Transfer of historical loan records for VET students

Information for VET students seeing historical loan amounts now appearing on their ATO record.

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Background

In early August 2022, some historical VET FEE-HELP (VFH) and VET Student Loan (VSL) loan records unexpectedly transferred to students’ Australian Taxation Office (ATO) accounts. The department notified all students and training providers affected by this issue in September 2022 and November 2022 and investigated avenues to address any unintended outcomes for students as a matter of priority.

In November 2022, the department also announced that it identified further historical student loan records that are still pending in its IT systems. These loan records are in the process of being transferred to students’ ATO accounts. The vast majority of these loans relate to study undertaken in 2021 and the department is contacting students directly as these loans are transferred to their ATO accounts.

Due to the delayed transfer, all historical indexation on affected loans will be waived for the period the loan did not appear on students’ ATO accounts. Also, affected loans for study prior to 2017 will be waived.

Next steps

The department has transferred most of these loan records to students’ ATO accounts and has contacted those students.

The department is continuing to remediate a small number of historical loan records in its IT systems.

Students are not required to do anything now.

As these loan records are transferred to the ATO, the department will notify all students via email, letter and SMS, and will notify training providers via email.

If you have further concerns, please contact the VET Student Loans Team via the student enquiry form below.

Information and support measures for affected VET students

The Government has agreed to support measures to assist affected VET students. The support and next steps will vary depending on how different students are affected by the historical loans issue.

Historical indexation will be waived for affected students

The Government has already waived historical indexation for students whose affected loan records transferred to the ATO in August 2022. Students’ ATO accounts have been updated to reflect the waiver and students have been individually contacted. The next indexation amount was applied to these loans on 1 June 2023.

In addition, historical indexation will be waived for students whose affected loan records are transferred to the ATO from June 2023 onwards. This waiver will be applied in the coming months. The next indexation amount will not be applied to these loans until 1 June 2024.

Debts waived for affected pre-2017 VET students

The debts for affected loans issued before 2017 will be waived, including any indexation and loan fees. This recognises the age and extended delay in identifying these affected VFH records, and potential difficulty for these students to meet evidentiary requirements to access assistance. Students’ ATO loan accounts will be updated as required, to reflect the waiver of debts for the affected loan records.

Repaying your loan

Repayments on your loan amounts will only commence once you reach the income threshold ($51,550 for 2023-24). Further information about repayments is at Study and training support loans on the Australian Taxation Office website.

What to do if you are facing hardship

If you have reached the income threshold to begin repaying your loan and believe that making your repayments would cause you serious hardship, or there are other special reasons that make it fair and reasonable to defer making your compulsory repayment, you can apply for a deferral to the ATO. Further information is at Defer or amend your compulsory repayment or overseas levy on the Australian Taxation Office website.

Checking your ATO loan account

For more information about your ATO loan accounts and how to manage them, please refer to:

No action required from students

The department will contact students individually, as the affected loans are transferred to their ATO accounts, to provide further details about the next steps and support measures available.

The department will continue to work with the Department of Education to ensure past and present tertiary education students affected by historical loan delays are treated equitability.

Please continue to check this website for the latest advice.

Independent Review

The department commissioned an independent review of the causes of this issue. The department supports the review’s 11 recommendations.

The Government has committed $42.2 million in the 2023-24 Budget to build a modern fit-for-purpose IT system to support the administration of the VSL program and to address the recommendations of the independent review.

Student Enquiry form

VET Student Loans student enquiry form privacy statement

Personal information

Your personal information is protected by law, including under the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act).

Personal information is information or an opinion about an identifiable individual. Personal information includes an individual’s name and contact details.

Purpose of collecting your information

We will use the information you have provided to handle your enquiry.

We may need to collect further information from you in order to handle your enquiry. If you do not provide this information to the department, it may affect how we handle your enquiry. In some circumstances, it may mean we are not able to handle your enquiry.

Disclosure of your personal information

Your personal information may be disclosed to other parties where it is necessary to handle your enquiry, where you have agreed, or where it is otherwise permitted under law (including the Privacy Act).

Privacy policy

The department’s Privacy Policy, including information about how to make a complaint and access to and correction of your personal information, can be found at Privacy or by requesting a copy from the department at privacy@dewr.gov.au.

To contact the department about your personal information email privacy@dewr.gov.au.

Contacting the department

If you have any further queries about this matter, please contact the VET Student Loans Team via the student enquiry form.