No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) housing loans

Information for private rental tenants located in Cairns and the Gold Coast.

No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) housing loans assist Queenslanders who need extra support to set up or continue a private rental tenancy.

There are 2 NILS:

NILS loan features

  • Available up to the value of $2000
  • Interest free
  • Fee free
  • To be repaid over 18 months
  • Budgeting and financial support throughout loan term


To be eligible for a NILS housing loan, you must:

  • be a Queensland resident
  • be earning a net income of less than $45,000.

How to apply

The NILS loans are only available in Cairns and the Gold Coast. If you live in these areas, and wish to apply for a NILS loan, phone the Cairns Housing Service Centre or the Gold Coast Housing Service Centre.

NILS loan types

The Set-Up Loan

The Set-Up Loan is for potential new tenants to help cover the costs of:

  • starting your private rental tenancy
  • removalists
  • key deposits
  • essential household items.

The Rent Sustainment Loan

The Rent Sustainment Loan helps current tenants pay your rent if payments are behind. You are still responsible for paying all household bills.

Current trial

The Rent Sustainment Loan and the Set-Up Loan are being trialled through the Cairns and Gold Coast Good Money Stores, in partnership with Good Shepherd Microfinance and the National Australia Bank.

More information

Josh's story

Duration 00:02:22 |

My girlfriend and I we  had a relationship breakdown and the girls and I were staying with a friends’ house. We were all in the one room, I’ve got my 14-year-old there and my 5 year old at the time, that was tough I spent a lot of nights laying awake thinking of that. Thinking about this is what my life has become, this is it, please tell me it gets better than this, how can I be a dad to my kids if this is my situation.

Josh was brilliant in that he was out there, he was applying for properties, he was being knocked back. When he came in to see a RentConnect Officer we were able to identify that he just needed a little bit of help to get across the line with an agent so he could start working more during that time and be able to afford the rent on his own

Which was great because it helped me get established.

Josh identified that he needed to get a few extra things. A washing machine, a tv and a vacuum cleaner. So we were able to refer him to NILs to give him a no interest loan.

And the referral came through so we could help furnish that rental for him and his daughters.

He seemed very happy when we approved the loan and his daughters seemed very happy.

It’s a lot better to have that interest free loan because then you’re just paying back what you already owe.

I’ve had bad experiences with pay day lenders. A lot of the time you end up spending more than you’ve asked for.

Its great that we can now refer them over to NILS so they can access some of those things that they need with out paying fees, without paying interest.

It starts with the roof, because once you’ve got a roof over your head, its easier to pay your bills, its easier to get a job, easier to do these things when you’ve got that stable home environment.

Without the NILS loan and the department of Housing I’d probably still be in that spare bedroom or sleeping in my car.

For us we want to make sure that people are going to succeed in their tenancies because the cost of homelessness is much more than the cost of these products.

To find out more about the NILS housing loans, phone the Cairns Housing Service Centre or the Gold Coast Housing Service Centre.