For most people, finding spare cash right after Christmas would be tricky, but for 33‑year‑old Victorian mum Tracey Challis, the prospect of finding $1200 to send her eight-year-old son back-to-school seemed impossible.
“School books and uniforms alone are nearly $500, but once you add in an iPad, it’s almost $1200 in total,” Ms Challis said.
“As a single parent, it’s difficult to find that kind of money at the best of times, let alone at the beginning of the year.”
Thanks to a No Interest Loan (NILS) through not-for-profit Good Shepherd, Ms Challis will be able to purchase everything on the back-to-school list.
“I’ve had No Interest Loans before to buy a fridge and a washing machine, so I decided to apply for one to cover the back-to- school expenses,” she said.
“It means my son can start the school year with everything he needs, and I have the peace of mind that the repayments are manageable and affordable.”
Good Shepherd CEO Stella Avramopoulos said that the cost of back-to-school basics combined with the requirement for BYO devices was stretching the budgets of thousands of Australian families.
“Aussie parents spend around $500 per child just on basic back-to- school items like books and uniforms. The expectation that students bring their own device, like a laptop or tablet, to school is an expense that many Australian families simply can’t afford, especially if you’re one of the 3 million people living in poverty,” Ms Avramopoulos said.
“In the past 12 months, we’ve seen a 24% increase in the number of No Interest Loans issued for computers and other devices and we expect to see a spike in loan applications over the coming weeks ahead of the 2020 school year commencing.”
No Interest Loans can be used to cover a range of back-to-school expenses including books, uniforms, tablets and laptops and even school camps.
Ms Avramopoulos urged families on low incomes to apply for a No Interest Loan instead of turning to high interest credit cards, buy now pay later schemes or payday lenders.
“A payday loan or buy now pay later scheme can seem like a good idea, but you can soon find yourself in trouble if you miss a repayment due to late fees and charges,” said Ms Avramopoulos.
“With NILS you can borrow up to $1,500 and repay only what you borrow with absolutely no interest, no fees and no charges, ever.”
Find your nearest NILS provider at nils.com.au
Media Contact: Tammy Shipperley | Sequel PR | 0403 090 914