**NOTE: The HECS repayment schemes discussed below have since been updated, and so the advice contained in this post is out-of-date. However Amelia worked hard on this so it’s still here for your reading enjoyment!**
Hi everyone, today I wanted to share with you the incentive schemes in place for paying your student fees up front as well as making voluntary repayments on your HECS debt. Now, your student debt may not be a priority by any means. You probably have other living expenses to focus on and maybe other forms of debt like a credit card or even a mortgage. Or maybe you’re building up your savings to buy a car or travel overseas. Everyone’s circumstances are different, but it’s always good to know what options are out there.
So what’s the deal? Currently, if you pay your university fees upfront (by census date, after which it gets converted to HECS debt), you get a 10% discount, and if you make voluntary repayments of at least $500, you get a 5% discount. Now, this may or may not be phased out in the near future, it’s up to the Government, so you will have to keep an eye out for any changes to this. But for now, it’s still here.
There is also the option of making voluntary repayments on your HECS debt (which you can also do via myGov) and getting a 5% discount. In order to get the discount, your repayments have to be at least $500. This may be a more manageable option, and is of course useful if you’ve finished uni and want to try and get your HECS down more quickly.
I recommend signing up for the myGov website too, because you can access your HECS balance and make repayments through it. You can also use myGov for lodging tax returns as well as accessing your Centrelink information, amongst many other things.
If you want some more information about these discounts, you can contact the Australian Tax Office (ATO). You can also contact the finance department at FedUni in relation to the upfront payment discount.
Ultimately, it’s down to your personal preferences and situation as to what you should do with your money, but here’s an extra option to consider.
Until next time,