What is NILS? The No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS®) provides interest-free loans for individuals or families on low income. It’s a community-based program that enables people to access fair, safe and equitable credit for the purchase of goods and services. The service is administered nationally by Good Shepherd Youth and Family Service with the support of the National Australia Bank.
How does it work? When a borrower makes a repayment to a NILS program, funds are then available as a loan for someone else in the community. This is called “circular community credit” and is a real demonstration of the community in action.
What are the loans for? NILS is generally for the purchase of essential household items like a fridge, washing machine, TV, bed or clothes dryer. NILS may also be provided to meet other essential needs like health aids or education costs. NILS is not for emergency relief, bond or rent money, living expenses or debt repayment.
Who is eligible? NILS has limited funds so you must have a health care card or pension card and be of genuinely low income. NILS is run by local community groups, who try to provide loans to as many people as possible.
How much can be borrowed? It varies, but usually between $800 to $1,200 and the repayment period is usually around 12 to 18 months.
How to apply for NILS? Contact your local NILS program, listed below, to find out if you are eligible.
If you are eligible you will need to attend a loan interview. After that your application is assessed by the NILS program.