No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS)

What is NILS?

The No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) provides interest free loans for women on a low income. It’s a community based program that enables people to access fair, safe and equitable credit for the purchase of goods and services.

How does it work?

When a borrower makes a repayment to a NILS program, funds are then available as a loan for someone else in the community. This is called “circular community credit” and is a real demonstration of the community in action.

What are the loans for?

NILS is generally for the purchase of essential household items like a fridge, washing machine, TV, bed or clothes dryer. NILS may also be provided to meet other essential needs like health aids or education costs.

Who can apply?

You may be eligible for a NILS loan at the Womens Centre if:

  • You are female and over 16 years of age
  • You are in receipt of a Centrelink payment, hold a current health care card or pension care or have a low income ($40,000 p.a or less)
  • You have lived at the same address in the Albury-Wodonga area for at least six months or can otherwise show a continuing long term connection to the area
  • The item you require is brand new and being sold by a registered business with an ABN
  • You are willing and able to repay a loan (this is shown by how you are managing your current finances, including any arrears and whether you are able to repay a loan without incurring hardship)
  • You have no outstanding NILS loans or have paid at least half of your current NILS Loan.
How much can you borrow?

Loans are available for up to $1500 free of any interest, fees and charges. Terms can be up to 12 months and repayments will be recycled to provide loans for other women in the region.

Womens Centre NILS is a non-profit initiative run by the community, for the community.

How to apply?

Contact us to arrange to speak to our NILS worker: Margie Tickner

NAB is a partnership with Good Shepherd, NAB and FaCHSIA.

The Financial Smarts Program:

Provides day to day information about financial matters that impact on individuals. The program is run in a group setting where women are empowered and able to learn how to build financial resilience around money, budgeting and bills.

We provide and discuss information and options on how to deal with financial matters, what to do and who to call, and where appropriate provide referrals to other services.

Information and discussion have included:

  • Legal checklist
  • Electricity and Gas accounts
  • Budgeting
  • The real cost of different financial products – after pay type services, Crisco type services, door to door sales, rentals, interest free deals, payday lending, using brokers, No Interest Loans, Step Up Loans, Speckle Loans …
  • Price comparisons
  • Credit reporting and credit scores
  • Ombudsman services
  • Assistance available for low income households.