Types of study and training support loans

A number of loans and other financial assistance programs are available to help complete further training and study.


The Australian Government’s Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) assists eligible students with their student contribution or tuition fees:

  • University and other higher education providers
  • Approved vocational education and training (VET) providers.

There are different types of HELP loans available, depending on the student’s circumstances. If you have obtained one of these loans, you will have a HELP debt.



The Student Start-up Loan (SSL) or ABSTUDY Student Start-up Loan (ABSTUDY SSL) scheme started on 1 January 2016 and replaces the previous Student Start-up Scholarship payment.

This is a voluntary loan available to eligible students in higher education who receive Youth Allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY Living Allowance. The Department of Human Services administers the payments.



Under the Trade Support Loans (TSL) programme, eligible Australian apprentices are offered loans of up to $20,000 over four years. TSL payments are administered by the Australian Apprenticeships Centres and the Department of Education and Training.



The Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS) was a voluntary loan scheme to help tertiary students cover their expenses while they studied.

This scheme closed on 31 December 2003. However, all existing SFSS debts continue to be collected through the tax system.