VET Student Loans and VET FEE-HELP Complaints

Due to a large number of complaints the Commonwealth Ombudsman has received in relation to the VET FEE-HELP scheme and VET Student Loans program, it is taking some time to progress individual matters. One of our officers will aim to contact you within eight (8) weeks of submitting your complaint. If you have not heard from the Ombudsman’s Office after eight weeks, please send an email to

You may have heard that the Australian Government has announced new legislation that, if passed, will allow the Secretary of the Department of Education and Training (DET) to cancel VET FEE-HELP debts that were incurred inappropriately from 1 January 2019, following a recommendation from the Commonwealth Ombudsman. To read more about this process please click here.

If you haven’t complained to your provider, you need to do this first.

Where possible, you should first approach your provider with your complaint. You can contact our Office if you are still dissatisfied at the end of the provider’s complaint process.

If your provider has closed and you are unable to follow their internal complaints process, you can read our fact sheet ‘What to do if your provider closes’ which explains the available options.

If you were unaware you had a VET student loan debt, we suggest following these steps:

  1. Find your Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN)
    • If you know your provider and they are open, you should first call them to find out your CHESSN
    • If you do not know your provider or your provider has closed, you can contact the Department of Education and Training’s Student Enquiry line on 1800 020 108 to request your CHESSN.
  2. Once you have your CHESSN, find out the identity of your provider and loan amount by going to the myUniAssist website
  3. Lodge your complaint with our Office by completing the Online Complaint Form, quoting your CHESSN as well as the information outlined below.
  4. If you have already lodged a complaint with our Office, email the details about your provider and loan amount to

To assist us in considering your complaint, please be ready to provide the following information:

  • your full name and date of birth
  • any previous names you have used
  • your address, at the time you undertook your study
  • your current address
  • your debt amount, if known
  • your Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN), if known
  • Commonwealth Assistance Form (CAF) or Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) for your studies
  • any letter of offer, enrolment letters or emails from the provider
  • any cancellation or withdrawal letters or emails from the provider
  • any other correspondence with your provider that you think is related to your complaint
  • the outcome you are seeking by approaching our Office.