, ,
Home | Future Students | VET Student Loans

VET Student Loans

Central  Regional TAFE is a training provider authorised  to offer VET Student Loans for specific Commonwealth approved Diploma and Advanced Diploma courses.

VET Student Loans are available to eligible students enrolled in approved courses. VET student loans will not be approved for students who do not meet eligibility requirements. Students with approved loans will be required at set intervals to demonstrate that they are engaged and progressing through their course. 

There is no application or loan fee for government subsidised courses, however a 20% loan fee is applied to loans for Fee for Service or Commercial courses. You will be advised at your interview if this applies to your course. Your accumulated debt is indexed according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This occurs annually in accordance with the Higher Education Support Act 2003.

For more information about the scheme please visit the Commonwealth, Department of Education and Training website OR download the VET Student Loans Information Booklet. You may wish to seek independent financial advice before applying for a loan as approved loans become a personal debt with the Commonwealth (HELP debt) until  repaid. 

View the College's list of approved courses with loan caps here. Should the tuition fees for your course exceed the loan cap, you will need to pay the difference directly to Central Regional TAFE. 

Eligibility requirements

You must meet ALL of the eligibility criteria detailed below:

  • Be enrolled in an eligible course with Central Regional TAFE.
  • You are studying the approved course primarily at a campus in Australia.
  • Be an Australian citizen (evidence required differs according to whether you were born before, on, or after 20 August 1986 or born overseas)  * 


  • Be a New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) holder who meets the long-term residency requirements **


  • Be a permanent humanitarian visa holder who is usually resident in Australia ***


  • You have been assessed by your approved course provider as academically suited to undertake the approved course by either:
  • providing your Australian Year 12 Certificate issued by the relevant State Government Authority; OR
  • providing evidence of successful completion of an Australian Qualifications Framework Certificate IV or higher delivered in English; OR
  • having attained an Exit Level 3 or higher in the Australian Core Skills Framework in both literacy and numeracy using a Commonwealth approved testing tool.
  • You have not exceeded your FEE-HELP limit.
  • Have a valid Tax File Number (TFN).
  • Have a Unique Student Identifier (USI).


* Students born before 20 August 1986 who do not have a current Australian Passport must provide their full birth certificate as issued by an Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

* Students born on or after 20 August 1986 and one of their parents was an Australian citizen at the time of their birth who do not have a current Australian Passport must provide their full birth certificate as issued by an Australian Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages showing that one parent was born in Australia before 20 August 1986.

Students born on or after 20 August 1986 whose parent was born in Australia after this date, then the parent's full birth certificate as issued by an Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriage must be supplied.

* Students born on or after 20 August 1986 and one of their parents was a permanent resident of Australia at the time of their birth and who do not have a current Australian Passport must provide their Australian Citizenship Certificate. 

* Students born on or after 20 August 1986 and neither parent was an Australian citizen or permanent resident at the time of their birth and who have spent the first 10 years of their life in Australia and who do not have a current Australian Passport must provide their Australian Citizenship Certificate. 

* Students born overseas and have acquired Australian Citizenship must provide one of the following documents: current Australian Passport; Australian Citizenship Certificate or a Citizenship by Descent Extract. 

**  For New Zealand citizen eligibility requirements please visit the Department of Education and Training website  for detailed information on the long term residency requirements.

***  Students can check if their visa class is eligible by visiting the Department of Home Affairs website to use VEVO.

  •  If your name differs on any documents then official  proof of name change documents must also be supplied.
  • You must supply all your eligibility evidence at interview and enrolment or as soon as possible so that your loan application is not delayed.

Additional information for under 18's

  • If you are not an Independent Youth as assessed by Centrelink, a parent must complete the VET Student Loans Parental Consent—student under 18 years form. Download here.
  • If you can prove you are an independent Under 18 as assessed by Centrelink you will not need to submit a parental consent form. You will need to provide evidence that you have been assessed as an Independent Youth.

Download the eligibility information checklist.

Application Process

To apply for a VET Student Loan you must meet the eligibility criteria and complete the Request for a VET Student Loan electronic Commonwealth Assistance form (eCAF). This electronic form is managed by the Commonwealth. You may apply at any time throughout your study, however the loan can only be approved for units with a future census date. 

You will not be able to complete the eCAF until two full business days after your enrolment is confirmed (cooling off period) and must be completed by your first census day. You cannot apply for a VET Student Loan less than two days before your first census day. Your Tax File Number (TFN) is required when completing the eCAF.

  • You must enrol and have this confirmed with the College. The full two business days cooling off period as required by the Commonwealth will begin from confirmation date.
  • Complete the VSL Eligibility Assessment Form and collect all required documentation.
    • Your eligibility evidence and any other required documents must be provided before an invitation to apply for a loan will be sent to you.
  • The College will create your Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN) when given permission to do so by you.
  • After the cooling off period the College will then provide the Commonwealth with your enrolment details, including the nearest applicable census day, through the eCAF system.
  • You will then receive an email from the Commonwealth inviting you to complete your loan application online. 
  • You will need to verify the pre-populated information and complete the mandatory fields in your application. If you are unable to do so please contact the College immediately.
  • You must confirm that you have read the VET Student Loan Information.
  • Submit the eCAF as requested. A copy of your approval and application and will be emailed to you. The College will also be advised of the outcome of your application.

If you no longer wish to pay your tuition fees using a VET Student Loan, you must notify Client and Student Administration as soon as possible.

