No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS)

No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS)

For many people on low incomes, paying for essential goods and services is a struggle, and the effects of going without can be huge.

Without a fridge you can’t store fresh food, without a computer kids can be left behind at school, and if you can’t afford the pre-apprenticeship course, education can stall before it even begins.

The No Interest Loan Scheme offers people on low incomes safe, fair and affordable loans for fridges, washing machines and furniture, as well as education and medical expenses.

Loans up to $1,500 are available from 178 community organisation at 628 locations across Australia.

NILS also provides a safe and affordable alternative to the high cost finance options such as payday loans or ‘rent to buy’, products which promise ‘fast cash’ but often compound a person’s financial situation.

To be eligible for NILS you must have a healthcare or pension card, earn under $45,000, have lived in your current residence for three months, and have a willingness and capacity to repay the loan. There are no credit checks.

NILS is a leading example of Circular Community Credit. When a borrower makes a repayment, those funds then become available to someone else in the community. Clients recognise that repaying their loan means someone else is given the same opportunity they were – consequently, the repayment rate is constantly 95 to 97 per cent.

NILS reflects Good Shepherd Microfinance’s focus on improving opportunities for women and girls, with women representing 67 per cent of NILS clients. And our commitment to reconciliation and closing the gap is highlighted by the 22 per cent of clients that identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people.

Research shows that four out of five NILS clients are moving away from crisis and hardship towards stability and resilience – achieving economic mobility. In addition, four out of five clients who have used payday lenders in the past have stopped using them since accessing NILS.

NILS is supported by the Australian Government as part of its five year, $33.3 million investment in microfinance, and our long standing corporate partner, the National Australia Bank.

of clients live in single parent families with dependents

of clients live in single parent families with dependents

of clients identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people

of clients identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people

of loan recipients were women

of loan recipients were women

of loans are fully repaid

of loans are fully repaid

average loan amount

average loan amount

dedicated microfinance workers & volunteers

dedicated microfinance workers & volunteers

locations across Australia

locations across Australia

people reached

people reached

Latest News from No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS)

25 May 2017

Extra relief for Cyclone Debbie victims

As the clean-up from Cyclone Debbie continues, new financial support is on offer to people on low incomes who are still dealing with the aftermath of the devastating storm.
A one-off $400 subsidy is being made available to new or current No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) clients who need to replace household appliances or whitegoods.

Read More

14 August 2015 Media Release

Community finance store offers affordable finance in South Australia

The Good Money store, an initiative backed by the South Australian Government, Good Shepherd Microfinance and NAB, will offer an alternative to high cost payday lenders and rent-to-buy schemes for people living on low incomes.

Read More

15 January 2016

The No Interest Loan Scheme enabled Jaymee to set up a home

Jaymee had the chance to move into her own place with her two year old son, but she didn’t have everything she needed. Karen and the team at Good Money offered a solution.

Read More

31 March 2015 Media Release

Payday lenders need to take urgent action to protect clients

Good Shepherd Microfinance has called on lenders to establish a new “responsible referral framework” which would see payday lenders refer people on low incomes to the No Interest Loan Scheme.

Read More

When I was successful in getting a loan, it picked me up. I felt I was in control again.

Norma, NILS client