NAB has today announced that a record $27 million has been provided in no interest loans to more than 40,000 Australians on low income since January this year. This figure compares with $23 million in the same period last year.
To help Australians on low incomes meet the cost of essentials, NAB partners with Good Shepherd, State and Federal Governments, and a network of over 30 community organisations across Australia, to provide loans with no interest. This supports the purchase of basics such as fridges, medical bills, cars or computers, with customers only paying back the amount borrowed in small, regular payments.
NAB Head of Customer Vulnerability, Mike Chambers, said ‘no interest loans’ were vital for people experiencing financial difficulty.
“No interest loans are designed especially for people who earn less than $70,000 or have a healthcare or pension card,” Mr Chambers said.
“They allow customers to borrow money for essentials without having to pay any fees or interest.
“We’ve also just launched no interest loans for vehicles, which allow people to borrow up to $5,000 for a car. This has been transformative to customers who need transport they can rely on every day.
“The current cost-of-living challenge has certainly made initiatives like our no interest loans even more essential for those who are on low incomes.”
Recent NAB data found one in 10 Australians turned to a payday lender when experiencing financial pressure.
“Often in desperate times people feel like that have no options and turn to things like payday lenders to help them with a quick fix to their finances,” Mr Chambers said.
“A no interest loan in contrast is a more sustainable solution that won’t leave someone in a potentially worse situation.
“It’s important for anyone struggling financially to know there is help available, whether that be through their bank or organisations like Good Shepherd.”
Single mother of two Rosetta Ianchello said she was thrilled when she found out no interest loans existed and that it was the leg up she needed to get back on her feet.
“I took out a no interest loan earlier this year and it’s been easy for me to manage because of the no interest,” Ms Ianchello said.
“I also liked having someone guide me through the process.”
While no interest loans are not available for home loan payments, customers who are concerned about their financial situation are encouraged to speak to NAB Assist. Through NAB Assist, customers can access repayment pauses, debt consolidation, financial counselling and other counselling services.
Customers can request financial support here.