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Schools - Frequently Asked Questions

Edstart provides customised payment plans for families to help manage the cost of private school fees.

We were founded by a passionate team of Australian education and finance specialists who believe in the power of education and are committed to building a solution to support access to learning.

Edstart issues credit directly to customers as a balance-sheet lender. We hold an Australian Credit Licence with the authority to act as an independent lending entity.

The underlying capital is provided by a range of private and institutional funders who have chosen to invest in Edstart to support educational access for families.

Yes. Edstart Australia Pty Ltd maintains full compliance with all regulatory requirements and holds Australian Credit Licence number 485096.

If Edstart were to cease operating, the most likely outcome is that the existing customer base will continue to be serviced by an alternative manager. Edstart’s legal and financial structure has been designed to allow this transition to occur seamlessly.

In the worst-case scenario where ongoing operations are not possible, it is likely that Edstart customers would receive a windfall gain - all their current school fee invoices would have been paid to the school, but they would not be required to continue making payments to Edstart (if Edstart no longer existed).

Given that all school fee invoices are paid in advance to the school by Edstart, schools would also be no worse off under this worst-case scenario. Schools would receive advance notice that any future-dated invoices would no longer be able to be funded by Edstart and therefore the school would simply revert to the same position prior to having Edstart available as a payment alternative.

A large number of non-government schools are receiving payments directly from Edstart and/or referring their parents to Edstart as a payment option. Edstart can work with all independent and Catholic schools in Australia.

Yes, Edstart can fund any fees included on the school invoice which may include: tuition fees, boarding costs, extracurricular fees, textbooks, uniforms, sporting activities and voluntary donations etc. We will also fund any overdue or carry-forward balances.

Edstart can also fund fees for any education-related costs which may be billed by a third-party, including private tuition, travel or other extracurricular costs.

The school will be paid up-front and in full for each billing cycle. For example, if invoices are typically issued at the start of each term, each school invoice will be paid prior to the due date for each term’s invoice. Yes, Edstart can fund any arrears or outstanding school fee balances for current or past students. In this scenario, the arrears balance would be paid in full to the school as soon as the family opens an account with Edstart. Yes, Edstart will pass any early payment discounts on to families in full. For each family Edstart will calculate the most cost-efficient method to pay the school and pass the full benefit through to families in all cases.

For Edstart Pay there is no interest charge. A 3% transaction fee is the only cost that applies.

For Edstart Extend, an interest rate is charged on the balance carried in the Edstart Account over time.

For unsecured Edstart Extend accounts, the interest rates range from 7.90% to 12.90% per annum. The rate is set based on the applicant’s credit profile. This is lower than the average interest rate for unsecured loans issued by Australian banks, and significantly lower than the average interest rates charged on credit cards.

For families who prefer a secured account, the relevant interest rates are commensurate with typical mortgage loans.

Since Edstart issues continuing credit contracts, it is not possible to calculate a comparison rate for Edstart products.

The only other applicable fee is a transaction fee of 3% which is charged on payments made to a school on behalf of a family.

There are no monthly fees, no account fees, no statement fees and no fees for changing the terms of the Edstart account (including changing the payment amount or paying out the account early).

Edstart is designed to be much more flexible than a traditional payment plan provider in relation to missed payment issues. This is because every Edstart customer receives a flexible line of credit account rather than a fixed payment plan.

Any customer’s temporary cash flow issues can be easily accommodated by providing an alternative payment date, a new payment cycle or a payment holiday as may be required. There are no fees or charges for implementing these changes.

All collections are handled internally by Edstart’s Sydney-based team. We do not outsource collection processes to any third party collection agency. Any missed payments are followed up via phone and we work with the customer to reschedule the payment or modify the payment schedule to meet each family’s needs.

Where a family enters into a genuine financial hardship position, there will be scenarios where Edstart cannot recover the outstanding account balance. In these circumstances, Edstart will typically write-off the balance and absorb this loss from the provision fund we have set aside for this purpose.

There are several major differences between Edstart and a typical payment provider:

  1. Edstart pays school fees upfront to the school. Each invoice is paid upfront and in full prior to the due date. Families can then make payments to Edstart on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly cycle.
  2. Edstart allows families to extend school fee payment up to five years after their youngest child completes Year 12. This means that families can significantly reduce their total annual cash outflow on school fees by extending over a longer period.
  3. Edstart has lower costs than equivalent alternatives.
  4. Edstart is a local and specialised provider. We only fund education costs and our team are all based in Australia.

Have another question?

Gillian Ogilvie

Head of Sales

Phone: +61 432 998 802
Email: gillian.ogilvie@edstart.com.au