The No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) offers small loans up to $2,000 to people on low incomes to assist with purchasing essential items and services without any fees, charges or interest rates repayable over up to 2 years.
NILS is available to those who hold a current Health Care Card, receive a Centrelink payment, or receive an income of less than $70,000 per year (or $100,000 for couples or people with dependents).
If you have experienced family or domestic violence in the past 10 years, you may be eligible for NILS.
Loans can be used to purchase household appliances, furniture, household repairs, health/mobility items, computers, bonds or rent in advance, education costs, and car registration.
In addition, loans are available up to $3,000 for costs associated with a natural disaster.
The NILS program is offered in partnership with Good Shepherd and funded by the Australian Government.
Frequently Asked Questions
Eligible items include
- Household appliances (fridge, washing machine, TV, dryers, airconditioners)
- Household furniture
- Car repairs and registration
- Household repairs
- Medical and dental procedures, mobility items
- Computers, mobile phones and associated items
- Outdoor equipment
- Educational costs
- Bond or rent in advance
The item must be new and loans are not given for cash or the payment of bills.
Loans are repaid over 12 to 18 months. Repayment depends on the loan amount and it could be from $25 to $57 per fortnight.
There are two or three options available for ways in which loans can be repaid. Your microfinance worker will discuss this with you during your interview.
To be eligible for a NILS loan you have at least one of the following:
- Lived at your present address for approximately three months (exceptions can be applied in certain cases)
- A current Health Care Card or Pension Card
- A low income less than $57,000 per annum for singles or $75,000 for couples or people with dependents
- NILS loans are also available for Asylum seekers case by case if they have regular income.
- Make an enquiry (in person or by phone)
- The No Interest Loan Scheme will be explained
- Eligibility needs to be confirmed
- The application process will be explained
- An information pack including documents needed for the loan interview will be provided
- A loan interview will be arranged
- The applicant will need to gather the documents for the loan interview
- Attend a loan application interview
- The documentation will be checked
- The microfinance worker will assist in preparing the budget
- Loan application form is prepared
- The applicants will need to sign the NILS loan agreement with South East Community Links and agree with the terms and conditions of the NILS loan before it is submitted for assessment with the Loan Providers.
- Application will be submitted to the Loan Provider
- Loan Providers assess the application
- If needed, additional information may be requested
- Applicant is notified of the outcome of the assessment
- If successful, payment for the loan item/s will be directly paid to the service provider
Before you attend your loan interview you will need to have your supporting documents which include
- Centrelink “Income” and “Deduction” statements (Should be less than two weeks old) or pay slips (two most recent pay slips)
- Centrelink Health Care card/Pension card
- Driver’s license
- Rental statement or lease agreement with evidence of up–to-date rental payment. If you are not on the lease agreement, get a statutory declaration or a letter from the person to whom you pay the boarding with clear information on how much you pay towards rent and utilities and how long you have lived at that address
- Most recent gas, electricity, water and telephone bills and evidence of payments
- Last 90 days bank statement of all your accounts which includes credit cards and other loans if any
- A quote for the item you intend to buy (should have name of the supplier, ABN, price, make, model number, delivery cost, warranty and any other relevant information)
You will need to find the item you wish to purchase and ask the supplier for a written quote which shows: the name and contact details of the supplier; ABN, details of the item/s being purchased including delivery cost.
You will be notified of the outcome of the loan application within a few days. Depending on your quote, you can either pick up the item from the store or can ask the dealer to deliver the item to your home.
If your application is not approved, you will be notified as to the reason why your loan was not approved. The microfinance worker may be able to provide you with information about other options including a referral to a financial counsellor.