If you choose to cancel your VET Student Loan, you must arrange to pay any outstanding fees to the College.

What happens after your application is approved

Initially you will be sent a VET Student Loans - Statement of Covered fees. This statement will have your contact details along with your course name,estimated  course fees, course loan cap and if you will exceed your loan cap.

In addition, you will be sent the following notices:

  • A Fee Notice will usually be sent out at least 14 days prior to each census date to notify you of what units are due to pass their census date, amounts you may have paid up-front and the fees that will be applied to your loan.
  • A Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) will usually be sent out within 28 days of the census date passing.  This notice will confirm the amount of loan debt you have incurred. It will include your unit tuition fees, any upfront payments you have made, and the VET Student Loan amount you have received. This is not an invoice.
  • Please check all of the details on your Fee Notice and Commonwealth Assistance Notice are correct and notify the College in writing within 14 days of any changes that may need to be made.

Students who are required to enrol at each stage of their course must advise the College that they wish to continue using the loan to pay for their tuition fees. This can be done by downloading the form and lodging with the College ASAP after enrolment.  You will be able to add new units until you reach the loan cap for your course. Once the cap is reached you will need to pay for your fees upfront or set up a payment plan.

Download Loan Re-enrolment form.

It is important that you inform us about changes to your contact details. We will send you important information about your VET Student Loan and in addition the College is required to report the correct details to the Australian Taxation Office.

More information on keeping track of your personal loan debt can be found here.

Student engagement and progression requirement 

The Commonwealth Government has introduced the VET Student Loan Progression process to make sure that you are engaged in the training related to your VET Student Loan.

To demonstrate this, you must complete the VET Student Loans— Confirming enrolment and continued course engagement and participation form in the eCAF system at least twice each calendar year for the duration of your course, usually around February, June and October.

During each progression period:

  • An email will be sent to your personal email account with a link to the form.
  • You will have 14 days to complete the form.

If you do not complete it in time, please contact Central Regional TAFE asap.

If you do not confirm your continuing engagement and participation using the Progression Form, you may be ineligible to continue accessing a VET student loan to pay for your fees.


Literacy and numeracy requirements

If you wish to apply for a VET Student Loan to pay for some or all of your tuition fees, you will need to satisfy the Commonwealth requirements for literacy and numeracy.

If you cannot provide a copy of your Australian Secondary Certificate of Education (Year 12); or a copy of an Australian Qualifications Framework Certificate IV or higher qualification (where the language of instruction is English); you will need to attain an 'Exit Level 3' or higher in the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) assessment test in reading and numeracy using a Commonwealth approved testing tool. The College currently uses the approved LLN Robot Tool. Information about the Tool can be found here. Find out more about  the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF).

If a literacy and numeracy assessment is required you will be advised at your initial loan interview. Appointments for any required testing using the approved tool  can be made at your interview or by contacting Client and Student Administration at your local campus. You will require a personal email address for this test.

About the Assessment

  • A link to the test will be sent to your personal email account immediately before your appointment. You must be able to login to your personal email to access the link.
  • The assessment has two components: Reading and Numeracy.
  • Consists of thirty questions, 15 for reading and 15 for numeracy. 
  • The format of questions is a mix of point and click; drag and drop; reorder items and text or numerical entry.
  • Marking is done automatically by the tool.
  • 13 out of 15 questions for both reading and numeracy must be answered correctly to be assessed at Level 3 of the ACSF.

Assessment Conditions

  • The assessment is online and must be conducted with honesty and integrity as per Commonwealth requirements. This is done at your nearest campus under supervision and in a single sitting.
  • Please bring photo ID with you.
  • Calculators, pencils and paper will be supplied.
  • Mobile devices and the Internet are not permitted to be used.
  • One hour will be allocated to complete the assessment, but you may request additional time should the need arise.

What Happens Next

  • Your assessment results will normally be available immediately after your assessment.
  • Your assessment supervisor will advise you of your results.  A copy will also be emailed to you. We will discuss your results and your next steps.
  • You will need to obtain an 'Exit Level 3' for both reading and numeracy components to be eligible to apply for a VET Student Loan.
  • Your results will be kept by the College for five years and reported to the Commonwealth when requested.
Course fees and College policies
Commonwealth VET Student Loans Ombudsman 

The Vet Student Loans Commonwealth Ombudsman investigates complaints about problems that VET FEE-HELP or VET Student Loans students have with their training provider in Australia. More information about the Ombudsman's role change found on the Ombudsman's website. 

VET FEE-HELP Student Redress Measures

New VET FEE-HELP Student Redress remedies commenced on 1 January 2019. The Department of Education and Training can now remove a student's VET FEE-HELP debt if it was incurred because of inappropriate conduct by a VET FEE HELP provider or their agent.

The VET Student Loan Ombudsman (VSLO) in the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman is the primary contact point for any person who believes that they have a VET FEE-HELP debt which they should not have.

  • If you believe you have a debt you shouldn’t you can find information about how to make a complaint, how the VSLO can help and FAQs on the Ombudsman website. A fact sheet also provides information about the new VET FEE-HELP Student Redress Measures.
  • You can also check your VET FEE-HELP debt records by logging on to the myUniAssist portal. You will need your Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN) to log on. Your CHESSN will be in documentation sent to you by your VET FEE-HELP provider.
  • If you are not able to locate your CHESSN, you can check your HELP debt records in your myGov account. If you do not have a myGov account, you can set one up by selecting “Create an account” from this link. 
Page last updated June 14, 2019