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How Good Shepherd is supporting the No Interest Loan (NILs) community network and clients during the pandemic

Covid-19 has brought many challenges to the delivery of NILs via the community network. From applicants in lockdown unable to visit providers and complete applications, to NILs workers having to relocate their office to home. The challenges have been many and the emphasis on Good Shepherd to pivot and support NILs providers has never been so important.

Good Shepherd has been quick to respond to these challenges by developing a number of policies and resources that have made remote NILs applications easier for both clients and workers. One key resource has been the “Verbal Confirmation of Expenses” process enabling NILs assessors to obtain expenditure details from utility companies on behalf of clients, a required step when completing applications. In addition, Good Shepherd has supported workers by providing guides and informational materials with detailed steps on how to get the best out of available technologies for more efficient remote work.

The pandemic has escalated the reliance and need on NILs providers around the country to confidently and efficiently perform remote NILs applications.  This has translated in greater options for clients. A recent example is an application performed by Forster Neighbourhood Centre that was only able to be completed using a remote signature option for the loan agreement. The applicant, recently released from custody, was unable to attend the full NILs interview yet still able to sign the required paperwork remotely. The new borrower is today a very pleased recipient of an essential mobile phone and in the words of Rachel, NILs worker at Forster Neighbourhood Centre: “He is much less likely now to reach for a payday loan or other predatory lending, which is a great outcome of the Good Shepherd’s remote working policy”.

We thank our dedicated provider network for their flexibility and pivoting with us as we all navigate this remote environment.

Provider templates and instructions for verbal confirmation of expenses and tips for remote working environments are available via Good Learning and you can view the list here.

Reach out to your State Manager with any questions on how to implement the verbal confirmation of expenses process.