would be written off as a discount.

However, in the recent Federal Budget, it was announced that from 1 January 2012 any voluntary repayment of the HELP debt would only attract a 5% discount, rather than the 10% currently enjoyed.  Now I reckon the really, really smart students will try and pay off as much of their debt by 31 December otherwise their $10,000 will only get them a $500 discount in the New Year.  That extra $500 buys a hell of a lot of jugs of beer.  Make sure you invite me to help drink them!

If you can't afford any voluntary payments, don’t think that you will never have to repay your debt (although you may be able to defer whilst living overseas for a while).  When you enter the workforce you need to start paying back the government for your education.  You should tick the box on your Employment Declaration form to say that you have  HELP debt and your employer will start taking out extra tax to meet the compulsory repayment each year.

Here are the HELP repayment thresholds for 2011-12.  If you don’t reach the income threshold then you should get a really nice tax refund once you lodge your income tax return.

HELP repayment thresholds and rate (2011–12)

HELP repayment income

Repayment rate

Below $47 196


$47 196-$52 572


$52 573-$57 947


$57 948-$60 993


$60 994-$65 563


$65 564-$71 006


$71 007-$74 743


$74 744-$82 253


$82 254-$87 649


$87 650 and above


If you have a Student Financial Supplement Scheme  (SFSS) loan then you need to repay after you lodge your tax return at the following rates:

SFSS repayment thresholds and rates (2011-12)

Repayment income (RI) thresholds

Repayment rate

Below $47 196


$47 196-$57 947


$57 948-$82 253


$82 254 and above



Tags: Education

Author: Mr Taxman


"I made voluntary payments and then the ato called me and said that if i make a lump sum payment that they would discount my hecs and they did quite a bit actually."

By: nadia el-mouelhy on Jun 15, 2011 6:29AM

"Hi, Can i ask how much they discounted you? Was it above the 10%? I'm thinking of doing this. Thanks"

By: laura on Jul 19, 2011 5:11AM

"Discount is currently 10% for the voluntary repayment but it is falling to 5% from 1 January 2012 - so get in soon!!"

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 19, 2011 9:49AM

"Does this discount apply to everyone making a voluntary repayment, or only to those who are currently studying? Thanks in advance!"

By: Carol on Nov 23, 2011 12:56AM

"The discount applies to anyone who wishes to make a voluntary payment against their HELP/HECS debt"

By: Mr Taxman on Nov 28, 2011 11:45AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I have a HELP debt of 8,056 and a SFSS debt of $14,666 (ugh). I currently earn 90K and am saving to by a first property with my husband - we have saved 62K. While my HELP debt looks to be clearing up quickly: from 12K debt in 2010 to 8K debt in 2011, my SFSS loan is horrible and barely going down: 2010 16K, 2011 14.7K. My question, is should I make a voluntary payment to either HELP or SFSS and if so how much - $500 each before June? OR Is my money better off attracting interest - our savings account attracts 5% interest. Thank you and I'd be grateful for your accountant perspective. My husband by the way earns below the threshold for repayments to his HELP debt. HIs is only $1200 but it grows every year because he isn't making any compulsory payments as he's below the threshold. Should we pay some of his too?"

By: SB on May 10, 2012 6:19AM

"Hi Simone - tough choice. Do you earn interest at 5% but have to pay tax on any interest or should you pay off your debt & get the 5% discount without any tax consequence? I woul dprobably choose the latter as it looks like you would be paying it off anyway over the next few years anyway based on your income level so may as well get the discount now & also an extra 6% in each future pay packet. if you pay off the debt in full before you lodge your next tax return then you will get a credit for all the extra HECS tax deducted this year. In relation to your husband's debt, you could take the risk that the inflation rate (what they index the debt by each year) will be less than the net interest after tax. PS I hope you have the savings in your husband's name & not yours where you are on the higher marhinal tax rate!"

