Trade Support Loans
If you are about to undertake or are undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship, a Trade Support Loan can help you pay for your everyday living expenses. For instance, you may need extra help to pay rent or bills. You may need tools for your trade or need a car or ute to help you get to work.
A Trade Support Loan is an interest-free government funded loan that is paid in monthly instalments for up to six months at a time. Your debt is indexed annually and you will get a 20 per cent discount on your debt when you have successfully completed your apprenticeship.
Are you eligible?
You may qualify for a Trade Support Loan if:
- you are an Australian citizen residing in Australia or a holder of a permanent visa;
- you are undertaking a Certificate III or IV level qualification that is specified on the TSL Qualifications List and leading to an occupation specified on the Trade Support Loans Priority List; or
- you are undertaking a Certificate II, III or IV level agricultural qualification; or
- you are undertaking a Certificate II, III or IV level horticultural qualification in rural or regional Australia (as determined by the list of eligible postcodes).
Full-time, part-time and school based apprentices and trainees can access the loan.
How much can I borrow?
You decide how much money you borrow with a Trade Support Loan. You could borrow just a small amount over a few months or receive payments over the four years of your apprenticeship, up to the lifetime limit of $21,779.
Trade Support Loan payments are made to you monthly up to these amounts, depending on your loan amount:
- $725.97 per month in year one of your apprenticeship;
- $544.48 per month in year two of your apprenticeship;
- $362.99 per month in year three of your apprenticeship;
- $181.49 per month in year four of your apprenticeship.
The loan amounts are higher in the early years of training to compensate for your lower wages.
What can I spend the loan on?
It’s your loan so you choose how to spend the money. You could use the loan to cover living expenses, buy work equipment like tools or boots, or save your payments to buy a car. Whatever you do, remember you will have to pay the money back.
How do I pay the loan back?
You will start repaying your Trade Support Loan once you have reached the compulsory repayment threshold of $47,014 (for 2021-22). Repayments are made through the income tax system (like a university HELP loan).
Payments are made in monthly instalments in arrears and Australian Apprentices apply and may then opt in every six months for a further six instalments.
If you would like to pay back your TSL loan earlier, you will need to contact the Australian Tax Office (ATO).
How do I get a Trade Support Loan?
To find out more about a Trade Support Loan, talk to your local Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Provider (e.g. BUSY At Work or the provider who signed you up to your apprenticeship).
Your provider will take you (and your parent or guardian, if you’re under 18) through the loan program in detail.
Download the Trade Support Loan Fact Sheet (PDF).
Download the Trade Support Loan Application form (PDF).
Find a qualification approved on the TSL Qualifications List.
Find out if your qualification is on the Trade Support Loan Priority List (PDF).
*THE BUSY GROUP LTD trading as BUSY At Work is a service provider contracted by the Australian Government as represented by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment to provide support services to prospective and current employers and Australian Apprentices. THE BUSY GROUP LTD is one of a number of Network Providers in Queensland and Western Australia. This website does not represent the Australian Government, if you wish to access information about the Australian Apprenticeships, from the Australian Government you should access the Australian Apprenticeships website.