The Government will continue the Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) loans so that eligible students do not have to pay their fees up-front. It will amend the repayment arrangements to achieve savings of $3.2 billion over four years from 2014-15.
A new minimum threshold will be established for the repayment of HELP debts, set at 90 per cent of the minimum threshold that would otherwise have applied in 2016-17. The new minimum threshold is currently estimated to be $50,638 in 2016-17. A new repayment rate of 2 per cent of repayment income will be applied to debtors with incomes above the new minimum threshold. There will be no other change to current repayment rates.
The annual indexation applied to HELP debts will be adjusted from the Consumer Price Index to a rate equivalent to the yields on 10 year bonds issued by the Australian Government, capped at 6.0 per cent per annum, from 1 June 2016.