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. Eligibility & general rules for SFSS

Note: No new financial supplement loans are available from 1 January 2004.

For existing loans, a person's loan repayment arrangements will continue unchanged. Outstanding loans will be collected via the taxation system.

Each year outstanding SFSS loans are indexed, which means any outstanding SFSS loan is likely to grow over time.

The following SFSS guideline references remain for historical purpose.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the SFSS tertiary students must meet the criteria for either:

Policy reference: SS Guide SFSS for category 1 students


The individual circumstances of each student affects the total amount that a student can receive from the financial supplement in a given calendar year. Students in both category 1 and category 2 receive a minimum of $500 in a calendar year. They can receive up to the following maximum amounts:

  • $7,000 for category 1 students, and
  • $2,000 for category 2 students.

Act reference: SSAct Chapter 2B Student Financial Supplement Scheme

Policy reference: SS Guide Cut-off dates for SFSS, Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS) - description

Cooling off period

All SFSS loans lodged with the CBA from 1 January 1999 are subject to a 14-day cooling off period that allows the student to give written notice to the CBA that they are withdrawing their application. The cooling off period starts from the day the CBA accepts the application and agreement form.

The student must not receive payments during the cooling off period. If a payment is made and the student repays it within 7 days it is deemed to have NOT been made.

Students may waive their right to a cooling off period by giving written notice to the CBA immediately after the CBA accepts the application and agreement form.

Cancellation period

A student who has applied to the CBA for a financial supplement loan and has not received any instalments may cancel their application, PROVIDED they advise the CBA in writing before the date the first instalment is due.

If a payment is made before the cancellation request can be processed, the student must repay the amount and YA, Austudy or PES is backdated.

Cancellation period rules apply irrespective of the acceptance or waiver of the 14-day cooling off period.

CPI adjustment of the financial supplement

On 1 June of each calendar year following the year the financial supplement was paid, the amount of the outstanding debt increases by an amount derived from the following calculation:

  • (previous amount outstanding multiplied by indexation factor) minus (actual repayments plus discounts).

The indexation factor is based on movements in the CPI, and is applied to the outstanding loan each year to keep pace with changes in cost of living.

Notices to students

At the beginning of June each year the Commonwealth will provide students with a notice showing details for each financial supplement loan application in previous years. The statement will include:

  • the amount paid to the student under the SFSS
  • repayments made by the student
  • discounts applied to the repayments
  • the CPI adjustments
  • the outstanding debt as at 1 June, and
  • the amount the student would have to repay if they wish to repay the outstanding debt before 31 May of the following year.

The CBA also provides students with a statement each year. This statement is provided in January and shows all transactions relating to the student's CBA loan account. It does NOT show:

  • the discounts applied to early repayments, or
  • CPI adjustments.

Payment to dependent students

Dependent YA category 1 and 2 students who are under 18 years of age will usually have their financial supplement instalments paid to:

  • their parent (if the student has only one living parent), or
  • the parent nominated in writing by the student (if the student has more than one living parent).

Parents may elect to have financial supplement instalments paid direct to the student. Instalments may also be paid to a nominee on behalf of the student.

When the student turns 18 years of age, financial supplement instalments will be paid direct to the student. This approach is consistent with payment of YA to parents of students under 18 years of age.

Act reference: SSAct Chapter 2B Student Financial Supplement Scheme

Policy reference: SS Guide Payments to a third party, Continuation or variation of the financial supplement

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