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The vocational education and training (VET FEE-HELP) scheme was a student loans scheme where many students were convinced to enrol in the scheme by door-to-door sales people or shopping mall spruikers.

Some students were given the mistaken impression the courses and laptops were free, but later discovered they had unknowingly signed-up to expensive loans. Some students found out about their debts from the Australian Taxation Office after lodging tax returns.

Help is available

If you accepted a 'free' laptop to sign-up to a VET FEE-HELP funded training course, you may have a huge student debt and not know it. Check your MyGov account to see if you have an outstanding student loan.

If you are a low-income earner and feel you were taken advantage of or pressured when signing up to your VET FEE-HELP course, you can make a complaint.

The Department of Education Skills and Employment can tell you how to find out more about your VET FEE-HELP loan and what you owe. Remember, the debt can affect your credit rating.

If you signed up for a VET FEE-HELP loan or laptop after someone came to your door, called you on the phone or spoke to you in the shopping centre, this may have been an unsolicited consumer agreement. Contact Consumer Protection on 1300 304 054 for more information on your rights or to get a Do Not Knock sticker for your home.

Finding the right course and training provider

Do your homework before enrolling in any study course. It’s a big decision, so shop around to find the right course for you. Check official government websites such as the federal Department of Education, Skills and Employment to see whether a training provider is registered to provide a certain course and what student loan assistance you are really entitled to.

For your own reassurance it is important to make sure you choose a registered training provider – the My Skills website can help you. The training providers listed on My Skills are all qualified to deliver trade or skill specific training, starting from Certificate II to advanced diplomas.

If you need assistance with tuition fees, Study Assist has further information about VET student loans.

Need to make a complaint about VET FEE-HELP?

If you have a complaint regarding a VET FEE-HELP or student loan, visit the Commonwealth Ombudsman's VET Student loans page.

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