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HELP Repayment Bonus Ends Soon

A bonus designed to help people clear their HELP (formerly HECS) debt faster finishes at the end of 2016, writes Adelaide accountant Todd Bond.

Formerly known as HECS, HELP stands for the Higher Education Loan Program. This is a loan scheme designed to help students pay back their educational debts.

Life can throw one debt after another at you even after you finish your studies, but you can wipe your HELP debt faster through an incentive when you make voluntary repayments.

HELP Voluntary Repayments with a Bonus

These repayments would be in addition to your compulsory payments. The benefit is that if you make a payment of $500 or more, you get a bonus of 5%. If your remaining debt is $500 or less and you completely pay it off, you'll get a 5% bonus for that, as well.

It's a good idea to make voluntary loan repayments before lodging your tax return.

Calculating Your Bonus

To find out whether making a voluntary repayment is worth the effort for you, use this calculator provided by the Australian Tax Office. Although this tool doesn't guarantee the amount you can receive, it will give you a good idea of what to expect.

You’ll need to hurry! This benefit won't last any longer than 31 December of this year. As of 1 January 2017, you no longer will get a bonus for making a voluntary repayment.

For help with your HELP debt or any other tax or accounting issue, contact us at Wallace Vroulis Bond.

- Todd Bond

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