The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. Student start-up loan (SSL) - description

Objective of the SSL

The SSL aims to increase participation in higher education by assisting students with the costs of commencing study, including the purchase of text books, computers and internet access.

The SSL is a Government-provided loan to qualifying students that is required to be paid back. Each year the amount of the loan will increase due to indexation.

How the SSL is paid

A student can receive up to 2 SSLs per calendar year for the duration of their course, while they continue to qualify and apply for the loan.

How is the SSL repaid

The SSL is repayable under the same arrangements as HELP debts. This means that while the loans are interest free, they are subject to indexation. Similar to interest, indexation is applied to keep up with changes in cost of living. This means the SSL is likely to grow and the amount a student repays in total will be more than the original amount of the loan.

Students will be required to begin repaying their loan once their earnings are above the repayment threshold. For further details on the repayment threshold, go to Study and training loan repayment thresholds and rates.

Students should think about how having this loan will affect them in the long term before they apply, as having a SSL may affect access to bank and home loans.

Background to the SSL

The SSL commenced on 1 January 2016, replacing the student start-up scholarship.

Act reference: SSAct Chapter 2AA Student start-up loans

Social Security (Approved Scholarship Courses) Determination 2020

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.8.19 SSL - qualification & payability, SSL - current rate, 6.9 SSL repayment arrangements

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