Tanya, mum of three and grandma to many.
Tanya took out a NILS loan "many, many, moons ago," when her son was just one and she was pregnant with her second child. She was only 19, and needed money for a washing machine.
Tanya found out about NILS Cockatoo through a pamphlet at a Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
“Thank god for NILS loans, if it weren’t for them I wouldn’t have anything,” says Tanya. “I wouldn’t have a washing machine, my bed or a couch.”
“There is no interest. It is awesome… I can’t use a better word for it! NILS is just so amazing, it’s not funny.”
“The experience is easy; you sit down and have a talk to one of the ladies. They are the nicest people you could meet. They don’t look down at you; they treat you with respect.”
For Tanya, the difference between her positive involvement with NILS and her experience with a rental company could not be starker.
When she and her partner of 28 years recently split up, he took most of their furniture and appliances. Tanya wanted to take out a NILS loan to purchase some furniture, but was already paying back a loan so couldn’t take out another one simultaneously.
“So I did something stupid. I went through a rental company – and now I’m stuck with them for four years! I’m in a really bad place,” she says.
Like many others in similar situations, Tanya didn’t fully understand what she was signing up for. She thought she was renting a TV and surround sound system for a couple of years, but hadn’t realised the conditions.
She has now found that she’s on a four-year contract, and the only way she can get out of it is to pay 95 per cent of what the goods are worth upfront, or agree to lower repayments over longer period of time.
“It is costing me $70 a fortnight for four years, which is way more than I was expecting. I’m too scared to work out what the total interest repayments are. I tried to get out of the contract, but they wouldn’t let me,” says Tanya.
“I could kick myself for going to them. But at the time I was on my own and I had nothing. Now I’m now in a big hole that I can’t get out of.”
Tanya says this is not the first she’s had difficulty with finance companies.
“One repossessed my car while I was having heart surgery because I couldn’t make the repayments. It was nearly paid off, but they took it anyway.”
For Tanya, NILS represents a simple, no stress option that has changed her life.
“NILS is so different to those other companies. I’ve got everyone into it, everyone I talk to. There’s no interest, you are paying back only what you borrow. My daughter just got me a washing machine and a dryer through NILS.”
“I’ve had loans to get my car repaired and replace the tyres. It has helped me immensely. If I didn’t have the NILS loans, I wouldn’t have a car. It would be unregistered and un-road worthy.”
“I want to tell everyone that taking out a NILS loan is the best move you could ever do. There is no worrying or stress. I love it,” Tanya says.
Find out more about NILS
The No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) provides individuals and families on a low income access to safe, fair and affordable credit. Maximum loan amounts may vary, but credit can start from $300 up to $1200 for essential goods and services. Once the application is approved, repayments are set up at an affordable amount over a 12 to 18 months period. With NILS, no credit checks are made as this is a program based on trust and respect. To find out more, call 13 NILS (13 6457).