No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS)

No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS)

For many people on low incomes, paying for essential goods and services is a struggle, and the effects of going without can be huge.

Without a fridge you can’t store fresh food, without a computer kids can be left behind at school, and if you can’t afford the pre-apprenticeship course, education can stall before it even begins.

The No Interest Loan Scheme offers people on low incomes safe, fair and affordable loans for fridges, washing machines and furniture, as well as education and medical expenses.

Loans up to $1,500 are available from 160 community organisations at 625 locations across Australia.

NILS also provides a safe and affordable alternative to the high cost finance options such as payday loans or ‘rent to buy’, products which promise ‘fast cash’ but often compound a person’s financial situation.

To be eligible for NILS you must have a healthcare or pension card, earn under $45,000, have lived in your current residence for three months, and have a willingness and capacity to repay the loan. There are no credit checks.

NILS is a leading example of Circular Community Credit. When a borrower makes a repayment, those funds then become available to someone else in the community. Clients recognise that repaying their loan means someone else is given the same opportunity they were – consequently, the repayment rate is constantly 95 to 97 per cent.

NILS reflects Good Shepherd Microfinance’s focus on improving opportunities for women and girls, with women representing 66 per cent of NILS clients. And our commitment to reconciliation and closing the gap is highlighted by the 23 per cent of clients that identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people.

Research shows that four out of five NILS clients are moving away from crisis and hardship towards stability and resilience – achieving economic mobility. In addition, four out of five clients who have used payday lenders in the past have stopped using them since accessing NILS.

NILS is supported by the Australian Government as part of its five year, $33.3 million investment in microfinance, and our long standing corporate partner, the National Australia Bank.

of clients live in single parent families with dependents

of clients live in single parent families with dependents

of clients identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people

of clients identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people

of loan recipients were women

of loan recipients were women

of loans are fully repaid

of loans are fully repaid

average loan amount

average loan amount

dedicated microfinance workers & volunteers

dedicated microfinance workers & volunteers

locations across Australia

locations across Australia

people reached

people reached

Latest News from No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS)

12 September 2016

Four reasons to pay more attention to your finances

There’s nothing like feeling confident and in control of your money. The good news is those moments happen more often if we take some time to understand our finances better.

Read More

20 April 2016

Review calls for payday loans and consumer leases to facilitate financial inclusion

'Rent to buy' companies would be required to disclose the total cost of their contracts and abide by a new price cap if the Australian Government adopts the recommendations of its review into Small Amount Credit Contracts.

Read More

11 July 2014

Not just a number at Good Money

Like many of our clients, John had never expected to find himself in need of additional support. He previously had a good career working in public health in South Asia.

Read More

11 October 2014

No more washing by hand

With four kids aged eight and under, washing clothes is a daily part of life for Candiannd and husband Sean.

Read More

When I was successful in getting a loan, it picked me up. I felt I was in control again.

Norma, NILS client

Household Relief Loans Without Interest

Lost your job or had income reduced due to COVID? Phone the COVID Hardship Support Hotline on 1300 121 130 for free financial support to help you navigate the COVID services available.