By: Mr Taxman on May 10, 2012 1:47PM

"Is anyone getting taxed on their HECS debt? On my payslips, it says HECS/HELP in the deductions column (Along with income tax). Then in year to date is says a total amount of "HECS tax". My understanding was this was being repaid off my debt. But doesn't seem to be."

By: Ben on Jul 03, 2012 8:45AM

"Ben - this is a common misunderstanding regarding HECS/HELP. Whilst your employer takes out extra tax to cover for your HECS/HELP debt they merely pool it as income tax deducted on your PAYG Payment Summary (in the same way they do for the Medicare Levy). It is not until you actually lodge your income tax return that the funds are allocated against your HECS/HELP debt & is actually reduced."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 05, 2012 11:27AM

"I have a Hecs Debt and my employer has been taking out my repayments every time I am paid. I am now trying to do my tax return via etax and I am being taxed an additional 2 thousand dollars for hecs... is this right? I don't see how I owe this when I have been paying all year."

By: Ebany on Jul 31, 2012 3:02AM

"Ebany - this is a common misunderstanding regarding HECS/HELP. Whilst your employer takes out extra tax to cover for your HECS/HELP debt they merely pool it as income tax deducted on your PAYG Payment Summary (in the same way they do for the Medicare Levy). It is not until you actually lodge your income tax return that the funds are allocated against your HECS/HELP debt & is actually reduced."

By: Mr Taxman on Aug 06, 2012 1:04PM

"Hi there! I have a $35k hecs debt and currently earn $54k. As I had a gap between jobs last year, my accountant managed to get me under the threshold an a very nice return. I may never pay off this debt at this rate, so I've been wondering if I should put it towards the home loan I'm saving for or make a lump sum payment in the hope that I will one day pay it off..."

By: NF on Oct 10, 2012 11:20AM

"You will need to look at the after-tax interest rate for your mortgage (approx 6.5% currently but lower if you rent it out & claim tax deduction for interest) and the "interest rate" that is CPI (approx 3.5%) on your HECS debt. Having recently re-financed I can tell you that the banks do ask if you have a HELP debt which may reduce your borrowing capacity. Note that if you make extra repayments you get a 5% dicount which is is more than the after tax rate taht you can get on a term deposit."

By: Mr Taxman on Oct 18, 2012 8:37PM

"Hi. If you earn above the threshold and pay compulsory HELP fees at say 4% it would take very long time to pay it off. Can you ask your employer to increase the tax taken out to 10% for the HELP debt to be paid off quicker? What is your recommendation, the fastest way of paying off the HELP debt? Many thanks, DM"

By: Dan Mann on Oct 13, 2012 12:35PM

"Your employer can take out extra tax each week but the ATO are ultimately only going to deduct your % (depending on your income band). Suggest you save up cash & you make voluntary payments every few months & get the 5% discount. OR get your employer to deduct extra tax & make a lump sum payment each year when yuo get your refund. Make sure you do repayments beofre 1 June each year as CPI is added to your debt. "

By: Mr Taxman on Oct 18, 2012 8:20PM

"Hi, once I retire, does the tax man take my unpaid HECS debt from my superannuation? thanks"

By: margit on Jan 15, 2013 1:19AM

"No they don't ... will sit there unpaid."

By: Mr Taxman on Jan 25, 2013 7:29PM

"Hi, how about SFSS? - thanks"

By: Margit Nugent on May 05, 2013 5:12AM

"Sits there as well."

By: Mr Taxman on May 09, 2013 11:54PM

"Hi if i ticked the box(HELP debt) in the tax declaration form does my employer deduct salary each week?? if then where does the deducted salary go??"

By: kim on Jan 16, 2013 2:47AM

"Any deductions for HELP debt will appear as part of the general PAYG withholding deducted as shown in your annual PAYG Payment Summary. It is only when you lodge your income tax return at the end of the year does the ATO assess where those funds get allocated against your HELP debt."

