Official Media Release

Credit Support for COVID Impacted Families

Michael Johnsen MP, Member for Upper Hunter today announced that the NSW Liberals/Nationals have extended support for the No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS), providing low income earners with continued access to credit for essential goods and services.

Mr Johnsen said the extension of the Government’s partnerships with 61 NILS providers until 30 June 2021 means people struggling financially in the Upper Hunter Electorate can continue to purchase the things they need.

“The NILS program is an important safeguard in ensuring people in this area don’t go without things like a fridge, trips to the dentist, or important items for their kids’ school,” Mr Johnsen said.

“The NILS program offers interest free loans of up to $1,500 to people who earn under $45,000 a year, with affordable repayments set over a 12–18 month period, and the program helps keep  families in the Upper Hunter Electorate 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.

“This 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.”

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 provide the capital for the loans.