Os Help LoansOS-HELP is a loan that assists eligible students, who are based in Australia, to undertake some of their study overseas. Students may receive one loan per six-month study period for one or two overseas study periods. These loans will help students with a range of expenses, such as airfares and accommodation.
OS-Help Loan Policy
Who is eligible for an OS-HELP loan?There are a number of criteria that a student must be eligible for an OS-HELP loan. The main criteria is that a student must be:
- an Australian Citizen ot the holder of an Australian Permanent Humanitarian Visa;
- a Commonwealth Supported Student enrolled in an undergraduate course of study; and
- selected by Avondale College to receive an OS-HELP loan.
Students may only receive an OS-HELP loan after completing the first year of course of study (equivalent full-time) and must have half a year of study (equivalent full-time) remaining on their return to Australia.
Students undertaking their whole course of study outside of Australia are not eligible for OS-HELP.
More information about the eligibility requirements for OS-HELP is available from the Student Finance Office or the Going to Uni website www.studyassist.gov.au
Can a student receive an OS-HELP loan for overseas study shorter than six months?Yes, OS-HELP is available for study periods of less than six months but students cannot receive an OS-HELP loan more than once for a given 6 month period. Students may only receive a maximum of two OS-HELP loans over their lifetime.
How do students apply for an OS-HELP Loan?Students apply to Avondale for an OS-HELP loan. Avondale assesses the student's application against the eligibility criteria set by legislation and any other selection criteria that Avondale may set.
Is a loan fee applied to OS-HELP Loans?There is no loan fee on any OS-HELP loans received after 1 January 2010.
How are OS-HELP debts repaid?OS-HELP debts are added to a student's accumulated HELP debt (HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP). HELP debts are repaid through the tax system when the person's income exceeds the minimum repayment threshold. The repayment threshold for the 2012/2013 financial year is $49,095. People can also make voluntary repayments on their debts directly to the ATO. Voluntary repayments of $500 or more will attract a 5% bonus.
Is any interest charged on OS-HELP debts?HELP debts, which include OS-HELP debts, are indexed each year by movements in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to maintain their real value, but are otherwise interest free.
Further detailed information on OS-HELP Loans is available at www.studyassist.gov.au.