By: Mr Taxman on Jan 25, 2013 7:31PM

"Hi. I started accumulating a HELP debt as of Semester 1, 2012. Therefore for the 11-12 financial year I had only been accumulating the debt for 4 months (I accumulated $6K in that time). My taxable income for that year was $63,000 However, when I was lodging my tax return I got an estimate of roughly $3000 as a compulsory repayment. They were charging my like I'd had the debt all year and had 26 pays to have money deducted. In reality, work had only been deducting money from March - June (8 pays) which didn't come close to covering the compulsory repayment. Is this normal that I'm being treated like I've had the debt for a full financial year when I only had it for 4 months of that financial year. If this is normal do you think I would be eligible to apply for a deferral of payment? Thanks for your response."

By: Gabrielle on Feb 13, 2013 12:42AM

"It is normal for the ATO to calculate the repayment in this manner. I know it sucks for you in having to try & find the cash now. You can apply to the ATO to defer the compulsory repayment if it causes you serious hardship. See here for more info"

By: Mr Taxman on Feb 13, 2013 12:50AM

"Hi I recently caught up with tax returns i was missing/failed to lodge (2000-2008) - and I also accumulated a HELP debt from study in 2009 -2010. Anyway I recently got the returns back only to find I had been charged loan repayments for all the years prior to my actual study. My question is, can the ATO actually charge you loan repayment fees for the years before you actually undertook any form of study?"

By: Jason on Feb 13, 2013 8:00AM

"Yes they can. See previous post if you suffer from financial hardship following compulsory repayment. I suppose it is a good lesson to lodge your tax returns on time."

By: Mr Taxman on Feb 13, 2013 6:01PM

"Hi, the ATO recently advised I had paid off my sfss loan but my pay slip still shows deductions for sfss. Does the ATO need to advise my work?"

By: shea on Mar 13, 2013 7:15AM

"Well done on paying off your debt. You can notify your employer yourself by completing a new TFN declaration form & tick the box that you have no debt anymore. The amounts already taken out this financial year should come back to you when you lodge your 2012/13 tax return."

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 13, 2013 7:37PM

"I recently had the same issue and I have completed a new TFN declaration with my workplace therefore they are not deducting any more from my pay. But do I need to declare that this money has been taken from me this financial year in my tax return? Or does it sit with the rest of my 'total tax withheld' amount on my PayG Payment Summary and goes towards my other taxes that I might need to pay the government this financial year?"

By: EW on Jul 11, 2013 12:13PM

"Yes it goes into a generic "total tax withheld" and you will get a nice refund if you have enough tax taken out for your taxable income. It is a good forced form of saving!"

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 21, 2013 6:35AM

"Hi, I currently have about $26k worth of HELP debt and just started working FT such that my bracket is in the 4.5% mandatory repayments. I have about $50 k saved up sitting in a high interest bearing account and have $6 k in shares. I have no other debts. Should I instantly pay it off as a lump sum or allow the mandatory repayments that my employer takes off to pay if off + in addition to contributing some voluntary repayments every so period? I do plan on using the money to buy a car or a deposit on the house. I often read that I shouldn't pay it off right away on a lump sum. Thanks!"

By: Simon on May 26, 2013 10:54AM

"If you are simply having the cash sitting around in the bank then I would pay it off in full ... but if you are planning on buying a house then perhaps better to have a loan (HECS) at roughly 3% CPI than a loan (mortgage) at approx. 6%."

By: Mr Taxman on May 30, 2013 11:34AM

"Hi, I applied for vet fee help on the 7th of June and was approved on the 23rd of June. My course starts on the 8th of July. I am not sure if i put that i have the vet fee help or not as the course hasnt started. My first pay since being approved for the vet help is in the new financial year."

By: Brenton on Jul 04, 2013 9:37AM

"Even though you have yet to start the course I would start taking out extra tax for repayment of HELP as soon as possible because the ATO takes your total income for the whole financial year when calculating how much that you need to repay."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 04, 2013 11:13PM

"When I become a pensioner, do I ever have to repay my supp loan debt back? What happens to it if I don't? Is it transferred to my spouse or taken from my estate?"

