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No Interest Loans

No or Low Interest Loans

There is a National No Interest loans Scheme (NILS) run by Good shepherd Microfinance. It is different to other finance companies or institutions as they don’t charge you any interest. What you borrow is exactly what you pay back.

Unlike ‘payday lenders’ and banks they are a national community organisation that does not make money from the loans they give out.

The loans are normally between $500 and $1, 200 and are normally for educational expenses, household items like fridges and washing machines and medical expenses.

How do these loans work?

To qualify for one of these loans, you need to be a low income earner. Normally this is determined by whether you are eligible for a Low Income Healthcare Card.

If you are on a Centrelink payment or only work casually or part time you might be eligible for a low income health care card which will give you a range of discounts and benefits. This might even make a difference to you needing a loan! to find out if you are eligible and how to apply click here.

How do I apply?

You need to make sure that the item you want to get a loan for is eligible. Then you need to get a quote for the item. It’s helpful to call the NILS provider nearest to you to find out if you can apply for the item you need. To locate a provider near you go to the NILS website or call 13 64 57.

After you have spoken to the NILS provider you will need to make an appointment for an interview where your income and spending is worked out to find out whether you can repay a loan.

The Loan Worker will go through a budget with you and help you to figure out how much money you need to spend on living expenses each fortnight.

Paying back this type of loan is normally automatic. If you are on a Centrelink payment your loan repayment will be taken out before your Centrelink money goes into your account.

This is called a Centrepay deduction, to find out more about Centrepay deductions click here.

Positives and negatives

Positives:

  • This form of credit is safe and does not require you to pay fees or Interest.
  •  The money won’t be paid into your account, it will go straight to the company you are purchasing your item from this means that you don’t have to worry about spending it.

Negatives:

  • You can’t apply for these loans just for some extra money; it needs to be for something in particular that is approved by the organisation beforehand like a laptop, fridge or new glasses.
  • You can only have one NILS loan at a time, but once it is paid off you can apply again.