What can I buy with a WA NILS loan?
Loans are available for a varied range of products and services which can include:
- Fridges, washing machines, furniture
- Solar panels, water tanks, insulation (home owners only)
- Gophers, mobility scooters, walking frames
- Dental work, car repairs, medical equipment, glasses
- School excursions, uniforms or technology devices if required as part of the school list
A list of items can be viewed here but if the item you need is not listed here, please contact us on 9277 3000 to discuss your needs.
What can’t you get with a WA NILS Loan?
WA NILS cannot help you with a loan for:
- Bond Assistance
- Utility bills (Gas, Electricity, Water)
- Rent arrears or debts
- General Expenses such as food and clothing
- Paying off unpaid bills or debts
- Parts or secondhand goods
What’s the maximum (and minimum) amount I can borrow?
Loans are up to $1,500. Although there is no minimum we encourage you to apply for a loan between $200 – $1,500
If you are receiving a Newstart or a lesser payment only, the maximum amount will be capped at $800. There are also restrictions on what you can purchase. Give us a call to discuss further on 9277 3000.
Am I eligible to apply for a loan?
To be eligible for a WA NILS loan you must hold either a:
- Current Centrelink Health Care Card with eligible Centrelink payment (refer to Centrelink for details on eligibility)
- Current Pension Concession Card holder (refer to Centrelink or Dept for Veterans Affairs for details on eligibility).
In addition to this you must also:
- Have lived at your current address for three months or more (some exemptions apply)
- Be able to repay the loan and be meeting current financial commitments (paying current bills and debts).
Why do I have to be in my current address for 3 months before I can apply?
WA NILS has limited funds available for loans and money from repaid loans is recycled to finance new applications for people in need. We (and other Australian NILS organisations) have found that clients who cannot show a stable tenancy history are those most likely to default on loans. We’d love to help everybody all of the time but all NILS organisations would very quickly run out of funds if they did not apply some safeguards. However, we do recognise that people can genuinely find themselves in circumstances beyond their control and because of this there is some flexibility in the housing criterion. Contact WA NILS on 9277 3000 and we can discuss your situation.
If we’re a couple do we apply together?
Yes. Applications should be made as a household/joint application showing all incomes and expenses.
What if I’m in a share house situation?
If rent and expenses are shared and if your name is not on a lease then applications can be made in your name but we might need evidence of other peoples contributions to the household expenses. We will let you know what is required.
What if I am a boarder in a house?
As a boarder you must meet lending eligibility.
The item to be purchased must be for personal use, not for the rest of the household.
You must produce a letter from the person/landlord you are boarding with, and this must contain the amount you contribute to rent, utilities and food.
How long will it take to process my application?
Applications take 1-7 days to process from when WA NILS receives the completed application and all required supporting documentation. Applicants are notified of the outcome by email or posted. It is the clients responsibility to gather all required supporting documentation.
Do I get sent a cheque/cash?
No. Payment is sent directly to the trader/retailer providing the goods or services. This is done by electronic funds transfer. WA NILS does not pay cash under any circumstances. All traders/retailers need to complete a supplier form to receive a payment from WA NILS.
What do I have to repay and over what period?
This is a NO INTEREST LOAN therefore the cost of the item purchased is the amount you will repay. Repayments are made fortnightly at $3.00 per $100 borrowed, for example: If a washing machine cost $500, repayments would be $15 per fortnight, with approximately 34 payments, or until loan is repaid in full.
What happens if I don’t repay the loan?
When you receive a WA NILS loan you sign a contract to say that you will repay it in full. If you are experiencing difficulties, contact us 9277 3000 and we can discuss alternative arrangements. It is important that you do not cancel your Centrepay deduction without first contacting WA NILS, as we have follow-up procedures for loans that are in arrears. If you do not repay your WA NILS loan, you prevent others from benefiting from the scheme, and you will be refused further access to WA NILS loans.
I’m not eligible – who else can help me?
We may be able to refer you to another service, or your local agency might be able to help. You could also try: The Salvation Army, Anglicare WA or St Vincent de Paul Society.
How many items can I get with my loan?
WA NILS funds are limited. Our aim is to help as many West Australians in genuine need as possible. We are also very keen to make sure that our clients do not overburden themselves with loans which may put them into financial difficulty. Limiting loans items to genuine need as opposed to want is one way to ensure that our funds reach as many people as possible. We’ve found that it also helps people to stay within their budget.
What is an essential household item?
Fridges, washing machines, heaters, beds, furniture and hot water systems. Other items may be considered essential under special circumstances – if there is an existing medical condition for example. Note applications such as these would require signed documentation from a specialist, e.g. doctor or social worker as appropriate.
What paperwork do I need to organise before I apply?
The agency we refer you to will advise you of this, but usually you will be required to take the following along to the interview:
- A quote for the item you want (valid for 30 days)
- Proof of ID
- Centrelink income statement
- Tenancy agreement or WA NILS Reference Form from Housing Authority
- Bank statements (3 months for all accounts)
- Other supporting information depending on your circumstances
- Utility bills (most recent)
Who organises delivery of my item?
If your application is successful we send a payment direct to your preferred trader/retailer. We notify you when this has happened and you can then contact the trader/retailer to arrange delivery or pick up.
When can I apply for another loan?
If you have successfully paid off your loan and require further assistance from WA NILS, you can apply again straight away.
If you have a question that we have not answered here, please call us on 9277 3000 and we will be happy to answer it for you.