No Interest Loan Scheme

When money is tight and there’s a large, essential purchase or repair bill looming, it’s easy to despair. However, if you meet the criteria, the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) could be a godsend.

Introduced over 30 years ago by Good Shepherd Microfinance, the NILS is a community-based program which offers applicants on a low income the ability to apply for a no interest loan of up to $1200. Loans are available for essential household goods and services and repayments can be made over periods of 12 and 18 months.

The program is delivered in partnership with the National Australia Bank and FAHCSIA in over 400 locations around Australia. To be eligible for NILS, an applicant must:

  • be living on a low income and in receipt of a current concession card
  • show willingness and capacity to repay
  • request good and services which are seen as essential
  • have lived in current residence for at least 3-6 months

NILS programs are available in all states and territories to those who qualify. To find out more about NILS, visit

Written by Debbie McTaggart