A SA-HELP loan allows students to borrow from the Commonwealth to cover some or all of their Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF).
Students who receive a SA-HELP loan will have part or their entire SSAF paid to the University by the Commonwealth and a SA-HELP debt recorded for them with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
To be eligible for SA-HELP, you must:
- be an Australian citizen OR a permanent humanitarian visa holder OR an eligible New Zealand Special Category Visa holder (see Note 1) and will undertake at least some of your program of study in Australia,
- complete and submit a Request for SA-HELP Assistance form (see the Applying section below) for each program you are enrolled in by the census date, and
- provide your TFN or a Certificate of application for a tax file number before the due date. Importantly, you must ensure that your TFN, and all your personal details (names, date of birth and addresses) provided to the University match exactly with your records with the ATO, otherwise you will not be eligible to access HELP.
Note 1: From 1 January 2016, if you hold a New Zealand Special Category Visa, you may be eligible for a SA-HELP loan, providing you meet all of the following criteria:
- you first entered Australia as a dependent child under 18 years of age and at that time you did not have a spouse or de factor partner; and
- you meet the residency requirements:
- first started to be generally living and resident in Australia at least 10 years before the test day*; and
- have been in Australia for at least:
> a total of 8 out of the past 10 years immediately before the test day*; and
> a total of 18 months out of the past two years immediately before the test day*,
- you are otherwise eligible for SA-HELP (the full eligibility criteria is available from the SA-HELP information booklet).
* 'Test day' means the first date you successfully applied for a SA-HELP loan as an eligible New Zealand Special Category Visa holder for a unit that formed part of the same course of study. If you have not previously successfully applied for a SA-HELP loan for a unit that forms part of your course of study then the 'test day' is the date you submit the Request for SA-HELP assistance form.
Holders of permanent visas, and New Zealand Citizens, who do not meet the above eligibility criteria, are not eligible for SA-HELP, and must pay their SSAF to the University by the invoice due date.
SA-HELP eligible students may pay their SSAF in one of the following ways:
- pay the full SSAF to the University by the invoice due date
- receive a SA-HELP loan for the full SSAF
- pay some of the SSAF to the University by the invoice due date and receive a SA-HELP loan for the remainder of the SSAF.
To apply for SA-HELP, eligible students must complete a Request for SA-HELP assistance form. To submit a Request for SA-HELP assistance form log into Access Adelaide* and:
- Select the 'My Finances' Menu
- Select 'Payment Category'
- Select the 'Apply for SA-HELP' button
- Follow the prompts, enter your TFN where required, and answer all questions on the form
- Select 'Submit Form'
*Eligible New Zealand Special Category Visa holders will need to provide evidence of their eligibility in person at Ask Adelaide, Hub Central, by the due date as printed on their SSAF invoice, otherwise their application will not be valid.
Please note that SA-HELP is a separate application from HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP. To defer your SSAF to SA-HELP you must apply for SA-HELP in Access Adelaide.
A student is only required to apply for SA-HELP once for each program of study. If a student is admitted to a new program of study and wants to defer the SSAF to SA-HELP the Request for SA-HELP assistance form must be completed.
There is no capacity under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 for the provider to remit a SA-HELP debt incurred by a student, therefore any SA-HELP debt at the due date will remain.
Repayment of a SA-HELP debt is compulsory when your taxable income is above the minimum repayment threshold set by the Australian Government. Compulsory repayment of your SA-HELP debt to the Australian Taxation Office is made through the Australian taxation system. The repayment thresholds can be found on the Commonwealth Government’s Study Assist website. All SA-HELP debts are indexed each year to maintain their real value.
Note: You can check the current balance of your HELP debt and make repayments via your MyGov account my.gov.au. You can also request a HELP account statement by phoning the ATO on 13 28 61 between 8.00am and 6.00pm Monday to Friday.