Michael Johnsen

The NSW Nationals in the state government have extended support for the No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS), providing low income earners with continued access to credit for essential goods and services.

The extension of the government’s partnerships with 61 NILS providers until June 30, 2021 means people struggling financially can continue to purchase the things they need.

NSW Nationals Member for Upper Hunter Michael Johnsen welcomed the extension, and said the NILS program was an important safeguard in ensuring people in his area don’t go without things like a fridge, trips to the dentist, or important items for their kids’ school.

“The NILS program offers interest-free loans of up to $1500 to people who earn under $45,000 a year, with affordable repayments set over a 12–18 month period,” Mr Johnsen said.

“The NILS program helps keep Upper Hunter families away from some of the unscrupulous operators in the finance industry.
These loans will not only help those doing it tough to continue purchasing items they need, it will prevent them from falling into the dangerous trap of accessing high-risk, high-interest payday loans or piling up more and more credit card debt.

“We’re living in very uncertain times, so it’s important that services like the NILS program continue seamlessly while this government focuses on responding to the challenges of this pandemic.”

The NILS program has been hugely successful with 27,000 people accessing over $26 million in loans since 2017.

“We’re now adding three new partners to the mix, which will increase access to these much-needed loans, and as we move into 2021, we’ll start making plans for the next phase of the program up to 2023,” Mr Johnsen said.

The NSW Government has committed over $9 million in support over the next three years. NILS is administered by Good Shepherd Microfinance, and National Australia Bank provides the capital for the loans. Details on local providers can be found at www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/no-interest-loans-scheme-nils.