How much Student Loan you could borrow

How much of each part of Student Loan you could borrow, and your lifetime limit for borrowing.

When you apply for a student loan, you choose which parts you need and how much of each part you borrow. If you don’t need the full amount, borrow less.

You have to pay back your loan, so borrow only what you need.

If you are studying full-time or limited full-time, you could get all three parts of Student Loan, borrowing for:

  • compulsory course fees
  • course-related costs
  • living costs.

You have a lifetime limit on how long you can get a student loan, depending on your type of study.

Course fees

You can usually borrow for some or all of your compulsory course fees, if you are studying more than 0.25 EFTS.

If you are studying less than 0.25 EFTS, talk to us about what you may be able to get.

You can borrow only for compulsory course fees you haven't already paid yourself or had paid for you.

If you get a training incentive allowance, we reduce how much you can borrow for your compulsory course fees by the amount of allowance you can get for these.

If you're a pilot training student, you can borrow for compulsory course fees up to $35,000 for each EFTS of your course. However, if you enrolled between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2012, you can still borrow for all your compulsory course fees to complete that qualification.

Your education provider will tell you if your student loan can’t cover all your compulsory course fees. If it can’t, you’ll have to pay the remaining fees yourself.

Course-related costs

You can usually borrow up to $1,000 a year (usually a 52 week period) for course-related costs, if you are full-time or approved limited full-time study.

You can borrow for course-related costs if you need help to buy materials or services for your course. You may need to provide evidence of these costs.

You can borrow how much you need at any time until your course finishes.

If you get a training incentive allowance for course-related costs, we reduce how much you can borrow for these costs by the amount of your allowance for these. We don’t include allowance for childcare, transport and disability-related costs in this reduction.

If you pay back your course-related costs within a year, you are not able to borrow the money again in that same year.

Living costs

You can usually borrow up to $176.86 a week for living costs, if you are full-time or approved limited full-time study.

If you can get a student allowance, you usually can't get a student loan for living costs. If you can still borrow for living costs, how much you can borrow is reduced by the amount of your student allowance after tax.

If your student loan for living costs is approved before your student allowance, you'll receive your living costs payments until you start getting your student allowance.

When your student allowance is approved, if there is a back payment due we will use it to repay the difference in your student loan living costs for the same period.

Unlike your student allowance, your student loan for living costs is not affected by any other income you earn.

However, if you do start to earn other income it's a good idea to reduce your living costs borrowing, because what you borrow you have to pay back.

Lifetime limit

You can get a student loan for study with a value of up to seven 'equivalent full-time student' or EFTS, which is about seven or eight years of full-time study. This is your lifetime limit for a student loan.

When you borrow for course fees, course-related costs or living costs, the EFTS value of that loan counts towards your lifetime limit.

You may be able to get an extension to your lifetime limit, up to 10 EFTS in some circumstances.

  • You finish a paper or course that takes you over the seven EFTS limit.
  • You have completed part of your post-graduate study – up to one additional EFTS.
  • You're a graduate-entry student studying a long undergraduate qualification in either medicine, dentistry, veterinary science or optometry -  an additional one EFTS.
  • You study for a doctorate – up to three additional EFTS, less any EFTS already used to complete post-graduate study.

If you withdraw from your course and get a full refund of your tuition fees, that course won't count towards your lifetime limit. If there is a partial refund made then generally the EFTS which have been refunded will be the EFTS that are excluded.

You can borrow for study with a value of up to two EFTS each year. Two EFTS is about two years of full-time study.

Last updated: 08 September 2016