Financial And Utilities Information

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Older person money

NO INTEREST LOAN SCHEME (NILS)

If you are a low income earner, in financial trouble or have a bad credit history, you may be able to borrow $300 to $1,200 with no interest and manageable repayments via the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS). Repayments are set up at an affordable amount over a 12 to 18 month period. NILS loans are available to purchase essential household goods or services, health items such as wheelchairs or asthma pumps or for car repairs (usually only for those in areas where there is little or no public transport).

To qualify you must have a:

  • Health Care Card/Pension Card or be on a low income
  • Reside in your current premises for more than 3 months
  • Show a willingness and capacity to repay the loan

Call: 136 457

STEPUP LOANS

Similar to NILS, StepUP Loans allow you to borrow $300-$3000 with up to 3 years to repay the loan. StepUP loans are available to holders of a Health Care Card or recipients of Family Tax benefit Part A who do not have access to other financial services. Loans can be used to purchase household furniture, computers, second hand cars or to pay for medical expenses, computers or vocational education. Loans can be held in individual or joint names.

Call: 135 427

UTILITY RELIEF GRANT SCHEME AND NON-MAINS UTILITY RELIEF GRANT SCHEME

The Utility Relief Grant Scheme and the Non-Mains Utility Relief Grant Scheme provide financial assistance for domestic customers who are unable to pay their utility bills due to a temporary financial crisis (within the last 12 months). Non-Mains Scheme covers sources such as LPG, diesel and petrol (for a generator), heating oil, firewood, metered electricity from an embedded network and carted water. The money granted under this scheme does not have to be paid back.

You must hold at least one of the following concession cards (Cards marked ‘dependent’ are not eligible):

  • Pensioner Concession Card
  • Health Care Card
  • DVA Gold Card

You need to demonstrate that unexpected hardship has left you seriously short of money so that you cannot pay your utility bills without assistance and risk disconnection or non-supply, and meet one of the following criteria:

  • A significant increase in usage
  • A recent decrease in income, for example, loss of employment
  • High unexpected expenses on essential items
  • The cost of shelter is more than 30 per cent of the household income
  • The cost of utility usage is more than 10 per cent of the household income

 

To apply for the mains scheme contact your utility provider with details of why your circumstances have led to your inability to pay the outstanding account. Call 1800 658 521 to apply for the non-mains scheme.

DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING LOAN SCHEME

If you are renting a privately in Victoria and cannot afford the bond, you may be able to borrow the money for the bond interest-free through this scheme. You must find accommodation for yourself and then apply for the bond loan.

To qualify:

  • You meet the income and asset tests
  • You are a permanent resident of Australia
  • Your share of the rent is not more than 55 per cent of your gross (before tax) weekly income
  • You do not own or part own a house, flat or unit
  • You have repaid any previous bond loans, and
  • You do not owe any money relating to previous or current public tenancies.If you are renting a privately in Victoria and cannot afford the bond, you may be able to borrow the money for the bond interest-free through this scheme. You must find accommodation for yourself and then apply for the bond loan.

To qualify:

  • You meet the income and asset tests
  • You are a permanent resident of Australia
  • Your share of the rent is not more than 55 per cent of your gross (before tax) weekly income
  • You do not own or part own a house, flat or unit
  • You have repaid any previous bond loans, and
  • You do not owe any money relating to previous or current public tenancies.

NATIONAL RENTAL AFFORDABILITY SCHEME

The National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) is a joint initiative between the Commonwealth, States and Territories. The NRAS aims to increase the supply of affordable rental dwellings for low and moderate income individuals and families across Australia. Under NRAS, owners of rental properties are provided an annual subsidy for up to 10 years in return for renting their property at a discount of at least 20 per cent on the normal rental. There are a number of conditions that need to be satisfied and these are outlined on the Commonwealth’s website. Call: 1300 650 172

Download here more information about Financial Help

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?  Call 1300 13 50 90 to speak to an information officer for more information

 

4 Responses to Financial And Utilities Information

  1. P & H Gibbs says:

    Hi : Am considering winding up our SMSF which is costing too much to maintain and some investments are performing poorly. My question is : What benefits would we lose in Centrelink – we have Seniors Health Cards and Healh Care cards having lost our Pensioner Concession Discount Cards on 1.01.17 via Assets review. Taxation rate discount might be the greatest loss unless SAPTO would help with investment income Tax rate.. Your advice would be appreciated. P & HG.

  2. P & H Gibbs says:

    30, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Hi : Am considering winding up our SMSF which is costing too much to maintain and some investments are performing poorly. My question is : What benefits would we lose in Centrelink – we have Seniors Health Cards and Healh Care cards having lost our Pensioner Concession Discount Cards on 1.01.17 via Assets review. Taxation rate discount might be the greatest loss unless SAPTO would help with investment income Tax rate.. Your advice would be appreciated. P & HG.

  3. Hi P&H Gibbs,
    Thank you for your comment. A member of our team will answer to your question by email.
    Have a lovely day!

    COTA Team

  4. Hi Peter,

    Thank you for your comment. One of our team member will respond to your request by email.
    Have a nice day!

    COTA Team

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