Interest Free Loans Help

Interest-free-loansIf you are looking for an interest free loan, your options will be limited. Most interest free lending services come in the form of balance transfers for a set period of time. Others include an interest free period when purchasing from a retailer or vehicle dealership, etc.

Most interest free loans are tied to some sort of promotion from finance companies or retailers. If you are looking for an unsecure loan without interest, options will be very limited.

There are interest free loans in Australia
The most popular interest free loan in Australia is the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) which is designed for low income earners or those dealing with serious financial issues. This is not a loan designed for purchasing entertainment type of goods or services (vacations, flat screen tv, etc).

The NILS loan is designed to help Australians who need assistance with important household needs such as:

– Whitegoods such as a new stove, fridge, washer/dryer, computer, bed, etc

– Health related goods such as a wheelchair, asthma pump, walker, etc

– Car repairs for those who can prove the importance and reliance of a vehicle vs public transport

– Other unique circumstances related to the home and having minimal living standards met

What are the terms of an interest free loan?
To qualify for a no interest loan, you must meet the following minimal requirements:

– You must be on or qualify for Centrelink or the pensioner card.

– You must show that you can make the repayments within a 12 to 18 month period

– You need to be able to prove you have been living in the same residence for at least 3 months

– Different NILS offices may have slightly different approval criteria.

*If you do not meet the above requirements, there are other programs which you may qualify for. Whilst they may not offer zero interest, they have very low fixed rates with no fees – see Stepup loans here or below.

What is the process for applying?
If you meet the above criteria, you can borrow up to $1200 and in addition to now interest attached to the loan, there are no fees. Applying is as follows:

Enquire at your nearest branch
– Go through a quick interview process
– Your application/interview goes through assessment
– You are approved
– You receive payment
– You start making your low monthly repayments

Another great loan option is StepUp
StepUp is slightly different than NILS in that it has a low fixed interest rate attached to it but borrowers can receive a larger sum of money and there are no fees attached to it.

Who can apply to StepUp?
This loan is also for individuals and families on a low income and that qualify for or are currently on Centrelink. Borrowers must be holding a Centrelink Concession Card or be receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A and be able to prove they have lived at the same home for at least 3 months.

How much can I borrow with StepUp?
With StepUp, borrowers can receive between $800 and $3000 dollars and the repayment period can be up to 3 years. As mentioned before, StepUp comes with a low fixed rate and no fees.

What can I purchase with the money?
These loans are designed to help borrowers purchase items that are important to the household or for everyday living. Items can include whitegoods similar to those outlined in NILS as well as used car purchase or repairs to the home – Essentially items necessary for running a household and not for entertainment.

Important – Borrowing situations
If you are currently experience serious financial difficulties and need money to pay for food, utilities or other serious circumstances, you may be better off contacting Centrelink for an Advance Payment or reach out to a free financial counsellor to get help controlling your finances and talk to your creditors on your behalf.

Whilst applying for an interest free loan may sound like a good solution to help with cash flow issues, it may just be a band aid solution which can lead to further debt and worst financial problems.


This Post Has 34 Comments

  1. I’m is a desprite need for a loan of $3000-$5000 to help me for my Wedding in June. I have tried look for many places but could not find any at all with my bad credit & recently lost my job. Everything has been booked for my Wedding but now I’m bit short in cash to pay for the wedding. Is there a way I can get a Loan of that amount with low income benefit. I know I can pay back but I just need it by June. Please help be appriciated.

    1. Hi LJ,

      Congrats on your wedding in June.

      With regards to a personal loan, it may be difficult to obtain a mainstream loan if you have poor credit and are unemployed. In a situation like this you may want to look at alternative loan options – we actually just wrote a article on this the other day…cash without a loan


  2. Hi there I need a small loan of 500 and have already had my advance this year and currently only studying and receiving Centrelink but I also have loans I need to pay back as of January this year is there any advice you can give me to help me?

    1. Hi Mel,

      You may want to contact Centrelink again as in certain cases they may provide more than one advance a year. Other options would include contacting the Good Shepard Micro Finance oganisation.


  3. Hey, I need a loan of 25,000 for a car, I’m 20, have had the same job for 3 years but isn’t really earning big money. Is there anything you can do to help me????

    1. Hi Stef,

      We are not a actual lender, we are an organisation that helps those needing financial assistance get the right help. The loan providers we recommend only assist with important household needs and the loans are generally capped at $3000. If you are looking for a higher amount (25k) and are having no luck with the banks, you may want to consider peer 2 peer lending as an option.


  4. Hi Richard,

    I am stressed due to my mother being really unwell for months, am currently unemployed, dealing with depression on centrelink with bills piling high and just wondering if I should take out a $3000 loan to pay a couple of bills as they’ve gotten on due to medical bills taking priority. Should I go with a StepUp loan or a different one. Please let me know. Renee.