By: Jolie on Jul 18, 2013 9:52AM

"Whilst I think there is some merit in having it repaid before you get any government benefits, there is no current legislation in place & you should be entitled to your pension (subject to the usual income & assets tests). the debt also gets wiped upon death (provided your estate doesn't generate income above the repayment thresholds)."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 21, 2013 6:37AM

"Hi, I have a HELP debt that is less than 12 months old ($3,700) and shows up on my prefill report. Does this get included in my 12-13 tax return? I heard somewhere that the HELP department are 12-18 months behind and that it may not haveto be included in my tax return? is this true?"

By: Jenae on Jul 29, 2013 7:09AM

"Basically it is not til 1 June each year that the ATO updates its system for accumulated HECS/HELP debts. If it appears in your prefill report then you can guaranteed that the ATO will take that debt into account when assessing your taxable income for the year."

By: Mr Taxman on Aug 14, 2013 7:57AM

"I have paid off my hecs debt according to the ATO. I have been paid 4 times and hecs has been coming out of my account, i just filled in a new tax form to fix this up. Will i get back paid the money that i have paid on top of my hecs already being paid off?"

By: Veronica on Aug 20, 2013 1:28AM

"You will get that money back when you submit your next tax return."

By: Mr Taxman on Sep 19, 2013 4:41AM

"If I am still a current student, do I have to tick the 'I have a hecs debt' box when doing my tax declaration for a new job."

By: Liz on Sep 03, 2013 10:13PM

"Yes - the key is whether you have a HECS/HELP debt or not."

By: Mr Taxman on Sep 19, 2013 4:42AM

"I have a remaining HECS debt of 2.5k, and my employer is withholding tax to pay off this debt. Each month I see that there is an amount garnished from my wages - this amount would cover the remainder of the debt in approx. 4 months. After 4 months, can I ask my employer to stop withholding money and redirect that money toward my bank account instead of the tax man? Would I run into issues at tax time next year due to the withheld tax not being held in "buckets"? I'd rather have money in my bank account now, instead of getting a sizeable refund next FY."

By: Bill Smith on Sep 13, 2013 4:17AM

"Provided you will have enough coverage then ok to fill out a new TFN declaration with your employer so that they no longer deduct HECS/HELP from your pay."

By: Mr Taxman on Sep 19, 2013 4:43AM

"I have a HELP debt and am working 2 jobs while i study but I expect to earn only $25K from those jobs, well under the threshold for needing to make a HELP repayment. For my second job, I have indicated that I have a help debt and they are withholding approx $150 each fortnight from my pay. Will I get all this back when I lodge my tax return and the ATO see that I have earned under the threshold?"

By: Andrew on Oct 09, 2013 8:14AM

"Yes you will get that extra tax back when you lodge your return provided you are under the repayment threshold. Consider it a forced form of saving. Please note that for some 2nd jobs, the tax being deducted may not be enough - regardless of whether you have any HECS/HELP debt - so the extra tax being taken out may be a blessing in disguise."

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 24, 2017 8:58PM

"I have been told that if I make a voluntary payment prior to lodging my tax return then I get a 5% discount on my Hecs payment that I wouldn't otherwise get if I just paid my Hecs payment for this financial year through my tax return. E.g. based on my income I owe the tax office 3k this year. If I pay 3k prior to lodging my tax return I will only need to pay $2850 to wipe off 3k from my hecs debt. Then I get the 3k my employer has left aside for me back once I lodge my tax return. Is this correct? "

By: Rebekah on Oct 29, 2013 12:07PM

"I have just retired, and am planning to do some studies at University. This will accrue a HECS debt, but what happens if I have no income? The debt will no doubt sit in waiting, but what happens if my income remains below $35,000 for the next 20 years? Is my wife billed? Does it eventually come out of my estate, or, as it seems, it never gets paid? Please advise."

By: Mark on Nov 01, 2013 8:14AM

"Provided you stay under the repayment threshold & you an Australian tax resident, it will continue to accumulate (adjusted for CPI each year). Currently there is no ability for the government to take part of your estate when you die to pay off your outstanding debt but it looks like they are considering changing this down the track. Where there is smoke there is fire!"

