The Parks Community Network No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS)

NILS is a safe and affordable credit alternative. It is a program that provides small loans to people on low incomes without any fees, charges or interest payments during the loan process or loan cycle.

They offer loans for a variety of purposes such as Household items, Car repairs and registration, medical and dental, technology, furniture and education. Other items upon request.

Loans are NOT available for Bills, cash, debts, food or rent.

NILS was developed in 1981 by the Good Shepherd Sisters and has since grown to all Australian states and territories, and New Zealand. The Parks Community Network NILS has been operating an accredited NILS program since 2004.

The NILS loans process is based on dignity and respect, and underpinned by the Circular Community Credit model. When a borrower makes a repayment, those funds then become available for more loans in that community.

Am I eligible for a NILS loan?

To apply for a NILS loan you need to be:

On a low lncome

This is defined as either:

  • holding a Centrelink Health Care Card or Pension Card; or earning total net income per annum (after tax):
  • $45,000 or under for singles, or
  • $60,000 or under for couples or people with dependants.

Living at the same address for 3 months or more

Exceptions may be made for:

  • applicants in transitional housing
  • people experiencing family violence
  • state/community housing transfer
  • someone who has stayed in the area (but not address) for a long time

Capacity and Willingness to Repay the Loan

They will use your budget and previous bill and rent payment history to assess this.

What can I get a loan for?

NILS loans help people living on low incomes to purchase significant or essential new household items, or a service, that improves their quality of life or enhances social and economic participation, where they would otherwise not be able to access fair and affordable credit.

Loan purposes include but are not limited to, the following:

  • Household appliance (eg fridge, washing machine)
  • Household furniture (eg bed, lounge)
  • Medical, dental and optical expenses
  • Educational costs
  • Technology costs (eg laptop, tablet, mobile phone)
  • Home repair & outdoor equipment
  • Car related costs (eg registration, driving lessons, repair)
  • Moving costs
  • Vet costs
  • Other items as requested

NILS cannot be used for emergency relief, rent or utilities arrears or debt repayments.
NILS cannot be taken out as cash.

How much can I borrow?

Depending on what you can afford, you can borrow up to a maximum of $1,500.
For people who only receive SRSS payments, Newstart, Youth Allowance or similar benefits (and no other benefit or income) the maximum is $800.

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