Discounts, loans and concessions

Last updated: 19 April 2017

Some services to help you buy a computer or get a loan for household items like fridges, washing machines and furniture.

There are also concessions available for government-funded training and further education courses.

Buy discounted computers

WorkVentures Connect IT

WorkVentures is a not-for-profit organisation that turns ex-corporate and government computers and equipment into affordable and reliable systems for people with low incomes.

Am I eligible?

You must have a health care card, pension card, disability card or another document relating to low income or experiencing disadvantage.

How does it work?

Contact WorkVentures Connect IT to discuss the different packages available. You will need to pay by money order, bank cheque, personal cheque or direct deposit.

WorkVentures has a purchase plan, like a store lay-by, if you don't have the money up front.

Centrelink also has advance payment options. You may be able to get part of your Centrelink payment in advance. This will depend on how long you have been receiving your Centrelink payment and how much you receive.

Contact

Ph: 1800 112 205 (free call)
Hours: Monday to Friday, 10 am to 5 pm
Email WorkVentures.

Green PC

GreenPC is an Infoxchange initiative that fixes ex-corporate and government desktop computers for people on low incomes and community groups.

Am I eligible?

You must have a health care card, pension card, or some other form of documentation relating to low income.

How does it work?

GreenPC has a number of packages available. Talk to them about what kind of computer best suits you.

Contact

Visit the Green PC website
Ph: (03) 9418 7436
Hours: Monday to Friday, 10 am to 5 pm
Email GreenPC.

No interest and low interest loans

No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS)

The No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) provides interest-free loans for low-income earners to buy essential household items like fridges, washing machines, televisions, beds and clothes dryers.

This scheme may also help with other essential needs like some medical and dental services, health aids and education costs.

NILS cannot be used for:

  • Emergency relief
  • Bond or rent money
  • Living expenses
  • Debt repayment.
Am I eligible?

To be eligible, you must:

  • Have a health care card or pension card or be on a low-income
  • Have lived at your current address for more than three months
  • Show you are willing and able to repay the loan.
How does it work?

NILS is a community-based program from Good Shepherd Microfinance. Accredited providers interview you and assess your application.

How much can I borrow?

Loans may be between $300 and $1,200. Repayments are set up at an affordable amount over 12 to 18 months.

Contact

You can find a NILS or StepUP provider near you on the Good Shepherd Microfinance website.

Ph: 13 NILS (13 6457)
Email Good Shepherd Microfinance
Visit the Good Shepherd Microfinance website.

StepUP low interest loans

StepUP loans are an initiative of Good Shepherd Microfinance in partnership with National Australia Bank. It gives low interest loans to people on low incomes through community service providers. It can be used for buying items like furniture, computers and second hand motor vehicles.

Am I eligible?
  • You must have a health care card or get Family Tax Benefit Part A
  • You must have lived at your current address for more than three months.
How does it work?

This is a Good Shepherd Microfinance and National Australia Bank initiative. Accredited providers interview you and assess your application.

How much can I borrow?

Loans vary from $800 to $3,000.

There are no fees or charges with this loan. Repayments are flexible and can be over 6 months to 3 years. The interest rate is fixed for the term of the loan.

Contact

You can find a NILS or StepUP provider near you on the Good Shepherd Microfinance website.

Ph: (03) 9495 9655
Hours: Monday to Friday, 10 am to 3 pm
Email Good Shepherd Microfinance

Savings programs

Saver Plus

The Brotherhood of St Laurence and the ANZ Bank deliver a financial education and ‘matched savings’ program to help people and families on lower incomes. Matched savings means that every dollar you save in the program will be matched by the provider.

The program offers up to $500 in matched savings towards education expenses, such as uniforms, text books, laptops, TAFE or apprenticeship costs. The program also includes free and informal financial education workshops.

Am I eligible?
  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • You must have a health care card or pension card
  • You must have some regular income from work.
Contact

Visit the Brotherhood of St Laurence website
Ph: 1300 610 355
Email Saver Plus.

Essential services and other concessions

Concessions are available to low income Victorians having difficulty paying their council rates, water, gas and electricity bills. There are other concessions you might be eligible for, like medical cooling and utility relief.

To find out what you may be eligible for, try our easy to use concessions search engine.

You can also contact the Concessions Information line:
Ph: 1800 658 521 (free call)
Email Concessions Information.

Training and further education concessions

Government funded training and further education concessions.

Victorian Training Guarantee

Under the Victorian Training Guarantee, places are available to help eligible people gain new skills, upgrade existing skills or improve their employment prospects.

More information on the Victorian Training Guarantee, including training options and how to apply, is on the Department of Education & Training's website.

Help with fees

Training providers set tuition fees at a level that they believe the quality, cost and reputation of their training warrants. You should shop around for a course and price that is right for you.

Concession card holders, their dependants and veteran gold card holders enrolling in qualifications up to Certificate IV level pay only 20 per cent of the standard course fee. Students studying a diploma qualification or above may also get financial help through the Australian Government’s VET FEE-HELP scheme.

For more information, visit the Study Assist website.

Public tenant training assistance

Public housing tenants can apply for help paying enrolment fees at the concession rate through the Public Tenant Employment Program.

Am I eligible?

You need to:

  • Live in public housing or transitional housing
  • Hold a concession or health care card.
Contact

Read more about the Public Tenant Employment Program.

Ph: 1800 451 553 (free call)
Email the employment program.

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