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 24, 2017 9:02PM

"Hi, I have a sfss debt, in an eventfulcase I pass away n died, does my debt gets passed to my next of kin or get void completely? Thanks"

By: cam on Mar 12, 2014 7:37PM

"Currently voided but that may change in the future. "

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 24, 2017 9:03PM

"Hi. I currently have a HECS debt of $10,026. This EOFY (13/14) I will pay approximately $4501 off the loan. Leaving me with approximately $5525. Is it 'allowed' to declare to my employer from July 1 2014 I no longer have a HECS debt, ensuring I then pay a lump sum of $5525 prior to June 1 next year to take advantage of the 5% and also accessing the tax withheld for HECs? Thanks!"

By: Amy on Jun 23, 2014 10:09PM

"Technically no as you are filling out your TFN declaration in good faith that it is accurate that you don't have a HECS debt. If you don't happen to have any extra tax being deducted & you don't make that extra HECS repayment then expect a big tax bill at year end (plus an adjustment for CPI on 1 June)."

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 24, 2017 8:56PM

"2012/13 financial year i began studying and then withdrew but continued to pay my hecs repayments and got an awesome return for that finanical year. 2013/14 financial year I did not study the first 6 months but have the last 6 months but I have been paying HECS still every fortnight out of my pay. will I get this all back and have a HECS debt for the next financial year or will they take it out of my estimated refund of $3600 this yeaR?"

By: Tim on Jul 14, 2014 4:38AM

"It will depend on what your taxable income is - if you are over the repayment threshold level,-TSL-and-SFSS-repayment-thresholds-and-rates/ then some of your extra tax deducted will be withheld. The key is to lodge your return sooner rather than later & get whatever refund is coming your way."

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 24, 2017 8:53PM

"Hi, I am seeking advise. I paid off my help debt in one lump some half way through this financial year. From what i could gather from the ato i would get back whatever money had been withheld from my work place for the help debt prior to the lump some payment. Upon completing my tax return this has not occurred. Have i misunderstood? Thanks "

By: Sam on Aug 08, 2014 10:36AM

"You should have received a refund on the excess tax deducted during the current financial year if you paid off your debt in full. Perhaps you need to revisit your tax return & see if you had any untaxed income eg interest, capital gains, business income etc that may have reduced the refund that you were expecting."

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 24, 2017 8:51PM

"I made final lump sum of my wife's HELP debt today. How do we tell her employers that there is no need to take any more HELP debts payments out any more. She enquired to her employer and they gave her a "TAX FILE NUMBER DECLARATION FORM" to fill out and return. Is this correct procedure? "

By: Garry on Oct 16, 2014 7:44AM

"YEs completing a new TFN declaration form - & ticking the no HELP debt box - is all you need to do. Good work on being debt-free!"

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 24, 2017 8:49PM

"I have been making my compulsory payments all year, but I just checked my HECS account and it has gotten much bigger, so no payments have actually come off the total debt...why would that be? I work for the Dept of education so surely they would be paying it! "

By: Annika on Oct 25, 2014 1:16AM

"The Dept are merely taking out extra tax in each pay packet - they don't specifically notify the ATO that the extra tax is HECS/HELP. It is only at year end when you lodge your tax return that the ATO will issue an assessment with the correct amount of HECS that is being repaid & reduced against your HECS debt."

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 24, 2017 8:48PM

"Hi, I have a HELP debt of approximated $30,000 and have an annual income of $61,000. My employer automatically adjusts my tax to cover the HELP debt, but my last two tax returns there has been a debit of around $1500. Has my employer been under taxing me? or is there another reason im incuring extra debt at tax time? "

By: Neil Gaskell on Apr 13, 2015 1:49AM

"It is only during the annual tax return that the ATO assesses the actual amount that you need to pay each year for HELP repayments. Your employer merely takes additional tax during the year to cover for this assessment at year end. The employer would be doing wrong only if you had a tax bill for a shortfall - if you are getting a refund then probably all good."

