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Educational expenses loans

Written by

Shaun McGowan

Education loans are a type of personal loan you can use if you need help financing your studies.

You can use the money to pay for books, tuition, and even living costs!

Before you apply for an education loan, see if you qualify for any government assistance - we’ll cover these in the sections below.

Why do I need a loan for my education?

Although education loans shouldn’t be your first stop for finance, there’s a reason they exist.

  • Firstly, depending on the course you take, your tuition fees can be extremely high.
  • Secondly, intensive full-time study makes it hard to hold down a job and earn a solid income.
  • Lastly, not everyone qualifies for government assistance.

While education loans aren’t for everyone, they can be a financial lifeline to a number of students who just need a little helping hand to finish their studies.

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What can I use the money for?

You can use the money for anything related to your studies.

Most students use education loans to pay for things like:

  • Admission fees
  • Course costs and fees
  • Textbooks, laptops, course-related purchases
  • Accommodation and living costs
  • Travel costs
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Can I get help from the Government?

Before you apply, have a look at some of the government assistance options below.

Government educational expenses loans

The government offers a number of different interest-free loan schemes for eligible students enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place at university.

There are loans that can be used for both tuition fees and living costs, including OS-HELP, which can be used to fund overseas study.

  • Tuition loans charge a 25% one-off fee for each course funded
  • Loan limit of $106,319 to $152,700 depending on your area of study
  • You won’t have to make repayments until you’re earning a minimum of $51,957

Government student assistance

Government assistance programs are available for eligible students, offering regular cash payments that do not have to be repaid.

These include living costs payments and special benefits for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and apprentices.

Visit to find out if you’re eligible and apply.


Most universities offer scholarships that can cover part or all of your study costs.

These are usually available for students in their first year of study right through to the postgraduate level.

To find out more about scholarships available to you, contact your education provider.

How to choose an education loan

Just like your studies, choosing a loan is a major life decision.

When you’re comparing your options, you’ll want to look at more than just how much you can borrow.

This includes:

  • Interest rates - how much extra you’ll pay on the amount you’ll borrow
  • Fees - ongoing charges you can usually avoid!
  • Loan term - a short loan has higher repayments, a longer loan charges more interest
  • Features - things like early repayments, redraw facilities, and discounts for students.

Some education loans have useful features that may help save you money, or make paying them off easier.

  • Weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments to suit your pay cycle
  • No-fee extra payments so you can repay your loan sooner without getting charged

Take your time comparing offers to find one that suits your best.

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How to qualify and apply for an education loan

You can apply for an education expenses loan in Australia if you are:

  • Over the age of 18; and
  • An Australian citizen or permanent resident; and
  • Employed or have a regular source of income over $25,000 per year

If you meet the basic eligibility for a loan, you will then need to compare lenders and assess their individual approval criteria.

To get an education expenses loan you will need to:

The most important factor when gaining approval is to demonstrate your ability to meet the repayment schedule over the term of the loan.

If you take our quiz and find a lender you want to apply with, you will be directed to the lender’s website and need to supply all documentation as you normally would when applying for an educational expenses loan, which may include:

  • Proof of identity — e.g. passport or driver licence
  • Proof of income — e.g. payslips, bank statements
  • Details of any current debts or other loans
How to qualify for a loan in Australia

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Here are the most popular questions people are asking about education loans

Yes, education loans are available to international students, provided they reside in Australia and have a source of income.

The cost of your education loan will depend entirely on how much you borrow, how long you take to repay it and the loan’s interest rate and fees.

You may be able to get an educational loan if you have bad credit but you may be charged higher interest rates and fees. You may be more likely to be approved by a lender who specialises in bad credit loans.

Yes, if you meet the lender’s minimum credit criteria you should be able to get an educational expenses loan even if you’re already getting government assistance.

The right education loan can save you $1,000s


About the Author

Shaun McGowan from



Shaun McGowan

Shaun is the founder of and is determined to help people pay as little as possible for financial products. Through education and building world class technology. Previously Shaun co-founded and Lend.

*Information about comparison rates Comparison rates are designed to allow borrowers to understand the true cost of a loan by taking into account fees and charges, the loan amount and the term of the loan. The comparison rate is based on an unsecured fixed rate personal loan of $10,000 over 3 years. WARNING: Comparison rates are true only for the examples provided and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.