BYO electronic devices stretch family budgets as kids head back to school

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[1] 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[2],” 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

Media Contact:  Tammy Shipperley | Sequel PR | 0403 090 914



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