UNE OS-Help Loan Procedure
OS‐HELP is a loan scheme provided by the Australian Government, Department of Education. OS‐HELP loans provide financial assistance to eligible students based in Australia to undertake part of their course of study overseas. In 2018, students may receive up to $6,791 for studies to non‐Asian countries and up to $8,149 for studies to Asia. An additional amount of up to $1,085 can be borrowed for Asian language study in preparation for study in Asia. You can have a maximum of two loans and no more than one per six-month study period. These loans may be used for such expenses associated with the overseas study such as airfares, accommodation, and other travelling or settling expenses.
To receive an OS-HELP loan from the University of New England (UNE), a student must:
- be an Australian citizen or the holder of a permanent humanitarian visa
- have not received an OS-HELP loan on more than one other occasion
- have not received any other OS-HELP loan for a period that overlaps or coincides with the six month period
- be enrolled in a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) – this includes undergraduate and postgraduate students
- have already completed at least one year (eight units or 48 credit points ) of full-time study in their current program and have at least one unit (minimum of 6 credit points) remaining on return from the overseas study program (the latter has reduced from a previous requirement of four units)
- have the overseas study count as credit towards their course at UNE, or be a requirement of their course, such as a practicum or clinical placement
- be enrolled in full-time study or undertaking a practicum or clinical placement full time with an overseas institution and be outside Australia while undertaking that study
- complete an online eCAF – this will be emailed to you from the Australian Government, during the processing of the OS-HELP Loan by UNE. Instructions will be sent to you by UNE and the Government to assist with completing this online form”. Note that this process now replaces the paper-based Debt Confirmation Form which is now redundant.
- be selected by the University of New England to receive an OS-HELP loan
- be approved by UNE to undertake overseas studies, practicum or clinical placement
The UNE OS-HELP Loan Application Form is accessed through AskUNE and must be completed and submitted. Please upload any documentation that is required, such as:
- Copy of approval to undertake the overseas studies, where required; or
- Proof of purchase of Asian language if claiming the language supplement (This must include the language enrolled in – screen prints are acceptable).
All students are required to submit the application to the Study Abroad and Exchange Officer in UNE International at least three months prior to travel. Delays in submitting the application could result in the loan being declined or advanced after departure. Normally, the loan will be advanced once all paperwork has been received.
The entire process can take up to two months, so please ensure you apply well before you are due to travel, as the loan must be approved and advanced to you before you return to Australia. Applications are processed in strict order of receipt, so please apply early.
AMOUNT OF ASSISTANCE GRANTED
The minimum OS-HELP loan amount that can be borrowed by a student is $1,000, with the maximum for a six month period in 2018 being $6,791 for studies to non-Asian Countries and up to $8,149 for studies to Asia. A supplement of $1,085 can be accessed if you will be undertaking Asian language study in preparation for study in Asia. Students cannot apply for two loans at the one time if studying for a full year. They need to wait until the first loan has been granted for almost six months before applying for the second. Students cannot have more than one loan within a six month period, and can only be granted two OS-HELP loans in their lifetime.
REPAYMENT OF AN OS-HELP LOAN
An OS-HELP debt will be incurred as soon as the loan is paid to the student, and must be repaid by the student even if their overseas study is not completed, or the overseas study does not occur for any reason.
OS-HELP debts are incurred as part of the student’s accumulated Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debt which includes any Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) or HECS-HELP debts recorded by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Students repay their accumulated HELP debts through the tax system once their income exceeds the minimum repayment threshold, or make voluntary repayments directly to the ATO.
CONDITIONS OF AN OS-HELP LOAN
Students must notify UNE International if circumstances change which may affect their continued eligibility of an OS-HELP loan.
If the University determines that the student is no longer eligible for an OS-HELP loan, the application will be withdrawn. If the loan has already been paid, the student will incur the debt which can only be repaid through the ATO.
If the University has reason to believe that a student who has been offered an OS-HELP loan has applied under false or misleading information, the University will immediately withdraw the student’s application. The University will then notify the Australian Government of the offence and provide them with any information they may request.
Any student requiring more information on OS-HELP loans, or any part of the application process, can contact the Coordinator, Exchange and Study Abroad in UNE International or visit the OS-HELP Loans and Overseas Study website.