Financial help for home owners

Last updated: 14 June 2016

These programs offer financial support and services to eligible Victorian home owners so they can continue to live in their homes.

Mortgage Relief Scheme

Home owners that have experienced a crisis can get short-term interest-free loans to help with home loan repayments.

For information go to Mortgage relief scheme.

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.

Try our easy to use concessions search tool to find out what you can apply for.

Home renovation loans

Home renovation loans can help people pay for work needed to be done to their home for health and safety reasons.

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 provider near you through 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 is an initiative of Good Shepherd Microfinance in partnership with National Australia Bank and provides 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

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

 

Financial advice

If you are having trouble paying your mortgage, bills or managing money there are some practical things you can do, like creating a budget, talking to your lender about changing your repayments or talking to a free financial counsellor.

There is also help available through government and not-for-profit services.

MoneyHelp

MoneyHelp is a not-for-profit service supported by the Victorian and Australian governments. The service offers information and support to people struggling with debt, bills and ongoing expenses.

The MoneyHelp website has information and tools to help – whether you have just lost your job, need financial advice or need help managing your debt. Tools include a budget planner, sample hardship letters and step-by-step guides.

Money Smart

The Australian Government's Moneysmart website has information on services available for various situations – whether you are having trouble paying your mortgage or need urgent money help. There are also fact sheets, sample letters, calculators, budget planners and other tools to help you manage money.

Financial counselling

You can get free financial counselling:

  • Go to Moneysmart's Financial counselling page for information and to find a counsellor near you.
  • Call the financial counselling hotline on 1800 007 007. Monday to Friday, 9.30 am to 4 pm. You will be automatically transferred to the Victorian service.

What to do if you can't pay your mortgage

If you are having trouble making your mortgage repayments, contact your lender right away and tell them:

  • Why you missed a repayment
  • How you plan to catch up – can you pay soon or over the next few months?

You can also ask your lender what they can do to help you get back on track.

See Moneysmart's Problems paying your mortgage page for tools and services to help you. They have advice if you:

  • Are having trouble paying other bills
  • Missed a mortgage repayment
  • Are behind on your mortgage
  • Want to help someone with mortgage problems.
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