The No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS®) offers small loans up to $1,200 to people on low incomes to assist them to purchase essential items and services without any fees, charges or interest rates.

NILS® is available to those who hold a current Health Care Card, receive a Centrelink payment, or receive an income of less than $40,000 per year.

Loans can be used to purchase household appliances, furniture, household repairs, health/mobility items, computers, education costs and car registration.

Funded by the Department of Social Services through Good Shepherd Microfinance

No Interest Loans are flexible and affordable loans for the purchase of essential, new household items for people on low-incomes. No interest is charged, and there are no additional fees.

A NILS® Loan is not a grant; it is a loan and is to be repaid.

The No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS®) was established in Victoria in 1981 by the Good Shepherd Youth and Family Services, and is now available across Australia. NILS® has been provided at the Springvale Community Aid & Advice Bureau (SCAAB) since 2010.

The Springvale Community Aid & Advice Bureau is accredited under the Good Shepherd NILS® and supported through the generosity of the National Australia Bank.

For more information on NILS® visit www.goodshepherdmicrofinance.org.au.

You can also visit a Good Money store to receive additional information about NO Interest Loans and managing money. Visit www.goodmoney.com.au to learn more.

*NILS® is a registered trademark of Good Shepherd Youth & Family Services

Eligible items include:

  • Household appliances
  • Household furniture
  • Household repairs
  • Health/mobility items
  • Computers
  • Outdoor equipment
  • Education costs
  • Car registration

The item must be new and include a warranty.

Loans are not given for cash or the payment of bills.

You can apply to borrow a maximum of $1200 for approved items.

Loans are usually repaid over 12 months. Repayments are usually between $25 – $40 per fortnight.

Loan repayments are made fortnightly; there are two or three options available for ways in which loans can be repaid.  You Loan’s Officer will discuss this with you during your interview.

Successful applicants will be asked to sign a loan agreement, make their first payment and sign an undertaking to contact South East Community Links immediately should they experience any difficulty meeting the repayments.

To be eligible for a NILS® loan you must live in:

  • Clayton 3168; Clayton South 3169; Dandenong 3175; Keysborough 3173; Mulgrave 3170; Noble Park 3174; Springvale 3171; Springvale South 3172
  • Have lived at your present address for approximately three months
  • Have a current Health Care card or Pension card or be on a low income, which is deemed less than $40,000 per annum

If you live in another area visit the Good Shepard Microfinance website to find your provider.

Phone South East Community Links and ask for an appointment with a NILS® Loan Officer.

The application process:

1. Make an enquiry (in person or by phone)

  • The No Interest Loan Scheme is explained
  • Eligibility is confirmed
  • Application process is explained
  • Application paperwork is provided
  • Loan interview is arranged

2. Attend a loan application interview

  • Documentation is checked
  • Income & expenditure is analysed to verify capacity to repay
  • Quotes are checked
  • Loan application form is completed

3. Assessment panel reviews applications

  • Panel assesses application
  • Panel may request additional information
  • Applicant is notified of outcome
  • If successful, loan agreement interview is arranged

4. Attend a loan agreement interview

  • Loan details are finalised
  • Repayments are arranged
  • Cheque is provided

Before you attend your application interview you will need to have all your supporting documents.

See the checklist of documents to bring to your interview.

You will need to find the item you wish to purchase, and ask the supplier for a written quote which shows: the name of the supplier; price; make; model number; delivery cost; warranty and any other relevant information.

The NILS® Loans Officer will make sure that you understand NILS®, how repayments are made and will answer any questions you may have. They will check your documents and your quote, and will go through your budget with you to work out whether you are able to repay the loan. If any details are missing, they may ask you to provide additional information which you can bring to SECL later. The NILS® Loans Officer does not make the decision about your loan. Your application is considered by an independent NILS® panel.

You will be notified of the outcome of your application within one week of the application interview.

See the income and expenditure template, Your Money Story, to start working on your budget.

If Your Application Is Approved

You will be notified by phone of an appointment time to sign the Loan Agreement. Payments are to be made every two weeks as per your loan agreement. You are welcome to make additional payments if you wish.

If Your Application Is Not Approved

You will be notified by phone or letter and reasons why your Loan Application was not approved will be given. You can request that your loan application be re-assessed. Your NILS® Loans Officer may be able to provide you with information about other options including referral to a Financial Counsellor.