    1. Hi Renee,

      Applying for a loan at this time might not be the best option – Try speaking with your nearest free financial counsellor, they will be able to guide you and assist you with any financial assistance services at a federal level and locally.


  5. Im a single mother with two boys looking to get a car loan . I have enough to do repayments and have the car waiting for purchase under finance. Will i get approved for a 2000 loan for my car . I hope you can really help as my situation is desperate and life threatening

  6. Oops I’ll re write that … I’m in debt with my rent .. $2500 owing … I need to know if there is anyone out there who can help me with a small loan .. So I can get myself off tica …

  7. Hey there
    I’ve been hoping to find an alternative loan solution and I’m glad to have heard about you through the salvation army.
    I’m currently a student working part time in the city and on centrelink payments and have just undergone some personal issues and had to move back home for the last 5months to get back on my feet.
    I do have to relocate again as my fathers selling and so its easier to get to school and work.
    Im in need of $2000 by this weekend to make the bond payment (private share) and to hopefully get my car working properly and to pay for a trailer and other removing expenses. I’ve read the information but am not sure where to go to contact someone about applying for this loan scheme??
    Thanks so much for any help

  8. Hi, I am currently receiving youth allowance from Centerlink but am need to buy a car ASAP as I just moved down to Victoria. Do you know of anything that will allow of a $4,000 loan while being on Centerlink??
    Kind regards

  9. I am in need of a loan of $1000 to pay some bills. I am on a Centrelink payment. Is there anywhere I can get some help quickly?


  10. hi I’m a single mother and on centrelink… I desperately need a 4000-5000 loan for a car. I find it super hard, cause I’m all alone with no one to help me get groceries and other stuff, public transport especially when have to take bub and pram including shopping up and down stairs

  11. hi I’m a single mum on centrelink, I need 4000-5000 to buy a car asap, is there anywhere I could get a loan? please help thanks

  12. I have been scammed for a relocation which was supposed to happen on Saturday. I already came ahead to the new location and left hubby and son to organize everything. This is something I can’t afford with hubby and myself on Newstart. Can I get about $2200 to get my stuff and hubby to where I am

  13. Hi there, I am wanting to take out a loan for 1200 for an electric bike. My partner is lucky to be able to walk 50-100 mts, and the closest public transport is more than 2 km away. I thought an electric bike will enable him to get around and maybe even get a bit of exercise when he is able. I do not want to buy a car as this is expensive to run and I do not have the funds to do this. I have only lived here for 1 month but do have a 6 month lease. Can the criteria be relaxed in this circumstance. I look forward to your response.

  14. As a single carer of 2 special needs children I need to consolidate around $8500 credit card debt. This has debt has been swallowing me up for a few years now and even though I make minimum payments the interest charges are making it so I am making no progress. I would really like to simplify things and reduce stress as well as the financial strain that I lose sleep over.

  15. Hi there
    I have a few holes in my teeth and have already had the maximum advance payment from centrelink is there anyone that would help

  16. Hi, my son decided to get married. I am currently on Newstart however, my home is paid in full and can be used as collateral?. Can you suggest any low interest or Not for profit organizations that would be able to help. I need $10k

  17. Im on a disability pension and a few months ago I used my $1200 centrelink advance to book and pay flights to attend my close friends wedding in Thailand. The wedding is a now only a month away and I have not been able to save for the rest of the trip. I still have 5 payments remaining on the advance payment. Is there a way to acquire a loan of $1,500-$2,000 to cover the rest of my trip. Can travel be considered or accepted for pensioner loans? I’m starting to really panic. I havnt been on a holiday for 13 years. Would like to enjoy it instead of stressing. 🙁

  18. Hi i am on a dss pension thru centerlink and i am in desperate need for new dentures at a cost of $2600 how could i get a loan for that

  19. Hi, I was Googling grants and interest free loans and came across your forum. I am a single woman in my late 40s. I currently work 12 hours a week which is supplemented by Newstart. I am looking to start a small business and have all the infrastructure in place for this including having constructed the commerce store, business registrations’, payment facilites, marketing plan and business accounts. I applied to NEIS yesterday but their assistance does not include any start up capital which I need to purchase the stock to populate the cart. Here is my dilemma… I have an $8k credit card which I retained and maintained since working full-time 3 years ago. I have always paid it in full at the end of each month. I could use this to purchase the stock and just pay off the minimum but at credit card interest rates this might lead to financial suicide and I feel my anxiety levels rise at the very thought. The only thing I own is my car, valued under 5k and on my low income I’m pretty certain I wouldn’t qualify for a loan wit a lower interest rate.

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