What is WA NILS?
The WA No Interest Loans Scheme is part of the Anglicare WA network and aims to provide families and individuals on low incomes across Western Australia with the opportunity to apply for a small, no interest loans in times of need. These loans help people purchase essential household items and services without the burden of interest charges or fees.
WA NILS is:
- Not for profit
- A Public Benevolent Institution
- A deductible Gift Recipient
At present, WA NILS provides loans between $200 and $1,500 for the purchase of essential household items and services. It is a community lending scheme with a central administration office, which services applications received from Agencies throughout Western Australia and from clients who apply direct online.
Agencies are community organisations and welfare groups from Kununurra in the North West, to Esperance in the South East. Around 30% of our loans are approved for applicants of an indigenous background.
WA NILS is not merely a loan scheme. While applicants should understand that there is an expectation that loans are repaid, and that they will be entering into a formal loan agreement, the process involved in obtaining the loan has proven to be an outstanding social success in Western Australia.
History of WA NILS
Establishment of the WA NILS Network
In February 1999, the Minister for Family and Children Services announced the replacement of the Departmental Furniture Assistance Loans Scheme, with a community based No Interest Loans Scheme Funding was also enhanced to establish what was to become the WA No Interest Loans Service (NILS).
In August 1999, the Minister signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Anglicare WA to act as a sponsor of the WA NILS Network until December of that year.
In late 1999 WA No Interest Loans Network Inc (WA NILS) was officially formed as a stand-alone incorporated association and quickly established itself as a leader in community lending for WA.
Over subsequent years WA NILS partnered with many other community not-for-profit organisations to act as agents for clients to access NILS loans. Eventually this built a state-wide network from Esperance to Wyndham.
In 2013 WA NILS was the first NILS program in Australia to launch an online application platform that transformed the way the community could access a NILS loan.
Between 1999 and 2017, WA NILS funded over 17,000 loans to the value of over $17,500,000.
The ongoing repayment rate over these years has been an incredible 97 percent.
In mid 2017, WA NILS merged with Anglicare WA, a community services organisation with a strong reputation for personalised care and support for those in need.
WA NILS is part of the National NILS Network and uses capital from National Australia Bank and this is replenished as repayments are made. Operational funds are derived from support via The Department for Child Protection and Family Support and the Federal Government through The Department of Social Services in association with Good Shepherd Mircofinance.