A not-for-profit provider of no and low interest small amount loans, which opened its first South Australian store one-year ago, has helped more than 2,000 northern suburbs households.
The Good Money store in John Street Salisbury opened its doors in August last year to offer low-cost financial products and services, providing an alternative to payday lenders and ‘rent to buy’ schemes for people on a low income. It is a three-way partnership between Good Shepherd Microfinance, the National Australia Bank (NAB) and the South Australian Government.
Since opening in July 2015, more than 200 households have accessed no and low interest loans offered through the Good Money store, with the most popular usage being for vehicle repairs, furniture, computers, household appliances and whitegoods.
A further 2,095 households had a financial conversation with a Good Money team member which covers budgeting, saving, managing bank fees and bills, and the risks around payday lending.
In addition to northern suburbs residents, customers have travelled from as far as Renmark, Ardrossan and Woodcroft to access its innovative products and services.
Good Shepherd Microfinance’s General Manager – Retail and Online, Corinne Proske, said the Good Money store had quickly become a vital and trusted part of Adelaide’s northern suburbs providing financial advice and its products to the community.
“The popularity of Good Money in our first 12 months clearly highlights the need for sensible financial options for households, not only in the northern suburbs, but across South Australia,” she said.
“The message that there is a much more affordable finance option has quickly filtered throughout the northern suburbs community, but we need that message to spread further and faster.
“The most satisfaction for us comes from knowing we help thousands of families each year avoid significant financial distress,” said Ms Proske.
The Minister for Communities and Social Inclusion, the Hon. Zoe Bettison MP, said over the past 12 months the Good Money store has provided an important service to people on low incomes, in particular those living in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.
“Good Money has established itself within the local community as a trusted organisation where individuals and families can get sound advice and access to responsible products.
“For many households, the cost of living and financial demands are increasing and it’s vital that a service like Good Money is available so those vulnerable don’t turn to payday lenders as a quick fix.”
General Manager of Corporate Responsibility at NAB, Jodi Geddes, said Good Money has demonstrated it can help break the cycle of people turning to high cost payday lenders when they need financial assistance.
“In other states we have seen customers who have previously used payday lenders report that they won’t turn to these lenders again after getting assistance from Good Money.
“This model demonstrates what can be achieved when government, the community sector and corporates work together to address the issue of financial exclusion,” she said.
Ms Proske also said that Good Money is providing an alternative to the payday lenders and rent to buy schemes in the area. There are currently five payday lenders located in John Street at Salisbury which offer expensive credit in the form of short-term, small cash loans.
“What we offer through our No Interest Loan Scheme is an option for people where a $500 washing machine costs just that – $500. Our customers have the peace of mind that there are no hidden fees or additional charges applied to our products,” she said.
As well as offering its award winning No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) and the StepUP low interest loan, it also offers a matched savings program called AddsUP and access to financial counselling services.
Good Money delivers community finance and related services in prominent ‘high street’ locations. It is a three-way partnership between Good Shepherd Microfinance, NAB and state governments. Good Money has stores in Geelong, Dandenong and Collingwood in
Victoria and Salisbury in South Australia. The Queensland Government has announced that it will open two Good Money stores in 2017.
Good Money is operated by Good Shepherd Microfinance – Australia’s largest microfinance organisation. It offers a suite of people-centred, affordable financial programs and loans for people on low incomes. Its aim is to enable clients to realise their own economic wellbeing through appropriate financial services. Good Shepherd Microfinance’s programs have reached more than 181,000 people previously excluded from mainstream banking access, with repayment rates consistently above 94 per cent.