The Albanese Labor Government is further supporting Australians who experience vulnerabilities in accessing transport by extending the successful No Interest Loans Scheme (NILs) for Vehicles program delivered by Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand (GSANZ).
A total of $500,000 in additional funding will be delivered to extend the NILs for Vehicles Pilot to 30 June 2024.
The Pilot provides loans to eligible individuals and families experiencing disadvantage to help purchase a suitable vehicle for transport for essential day-to-day use.
Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said that having access to a vehicle can make all the difference for people experiencing vulnerability in the community.
“Having a vehicle helps people achieve independence. This includes assisting with the ability to work, to undertake caring responsibilities or seek medical care when necessary,” Minister Rishworth said.
“We know vehicles and other related costs such as registration are expensive, and not every region has public transport readily available – that’s why NILs for Vehicles is so important to assist those who need it.
“The no-fee, no-interest loans provide a vital boost to help get people on the road and undertake activities that contribute to their wellbeing.”
NILs for Vehicles has a maximum loan limit of $5000 and loans are repaid over a period of up to four-years.
Loans can be used to purchase essential vehicles such as cars, mobility scooters, or motorcycles. Loans can also include vehicle related costs such as registration or maintenance expenses.
Since September 2021, NILs for Vehicles has delivered more than 5000 loans to eligible individuals and families to assist with purchasing suitable transport.
The Pilot is just one of the No Interest Loans Scheme (NILs) programs delivered by GSANZ across their network of over 600 locations nationwide.
Alongside NILs for Vehicles, loans of up to $3000 are available for individuals on low incomes and women impacted by family and domestic violence.
NILs loans are available to individuals and families who:
earn less than $70,000 gross annually as a single person or $100,000 gross as a couple or person with dependants, or
have experienced family or domestic violence in the last 10 years, or
have a Health Care Card or Pension Card.
No Interest Loans delivered by GSANZ in partnership with the Department of Social Services are offered as an alternative to other high risk, high interest products such as Buy Now Pay Later products and payday loans.
More than 30,000 NILs have been issued to eligible Australians this financial year alone.
Chief Executive Officer of Good Shepherd, Stella Avramopoulos said the pilot for NILs for Vehicles has successfully assisted people experiencing vulnerability.
“It is clear from our clients, that there is a significant demand for NILs for Vehicles,” Ms Avramopoulos said.
“A vehicle represents so much more than just a mode of transport. It enables our clients to pick up their kids from school, drive to their jobs and to live their lives.
“NILs allows people to participate in daily life just like everybody else. We are extremely grateful to the Australian Government in recognising the impact of this program.”
To find a NILs provider near you go to the Services Near Me page on the Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand website
or call 13 64 57.