No Interest Loan Scheme

The No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS®) offers small loans up to $1,500 to people on low incomes to assist with purchasing essential items and services without any fees, charges or interest rates.

NILS® is available to those who hold a current Health Care Card, receive a Centrelink payment, or receive an income of less than $40,000 per year.

Loans can be used to purchase household appliances, furniture, household repairs, health/mobility items, computers, education costs and car registration.

Contact us for further information.

Phone: 03 9546 5255 or Email:

StepUP Loans – Please note that the StepUP program is no longer available.  If you are an existing StepUP client and require assistance with your loan, you can call NAB on 1800 702 599 with any queries.

What can I borrow money for?

Eligible items include:

  • Household appliances (Fridge, washing machine, TV, dryers, Aircons)
  • Household furniture
  • Car repairs and registration
  • Household repairs
  • Medical and Dental procedures, Mobility items
  • Computers/mobile phones/associated items
  • Outdoor equipment
  • Educational costs

The item must be new
Loans are not given for cash or the payment of bills.

How will I repay the loan?

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 Micro Finance Worker will discuss this with you during your interview.

Am I eligible?

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 $45,000 per annum.

NILS loans are also available for Asylum seekers case by case if they have regular income.

How do I apply for a NILS® loan?

1. 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

2. A Loan interview will be arranged

The applicant will need to gather the documents for the loan interview

3. Attend a loan application interview

  • The documentation will be checked
  • The Micro Finance 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 the assessment with the Loan Providers.

4. 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
What do I have to bring to the application interview?

Before you attend your loan interview you will need to have your supporting documents.
See the NILS loan interview checklist of documents needed for your interview.

PDF File

How do I get a quote?

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 number, details of the item/s being purchased including delivery cost.

What happens at the application interview?
The Micro Finance Worker will verify your documents and will assist you to prepare a budget and take you through the application process. Micro Finance Worker will also discuss your situation and see you are receiving your entitlements.
See the income and expenditure template, Your Money Story, to start thinking about your budget.
Outcome of application

If Your Application Is Approved

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 Micro Finance Worker may be able to provide you with information about other options including referral to a Financial Counsellor.