Back to school No Interest Loans

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3 February, 2020

Back to school costs are no longer just about uniforms and stationery.

Over the last decade the emphasis on the technology used for education has meant kids require more access to laptops and mobile devices as part of their every day learning. This has meant a huge increase in schooling costs and puts even more pressure on parents finding it hard to cope with cost of living pressures.

Computers and mobile devices are now by far the most significant part of schooling costs for many families and finding the money at this time of the year can send people spiralling into more debt. Many will still have outstanding bills from Christmas.

How can you pay for your kids essential learning needs without sinking further into debt or needing to think about other forms of loans that may cost you a lot more?

Have you heard of NILS? The No Interest Loans Scheme run by Good Finance loans has helped many families to purchase white goods and household items such as fridges and washing machines without paying any interest or charges. No interest, no charges at all! Now the Good Finance NILS is available to help with your back to school needs including computer and text books.

Low Income earners and people in hardship can access this help.

No interest loans are the best and cheapest way for people on low incomes to cover household expenses and necessities, you only repay what you borrow, so you don’t get caught in a cycle of borrowing and debt.

To apply for a no interest loan, visit nils.com.au to find your nearest provider or check out more about NILS and other assistance available in South Australia see the Affordable SA App (download free on Apple and Google play) and website www.affordablesa.com.au or ring the Affordable SA Helpline on 1800 025 539.

By Graeme

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Bushfire recovery and COVID-19

Those effected by Bushfire in South Australia have been hit with a double whammy. Hit hard by the fires in Kangaroo Island and Woodside, the COVID019 crisis has wiped out any confidence of recovery for a lot of people and businesses in these communities.

In response, Governments are now announcing more support to help get Bushfire effected communities through the coronavirus pandemic and the Bushfire recovery agency has put together a combined list of assistance and options available covering these crises. It includes bushfire, drought, flood and COVID-19 support from the Australian Government and links to state government assistance.

From help for mental and domestic violence to property clean up and support for ongoing living costs including where COVID-19 assistance may provide more benefit. This information site quickly defines what is available for individuals, small business including not for profits and primary producers.

Click on the list most relevant to you:

- [Combined list of support for individuals](https://www.bushfirerecovery.gov.au/recovery-assistance/combined-individuals-and-families)

- [Combined list of support for small business and not-for-profits](https://www.bushfirerecovery.gov.au/recovery-assistance/combined-small-business)

- [Combined list of support for primary producers](https://www.bushfirerecovery.gov.au/recovery-assistance/combined-primary-producers)

Keep in mind that governments are announcing more support as things change, and check back occasionally with the [Bushfire Recovery Agency](https://www.bushfirerecovery.gov.au/recovery-assistance/combined-individuals-and-families) to see what’s new.

If you are struggling there are Financial Counsellors available on Kangaroo Island and in Lobethal. financial counsellors are free, independent and confidential. They are there to help you manage through the cost of living pressures. Check out the Affordable SA App, website or ring the Affordable SA Helpline 1800 025 539 to book an appointment with one of the financial counsellors based in these communities or find out what other assistance is available.

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How much do we care?

The release of 1.1 Billion dollars by the PM was less about “how we are managing” coronavirus and more about “how much we care” for those that will be thrown into financial chaos and personal hardship.

It will help to provide protection for the frontline Doctors and Nurses who have shown their stamina and courage and who will be put under even more pressure in the weeks and months to come. So much depends on these people and the outpouring of genuine appreciation for their efforts continues to grow as we learn about the day to day struggles they face in managing patients and what could happen.

It will help people that will find it hard to cope with these times. We know that many people will suffer mental health issues as anxiety and fear will cross our paths at some point through this crisis. We know that financial hardship undeniably creates a spike in domestic violence. We know that people will need support for the basics such as food and money and many wont know where to turn to find the help they need.

The SA Government has for many years provided for a network of support agencies across the State that can help you with the basics such as food, financial help and support. We call this Network, [Emergency Relief](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/food/emergency-relief). It supports people in need with food, financial and material assistance. Fuel vouchers to be able to travel to work or out of harms way. No Interest Loans, access to cheap insurance, the basic essentials and free Financial Counselling to help you manage debt. Organisations such as [FoodBank](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/food/foodbank), Oz Harvest, Second Bite and even your local supermarket form an important supply chain for this Network.

This network is now set to ramp up to support even more South Australians, not just in Adelaide but across our regional areas with the SA Government releasing 1.6 million dollars to the charities, food relief organisations and online and phone support programs. Businesses too have jumped in to lend a hand with chefs, restaurants and major commercial kitchens cooking up meals to supply Foodbank and meals on wheels. These Emergency Relief providers have re-invented the way they work in order to follow the guidelines that are helping to keep us safe and to flatten the curve.

Check out the South Australian Emergency Relief providers in the Affordable SA App, website or speak to the [Affordable SA Helpline](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/money-and-finances/affordable-sa-helpline) on 1800 025 539 to find the services that can help you and in your local area.

For the immediate future, Emergency Relief will continue almost entirely as a phone-based services. Working with the SA Government to deliver help and keep people safe by minimising exposure to the COVID19 virus.

It’s going to be a long haul and these charities and agencies no matter how big or how small will be pushed to their limits. Many have been forged during war or tough times. Many are driven by their volunteer’s enthusiasm and personal knowledge of hardship. All will need to draw on every once of their tradition and unity to successfully stand with those that will be in need and show just how much we really do care.

by[Graeme](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/team/graeme-hinckley)

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