12 May 2023
Adur & Worthing No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS)
Boom Community Bank is working with Adur and Worthing Councils to provide no-interest loans to residents struggling to access credit.
Adur and Worthing Councils successfully applied for £100,000 from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to support a NILS scheme for residents. NILS aims to benefit residents by providing a safe line of affordable credit to those residents on a low income to clear immediate financial hurdles such as a rent deposit, essential furniture, white goods, and upfront nursery fees, which may present an obstacle to getting back to work.
Cllr Angus Dunn, Adur's Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, said: "Financially excluded or vulnerable households have little access to affordable loan products, which can lead them to take out loans with sky-high interest rates.
"This scheme will provide a safety net for people to pay for essential items or access education and employment without spiralling into debt."
Cllr Carl Walker, Worthing's Deputy Leader, said: "The cost of living crisis has left many people unable to save for the future or cover unexpected costs.
"Local community banking means that residents in financial difficulty can avoid payday lenders and help savings stay in the local economy - something that benefits not only residents but also local shops and businesses."
You can apply to Boom Community Bank for a no-interest loan if you live in an Adur and Worthing Council area. Successful applicants are likely to receive a low income and benefits. You don't need to be a member of Boom Community Bank already; however, some restrictions apply. For example, A NILS loan is unavailable to anyone with a current Boom Community Bank loan balance.
Typically, the loans are between £300 and £1,500, repaid over one to three years. If approved, the loan is provided under a legally binding agreement and is repayable under the agreed terms. Therefore, like all loans from Boom Community Bank, approval is subject to credit checks and affordability assessment. A loan will not be provided if the affordability of the repayments cannot be guaranteed. Boom takes a flexible approach in tailoring loan repayment schedules to reflect the borrower's financial circumstances and capacity to pay. When repaid by borrowers, the funds service new loans - enabling more people to be assisted by the scheme.
To ensure NILS loans are given appropriately to those who need them most, Boom may offer an alternative loan option to NILS applicants that meet its standard lending criteria. Similarly, unsuccessful applicants of regular Boom loans shall be automatically considered for a NILS loan and will be contacted with an offer if eligible.
Mark Jasper, Boom Community Bank's CEO, said: "Boom Community Bank is proud to have provided accessible, affordable, and trusted financial services for Adur and Worthing residents for more than a decade.
"We are pleased that through close collaboration with Adur and Worthing Councils, we can facilitate the NILS scheme to support residents who continue to struggle through a challenging period. Successful applicants will also be welcomed into the Boom fold as members of our financial cooperative. We hope that we can play an active role in supporting them on the journey to financial self-sustainability".