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 24, 2017 8:45PM

"Hi, I have both help and sfss debts. At tax time do I pay eg 4% on help and 2% on sfss? Or is help paid off first then the sfss? "

By: Jodie on Nov 07, 2015 8:06AM

"The ATO deducts both at the same tim - that is, 6%"

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 24, 2017 8:40PM

"Hi, I am only part way through my course for which I have a growing HECS debt. I only work a few hours per week to support myself and for that I earn less than $200 per week. Is there anyway I can stop HECS repayments being taken from my pay? I really need the extra money right now to make ends meet rather than waiting until the end of the financial year. Thanks."

By: Alex on Apr 26, 2016 10:32PM

"Your employer shouldn't be deducting HELP if your income is that low. The upside is that you should get a nice tax refund at year end for the extra tax being deducted."

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 24, 2017 8:42PM

"Hello, I recently did my tax return but my HECS debt hasn't gone down?"

By: Lucy on Oct 11, 2016 1:53AM

"This might be due to your taxable income being below the HELP repayment threshold.,-TSL-and-SFSS-repayment-thresholds-and-rates/ "

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 24, 2017 8:37PM

"If you are 65 and are semi retired, working 3 days a week and have a HECS debt and want to draw out some super to pay off debts will the ATO want to take some of my super to pay off my HECS. Thanks Carlita"

By: Carlita on Oct 30, 2016 11:22AM

"No they wont Carlita. The ATO can only get money if you go over the taxable income thresholds & as you are 65, withdrawals from super are not considered assessable income."

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 24, 2017 8:39PM

"Hi An employee has been approved for deferred HELP debt repayments. How do I stop payments being deducted from his pay? We use Xero Payroll I was told to uncheck the section regarding HELP/HECS debt in the Tax tab. He still has a debt as only repayments are deferrred. Is this correct? thank you Janice"

By: Janice on Mar 23, 2017 3:06AM

"Just double check what is meant by 'deferred' as my understanding is that they are simply not paying the debt upfront when they enrol but they need to pay through the tax system. To do that they need to have any extra amount deducted in each pay but only settle their annual HECS repayment when they submit their annual income tax return."

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 24, 2017 8:36PM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I have been looking into my HECS debt because I feel that I should have paid it off by now. In 2011 the debt was at $21 399. I started working full time in 2013 and have been paying a HELP repayment from each pay (fortnightly). I don’t have the figures from 2013 or 2014 but in 2015 I paid a total.of $4210, in 2016 I paid a total of $6192 and from this year so far, I have paid $1968. Then I have also paid the following Compulsory payments from my tax returns; 2013 = $2086.66, 2014 = $3836.30, 2015 = $4682.52 and 2016 = $5563.22. So from all that, I have paid $28,538.70. This does not include the fortnightly payments from my income in 2013 and 2014. Am I missing something or are they taking too much money from me now??!!"

By: Natalie on Apr 20, 2017 9:06AM

"Unfortunately Natalie you are doubling up the extra tax taken out each fortnight with the year end assessment notice. Only the amount shown in the assessment is actually offset against your HELP debt. Your employer is merely taking out tax each pay packet as an estimate of what your Notice of Assessment will ask for as a repayment so that you dont have a big shortfall & struggle to pay."

By: Mr Taxman on Apr 24, 2017 11:45AM

"I have a HECS debt from 1998 that I have never repaid as I moved to UK in 2000 and unexpectedly stayed! Will this debt ever need to be repaid if I continue living in UK? If I return to Oz to retire, will it need to be paid from pension? Thanks"

By: Steve on Apr 23, 2017 8:26AM

"If you are under the repayment threshold each year then no repayment. Note that in last year's Federal Budget that the governmet intends on asking for repayment of HECS/HELP debts for non-residents earning more than the threshold whilst overseas. "

By: Mr Taxman on Apr 24, 2017 11:43AM

"I'm 59 and have had a Hecs debt going back to 2011 of which nothing has been paid because I have been unemployed. I may be getting a full time job paying about 48k per annum. Firstly will the indexation stop when I start having to pay it back? And secondly when I retire at 67 and going onto the pension will I then stop repaying the debt? Thank you."

