Tax time for some students may reveal nasty surprises: VET FEE-HELP Student Redress Measures

Students who were subjected to inappropriate conduct by their education provider may have accumulated a VET FEE-HELP loan debt which they don’t even know they have until they start their first job, and/or their income exceeds the repayment threshold, which for the 2019-20 income year is $45,881.

On 1 January 2019, the VET FEE-HELP Student Redress Measures came into effect. The new measures provide a remedy for students who incurred a debt under the VET FEE-HELP scheme due to the inappropriate conduct of their education provider, by removing all or part of a VET FEE-HELP debt.

Who can apply to have their VET FEE-HELP debt cancelled?

If you incurred a VET FEE-HELP debt because of inappropriate conduct by an education provider, you can make a complaint to the VET Student Loan Ombudsman and they will assess it under these measures. Please note that VET Student Loans debts will not be considered under these measures.

How to apply to have your debt cancelled under the new measures

If you want to apply to have your debt cancelled, you need to make a complaint to the VET Student Loan Ombudsman. You can make a complaint by filling out their online complaint form. They will then assess and investigate your complaint and recommend that the Department of Education, Skills and Employment remove your debt in full or in part, or not to remove the debt.

Applications under the redress measures need to be made to the VET Student Loan Ombudsman by 31 December 2020.

What is ‘inappropriate conduct’?

Under the redress measures, ‘inappropriate conduct’ includes:

  • being offered an incentive (such as a laptop) to enrol even though the person had no intention of completing the course
  • failing to provide accurate information about the course before the person enrolled, leading to the person enrolling in a course that wasn’t suitable and was different to what they believed
  • not withdrawing a student’s enrolment when asked to do so by the student, leading them to incur a VET FEE-HELP debt.

 

Where can I go to get more information?

Please read the factsheet about the VET FEE-HELP Student Redress Measures, which can be downloaded from the VET Student Loan Ombudsman’s website here.