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)

29 March 2016

A NILS loan has Tracey on course for her dream job

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21 June 2017 Media Release

30 Organisations Join Forces To Enable Financial Inclusion For Three Million Australians and Boost GDP

The number of organisations committed to driving inclusion and resilience for over three million adults who are experiencing financial exclusion in Australia has today risen to 30, with a range of actions underway to support those in need. One in every two Australians has limited or no savings, and a quarter report having experienced difficulties accessing financial services.

Through individual Financial Inclusion Action Plans (FIAPs), the 30 organisations, which include essential services providers, professional services firms, banks, universities and government agencies, are working towards measurable actions that will create a more financially inclusive community. The various initiatives range from improved access to appropriate and affordable financial products and services; development of early warning indicators to identify vulnerability; and support to those experiencing family violence avoid financial hardship. Read more.

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7 August 2015 Media Release

Payday loans and ‘rent to own’ under review

Good Shepherd Microfinance has welcomed the Australian Government’s review into high cost payday loans and consumer leases.

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6 June 2016 Media Release

Australia’s largest microfinance conference to focus on financial hardship in South Australia

Australia’s largest microfinance organisation has set a target to double the number of no-interest loans in South Australia by December 2017, to meet an expected increased demand stemming from rising unemployment as the manufacturing sector closes.

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

Norma, NILS client