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)

21 May 2014

No interest loans gives Mohamed mobility and comfort

Mohamed's prosthetic arm made it hard to study in one spot. A laptop brought through the No Interest Loan Scheme, enabled him to be more comfortable.

Read More

28 November 2016

From welding to aged care, NILS smooths Richard’s career change

Richard was studying for a career change, but the largely online course was proving challenging without his own computer.

Read More

28 April 2017 Media Release

Good Money Store in Cairns Provides Support For People On Low Incomes

More than 110,000 people in Far North Queensland could be eligible to borrow money for essential goods and services and pay no or low interest through the region’s first Good Money community finance store.

Good Money opens today on Mulgrave Road at Bungalow and provides access to the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) and the StepUP low interest loan, helping people on low incomes by offering a better alternative to the high fees that come with cash loans and expensive consumer lease contracts.

Read More

29 March 2016

A NILS loan has Tracey on course for her dream job

Read More

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

Norma, NILS client