By Tanya, mum of three and grandma to many
My first NILS loan was many, many, moons ago, when my son was a year old and I was pregnant with my daughter. I was only 19, and needed money for a washing machine.
I found out about it through a pamphlet at a Citizen’s Advice Bureau, and went through NILS Cockatoo. I’ve known Sue at NILS Cockatoo for a while and gone for a fair few loans through them.
Thank god for the NILS loans, if it weren’t for them I wouldn’t have anything. I wouldn’t have a washing machine, my bed or a couch. There is no interest, it’s 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.
Recently I split up from my partner of 28 years. When my ex left, he took everything. I couldn’t go back to NILS because I was already paying back a loan and you can’t take two out at once.
So I did something stupid. I went through one of the payday lenders – and now I’m stuck with them for four years! I’m in a really bad place.
I thought I was renting a TV and surround sound system for a couple of years, but I hadn’t realised the conditions. 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. You can’t get out of it unless you pay 95 per cent of what the goods are worth upfront – and then you don’t get the goods anyway, they take them. Either that or lower repayments over longer period of time. It is supposed to be rent, try, buy, but you are stuck there for four years.
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.
My health isn’t very good, I had open-heart surgery a few years ago and I’m on heart medication. It is only $7 a month - I can’t even afford that. I ended up in hospital just before Christmas because of not taking medication.
I’ve had other bad experiences with payday lenders. One repossessed my car while I was in surgery because I couldn’t make the repayments. It was nearly paid off, but they took it anyway.
NILS is so different to payday lenders. 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.