OS-HELP reporting: correct linking of language loans

A review of the reporting of OS-HELP language loans indicated that a substantial minority of providers were not correctly reporting the link between OS-HELP language loans and OS-HELP study loans. The Department has corrected the linkages for all verified OS-HELP data received up to 31 August 2019. Providers need to ensure that any new OS-HELP language loan data reported after this date is correctly linked to OS-HELP study loan data, as per the instructions below, to maintain the quality of the dataset and avoid the invalidation of OS HELP loans.

From 2020, a new suite of data validation rules will be implemented as part of the Transforming the Collection of Student Information (TCSI). These rules are intended to give providers more timely and helpful information of potential data quality issues and more timely feedback on the use of entitlements by students.

Correctly linking OS-HELP language loans

Students that receive an OS-HELP study loan for study in Asia (E490 is "241") may also be entitled to receive an OS HELP language loan (E490 is "242"). A student can only receive an OS-HELP language loan if the student has been selected to receive an OS-HELP study loan in Asia and meets other criteria. This means that OS HELP language loans should always be linked to an OS-HELP study loan in Asia.

For students that receive a language loan, there should be at least two loan records: one for the language loan and one for the overseas study loan.

  • In the language loan record, the OS-HELP study period commencement date (E521) should be the date (x) the student starts studying their language course and the OS HELP language commencement date (E583) should be null.
  • In the overseas study loan record, the OS-HELP language commencement date (E583) for the overseas study should be the date (x).

Display of correct linking of language loans. Both the period of commencement date (E521) and the language commencement date (E583) are the same date.


This is the mechanism through which each OS-HELP language loan is linked to an OS-HELP study loan. It is unlikely that a student accepts a language loan but does not receive the study loan but this could occur, for example, if the student became unable to travel after being selected for both loans but before the debt incurral date for the overseas study loan. In this case, the provider is still required to report the OS-HELP study loan but with a payment amount (E528) of 0.00 and with a debt incurral date the same as the debt incurral date for the language loan.