By: Bede on Jul 12, 2017 6:54AM

"I've paid my outstanding HECS debt so my balance is now $0. My question is......Is it a good idea to keep the HECS coming out so at tax time I get a large lump sum back OR cancel my HECS and receive extra money per pay? I'm currently on 83000p.a if that makes a difference. Thanks"

By: Sophie on Jul 31, 2017 8:38AM

"This may be outside your area, but I can't find it on the government sites where it should be - I'm 58 and on Newstart, and would like to do some study. I know I can claim a Pensioner Education Supplement of $61 ftnt, but I've been assuming they wouldn't allow me to accrue a HELP/HECS debt in the first place, as it's unlikely I'll ever pay that off by reaching the income limit. Do you have any info re this?"

By: Patricia on Jan 08, 2018 11:59PM

"I'm under the threshold and my employer is taking money out of my pay each week for HECS. I want him to stop, but if I put NO in a TFNDeclaration, then I am lying, because I have debt, if I leave it as YES, he will continue to take it out each week and I will receive the lump sum as a tax return. I don't want that, because I would rather to keep that money in my bank acc, then for them to keep it for me and give me as my tax return. I don't suppose to be paying my HECS off just yet, because I'm under the threshold.How do I stop my employer taking out money each week and how do I fill up the TFN declaration form, because as I said, I don't want to lye, because I do have debt for HECS, it's just that I am under the threshold and by law I don't need to start paying it off yet?"

By: Tina on Apr 14, 2018 3:54AM

"Hi I currently just did my tax return and most of my tax went towards my HELP debt. I have fringe benefits and my work takes out money each fortnight to go towards my HELP debt. I just want to know why this is happening, I called the ATO and they said they haven't received any payments however my work sent me proof that they have been sending the money to the ATO each fortnight out of my pay for it. Where does that money go if they still take it out of my tax return? Should I not have to pay at the end of the financial year as I have had money taken out of my pay each fortnight? I get paid "

By: Jamie on Jul 16, 2018 9:07AM

"I m on hecs for my 2 yr degree but I havent completed. I did only one yr.coz of my some family problems I cant able to.complete.i have no job right nw.when I did my tax return for last income is showing 116000$.department is asking me to pay 8900@ as hecs and I have no money job no money at current.wht shld I do."

By: Raj on Jul 20, 2018 1:06AM

"Hi Mr Tax Man, I have a HECS (HELP) Loan and also a supplement Loan, I cannot find information anywhere that tells me if I have to pay them both back *so under the new threshold is it 2% for each debt - so 4 % taken each year* Thanks! "

By: Emma on Aug 12, 2018 9:53AM

"Why won't the ATO accept payment before a debt is indexed? (at least 11months old). when a dept is between 0 and at least 11 months old it is based on the indexation of the current day (ie. what the university debited from hecs/help). This is a real pain as i am studying part time and have a high repayment bracket, more than the amount of hecs/help is accrued in 1 year "

By: Darian on Oct 29, 2018 10:50PM

"I am about to retire and since I accrued my HECS/HELP debt I have only earned over the minimum income required to make 2 payments. Will I have to pay my debt with some of my age pension? I can't find any information on this at the ATO."

By: John on Nov 28, 2018 6:32AM

"My Aged Pension payments (with supplements) will put me above the new 2109 income threshold for HELP/SFSS compulsory repayments. Will the ATO deduct from my Pension?"

By: Richard on Jul 02, 2019 1:02AM

"Hi Mr Tax Man, This tax year I will be over the threshold and will receive a HELP bill to pay. Problem is I am moving to a low employment area for family reasons and It could be some time before I am able to secure another job and may not be able to pay this years HELP bill. The myGov site says my tax return is not due until may 2020, Does this mean I would be able to delay the payment until then?"

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