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Interest free loans in New Zealand
No interest personal loans can help Kiwis in financial distress by offering safe and affordable credit.
An initiative of Good Shepherd New Zealand, the NILS provides low-income earners access to interest-free personal loans, allowing them fair and affordable financing. Let’s take a closer look at how interest-free personal loans work and how they might be able to help you.
How does an interest-free personal loan work?
The loans offered by Good Shepherd New Zealand are part of the No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS). These interest-free personal loans let you purchase essential items you cannot otherwise afford.
Community organisations, such as The Salvation Army, work in partnership with Good Shepherd New Zealand. They provide interest-free loans to disadvantaged families by having a set amount of funding available. As one borrower pays off their loan, those funds are then allocated to another needy family. There are no fees or interest charges to worry about, and each recipient is usually given 12 months to pay back the principal loan amount.
Are you eligible for interest-free personal loans?
You need to meet a few criteria to be eligible for an interest-free personal loan:
- Have a Community Services Card
- Be on a low income. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to see if you qualify.
- Have lived at your current address for at least three months
- Show a willingness and the capacity to repay the loan
There are no credit checks required during the loan application process. Instead, interest-free personal loans are given on the basis of trust and respect.
What can I use an interest-free personal loan for?
NILS loans are only available for the purchase of essential items and services, including:
- Household items such as fridges, freezers, stoves, washing machines, dryers and furniture
- Some medical and dental services
- Essential educational items, such as computers and textbooks
- Other items and services as requested
How does the lending process work?
NILS works on a system of circular community credit, which means when you make a repayment on your interest-free personal loan, those funds are then made available to someone else in the community.
You can apply for a NILS loan by following a few simple steps:
- Enquire about interest-free personal loans online through the NILS website www.nils.org.nz. This allows you to determine whether you are eligible for a loan.
- Attend an interview with a NILS loan provider in your local area. You will find the location of NILS providers on the website.
- Your loan application is assessed.
- You are informed about the outcome of your loan application. If successful, you will then agree on repayment terms.
- Use the funds to pay for essential services or household items.
- Repay the loan amount over 12 months.
Are there any alternatives?
If you don’t meet the eligibility criteria necessary to qualify for a NILS loan, there are other options available to help you access the finance you need:
- Work and Income cash advance. If you receive Work and Income payments and need emergency funding, you can apply to have a payment made in advance. Contact Work and Income on 0800 559 009 to see if you qualify.
- Work and Income Emergency Payments. In certain circumstances, you may qualify for an additional payment from Work and Income. For example, a Temporary Additional Support payment, to cover essential living costs if you don’t have sufficient income. There is also a Special Needs Grant to help you pay for an item you have no other means of paying for. This payment does not normally need to be paid back. Contact Work and Income to see if you qualify for an emergency payment.
- Short-term loans. Short-term loans may be available for people who receive Work and Income benefits; to those who are unemployed and even people with bad credit. You may also want to compare payday loan options if you are in need of quick financing.
Compare alternatives to interest free loans
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
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