NILS enables Rita to send her son back to school with the technology he needs to succeed

NILS enables Rita to send her son back to school with the technology he needs to succeed

Rita knows the full cost of putting two young boys through school all too well. For a single mum receiving a Centrelink payment, buying a laptop for her son entering high school, on top of other back to school costs, seemed like a bridge too far.

“It’s a big outlay, first year high school, especially because I’m doing it on my own.”

Rita was determined to find a solution. She didn’t want her kid to miss out.

“I missed out on camps when I was younger. Being from a European background, mum and dad said you don’t need to go to those sort of things. I made that pact with myself that I’d do my best to make sure the boys get those kinds of privileges.

“I searched online for information on how to get assistance with school books, laptops, that sort of stuff, and that’s when the Cranbourne No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) came up. I put down my contact details and, not long after, Julie, my loan worker, gave me a call.”

“Julie was amazing, she was so helpful. She gave it to me straight, and made me feel comfortable while I was there. Comfortable with the questions she was asking as well as with the advice she gave me.

“The repayments for the laptop are just $25 a fortnight. What’s $25 a fortnight when it means education for your child? I’m providing for the boys and it’s showing the boys that no matter where you are in life, you can still do it.”

Rita says that getting a laptop through NILS has made a huge difference to her and her son’s lives.

“In high school you have to have a laptop now. It’s not like how it was when I was in high school. Education is technology based and if you don’t have it you’re going to miss out or fall behind.”

“He was panicking a little bit when he overheard me saying to his dad that he needs the laptop. Thinking that he might have to go without, he started stressing out.

“Being able to tell him ‘don’t worry, mum’s organising it’ was a relief to me and it meant that he could calm himself down and stop worrying about starting school.”

Teacher assisting high school students during a class in a computer lab.

Rita knows that she isn’t the only parent out there that could benefit from accessing NILS for school expenses.

“A lot of single parents don’t realise that these supports are out there, now if anyone asks about I’m able to now give them the information.

“I didn’t think that I could get that help. I didn’t realise NILS could go towards uniforms, school fees and books. It’s made me feel at ease – my youngest son has another two years until he starts high school, knowing that NILS will be available, and that I can get this support again, covering school costs doesn’t seem so daunting.

“When I’ve paid off this loan, I’m planning to start putting away $25 every fortnight, so that when it comes for my youngest to go to high school I’m ready, and I know I can provide what he needs, with the support of NILS.”

Cranbourne NILS is run by Cranbourne Information & Support Services, one of 178 providers offering the NILS loans from 628 locations across Australia. To find out more about the No Interest Loan Scheme and to find your local provider, head to or call 13 64 57.

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No Interest Loans (NILS) Coronavirus Relief

No Interest Loans and financial information for anyone adversely impacted by the Coronavirus will be made available soon. These loans of up to $1500 or more will provide financial relief for household products and bills with a payment period of 18 months. However, anyone needing immediate assistance can apply for a NILS loan through our existing program, although this loan has narrower criteria and is not for bills. For further information about a NILS loan, please call us on 1300 770 550.