Information for former VET FEE-HELP students

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Former VET FEE-HELP (VFH) Scheme

The former VET FEE-HELP (VFH) Scheme operated between 2008 and 2016. Existing VFH students could continue to access the scheme until 31 December 2018.

In 2017, VFH was replaced by the VET Student Loans program.

VFH Student Redress (now closed)

VFH Student Redress Measures commenced on 1 January 2019 and closed on 31 December 2023. VFH Student Redress provided a remedy to students who, due to the inappropriate conduct of the VET provider, incurred debts under the VFH Scheme.

For further information about VFH Student Redress refer to VET FEE-HELP Student Redress Measures.

VFH loans

It is important that you keep track of your student loans. You are responsible for repaying your loan to the Government once you earn over the income repayment threshold. Loan repayments are made through the ATO. Information about loan repayments and the compulsory repayment threshold can be found at Loan repayment - StudyAssist, Australian Government.

You should check the Notices issued to you by your training provider to ensure that your VFH loan amount and the VFH loan details reported on your ATO account are correct.

Advice on how to view your ATO loan account can be found at View your loan account online | Australian Taxation Office.

VFH debt disputes and complaints

Contact your training provider

If you have a concern or complaint about your VFH study or debt, you should first discuss your concerns with your training provider, if they are still operating.

Contact the VET Student Loans Ombudsman (VSLO)

If your provider is still operating and you are unable to resolve your concern or complaint with your provider, you can contact the VSLO.

The VET Student Loans Ombudsman (VSLO) in the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman is the primary contact point for any person who has a complaint about their VFH debt which they have been unable to resolve with their training provider. More information about the VSLO can be found at the Commonwealth Ombudsman – VET Student Loans website.

Contact the Department

Given the historical nature of the VFH scheme, there are limited circumstances under which the Department can re-credit your VFH loan debt.

Special Circumstance loan re-credit

If something happened that was beyond your control (such as serious illness) that meant you were unable to continue your studies, you may be able to apply for a ‘special circumstance’ loan re-credit. Applications must be made to your provider (if still operating) in the first instance. The timeframes for applying for a ‘special circumstance’ loan re-credit have now closed. However, the department may be able to consider your application if your provider failed to respond to your request or they are closed. You must also provide evidence to show why you were unable to apply within 12 months of your study. To apply for a ‘special circumstance’ loan re-credit, you can request a VFH Loan Re-credit Application Form via the online enquiry form at Student Enquiries.

Unacceptable Conduct loan re-credit

If you studied after 1 January 2016 and your provider engaged in unacceptable conduct during your enrolment or studies you may be able to apply for an ‘unacceptable conduct’ loan re-credit. Unacceptable conduct includes such things as harassment or conduct that is misleading or deceptive. The timeframes for applying for an ‘unacceptable conduct’ loan re-credit have now closed. However, the department may be able to consider your application if you provide evidence to show you were unable to apply within 3 years of your study. To apply for an ‘unacceptable conduct’ loan re-credit, you can request a VFH Loan Re-credit Application Form via the online enquiry form at Student Enquiries.

Tuition Assurance loan re-credit

If you were unable to complete your studies because your provider closed, and you were not assisted by the Tuition Assurance Operators, you may be able to apply for a Tuition Assurance loan re-credit. To consider your application, you must have been actively studying (or formally deferred) at the time your provider closed. To apply for a Tuition Assurance loan re-credit, you can request a VFH Loan Re-credit Application Form via the online enquiry form at Student Enquiries.

Student Enquiries

If you have read the student information above and have further queries or concerns about your VET FEE-HELP debt, you can submit your enquiry to the department via the online enquiry form at Student Enquiries.

Historical VET loan transfer

Students seeing historical loan amounts appearing on their ATO record should read Transfer of historical loan records for VET students.

Notice for former VET FEE-HELP Students

VET FEE-HELP (VFH) students enrolled in a course with certain providers may be eligible to have their VFH debit recredited.

For further information or assistance refer to Notice of VET FEE-HELP Debt Removal.

Complaints about the department

The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations has mechanisms in place for receiving feedback on our programs and services, as it is integral to our on-going improvement.

If you wish to make a complaint about the department’s actions or decisions in relation to your VET FEE-HELP loan debt, please read the department’s Complaints Factsheet. The factsheet provides information on how the department manages feedback and complaints. To make a complaint about the department after reading the Complaints Factsheet, you can email complaints@dewr.gov.au.

To ensure we fully understand the nature of your complaint, in addition to a description of the nature and basis of your complaint, we encourage you to include your first and last name; CHESSN or USI and a way to be contacted so we may work with you on a suitable outcome. You may wish to make your complaint anonymously; however, this may limit the department's ability to properly investigate and respond to your complaint.

The Commonwealth Ombudsman can also investigate complaints about the actions and decisions of Australian Government agencies to see if they are wrong, unjust, unlawful, discriminatory or just plain unfair. However, you must raise your formal complaint with the department first and seek to resolve the complaint with the department. If you are not satisfied with the outcome you may wish to contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman. For more information refer to the Commonwealth Ombudsman website.