This comes as new data published by Futurity Investment’s Cost of Education Index revealed the national average cost for a government education for a child over a period of 13 years currently sits at $81,661.50. 

Breaking this down per year, the average cost of government education for a single child comes out at an approximate figure of $6,281.65.

To meet this expense, NAB has revealed it expects to support more than $450,000 worth of No Interest education Loans in February to help cover the cost of school essentials. 

NAB Head of Customer Vulnerability Mike Chambers said the start of the new school year was a particularly stressful time for some parents.

“January is often when the full impact of Christmas spending hits and on top of this, parents are also faced with a list of back-to-school expenses they quickly have to meet,” Mr Chambers said.

“During the pandemic, we saw a spike in no-interest-loans to help meet the need for laptops and software for remote learning.

“With the cost of living on the rise, we expect to see even more families on low incomes looking to access no interest loans to help manage school costs.”

For reference, no interest loans are an initiative of Good Shepherd Microfinance, supported by the Australian Government and NAB under the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS). 

The scheme allows those with low incomes to access up to $2,000 for essential goods and services to be repaid over 12 to 18 months with no interest and zero fees attached.

Since 2018, NAB revealed over 17,000 Australian families have been supported with $19.7 million worth of no interest loans for school essentials alone. 

Across the states, approximately 85% of all education loans issued under the scheme were utilised by families in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, with the average loan being $1,150. 


Education loans issued between 2018 - 2022

Total loan value in dollars

Average loan amount in dollars





































Source: NAB 

Who is eligible for a no interest loan?

Under the scheme, the Good Shepherd identifies to be eligible to receive a no interest loan, certain requirements must be met. These include: 

  • Earn less than $70,000 annual income (before tax) as a single person, or $100,000 annual income (before tax) with a partner or if you have dependants.
  • OR have experienced family or domestic violence in the last 10 years.
  • OR have a health care card or pension card.
  • AND have the capacity to repay the no interest loan.


In the market for a personal loan? The table below features unsecured personal loans with some of the lowest interest rates on the market.


FixedUnsecuredN/AMore details
Loan amounts from $2k to $75k
  • No ongoing or early exit fees
  • 1-7 years loan terms. Pay monthly, fortnightly, or weekly
  • Get quick decision. Funds in 24 hrs if approved
Loan amounts from $2k to $75k

Low Rate Personal Loan Unsecured (Excellent Credit)

  • No ongoing or early exit fees
  • 1-7 years loan terms. Pay monthly, fortnightly, or weekly
  • Get quick decision. Funds in 24 hrs if approved
FixedUnsecuredN/AN/AMore details

Unsecured Personal Loan (Excellent Credit)

    VariableUnsecuredN/AN/AMore details

    Personal Loan

      Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

      All products with a link to a product provider’s website have a commercial marketing relationship between us and these providers. These products may appear prominently and first within the search tables regardless of their attributes and may include products marked as promoted, featured or sponsored. The link to a product provider’s website will allow you to get more information or apply for the product. By de-selecting “Show online partners only” additional non-commercialised products may be displayed and re-sorted at the top of the table. For more information on how we’ve selected these “Sponsored”, “Featured” and “Promoted” products, the products we compare, how we make money, and other important information about our service, please click here.

      The comparison rates in this table are based on a loan of $30,000 and a term of 5 years unless indicated otherwise. The comparison rates are for unsecured personal loans only for the relevant amounts and terms. The comparison rates for car loans and secured personal loans are for secured loans unless indicated otherwise. WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. Comparison rates are not calculated for revolving credit products.

      Monthly repayment figures are estimates only, exclude fees and are based on the advertised rate for the term and for the loan amount entered. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes. Rates correct as of June 16, 2024. View disclaimer.

      Image by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi via Pexels