The first ‘one-stop shop’ providing financial services to disadvantaged South Australians, including no and low interest loans, will be launched at Salisbury in Adelaide’s northern suburbs on 14 August.
The Good Money store, an initiative backed by the South Australian Government, Good Shepherd Microfinance and the National Australia Bank (NAB), will offer an alternative to high cost payday lenders and rent-to-buy schemes for people living on low incomes.
As well as offering the award winning No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS), the store will offer the StepUP low interest loan and a matched savings program called AddsUP. In addition, Good Money will provide customers with information and referrals to other onsite services such as financial counselling and credit law assistance.
The Minister for Communities and Social Inclusion, the Hon. Zoe Bettison MP, who will officially launch the Good Money store, said it provides an important service to people on low incomes in South Australia.
“For many households, the cost of living is increasing and it can be a stretch to find enough money to go around, so the temptation is to resort to payday lenders as a quick fix,” she said.
“Payday lenders and rent-to-buy schemes are far from a quick way out, with crippling interest rates leaving many people in a situation where their debt spirals out of control.
“Good Money provides a trusted alternative where people can get sound advice and access to responsible products.”
Chief Executive Officer of Good Shepherd Microfinance, Adam Mooney, said as the largest microfinance provider in Australia, its programs had reached more than 170,000 people who can’t access mainstream banking products.
He said the organisation was excited to expand Good Money to South Australia increasing the reach of safe, fair and affordable finance for people on low incomes.
“Good Money is a proven model that enhances financial wellbeing for people on low incomes. Research shows that customers feel more in control of their money and feel they are better able to cope with unexpected expenses,” he said.
“Good Money offers a lot more than loans, providing every client with a financial conversation to help break the cycle of disadvantage – 92 per cent of customers felt they were better able to budget after speaking with us.
“Importantly, 50 per cent of customers who had previously used payday lenders say they wouldn’t use a payday lender again after visiting Good Money,” said Mr Mooney.
NAB’s General Manager of Retail South Australia, Gregg Harris, said the Good Money partnership demonstrated the innovation that was possible through corporate community partnerships.
“There’s no magic formula that will solve financial exclusion. It takes innovative approaches such as Good Money where government, the community sector and business comes together to help South Australians on low incomes.
“We’ve done more than any other bank to address financial exclusion, not just because it’s the right thing to do but because helping people have a healthy relationship with money contributes to a thriving economy,” said Mr Harris.
The South Australian Government has committed $3.68 million over four years to support access to safe, fair and affordable finance for people on low incomes in South Australia, especially in Northern Adelaide. This includes $1.28 million to establish and operate South Australia’s first Good Money store, and $2.4 million to expand and strengthen NILS across South Australia.
Good Money Store is located at 58 John Street, Salisbury. Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 9.30am-4.30pm. To learn more about Good Money, visit www.goodmoney.com.au.
Good Shepherd Microfinance’s NILS program is also offered through local community organisations in 40 sites across South Australia. To find a local provider visit www.nils.com.au.
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 was launched in Geelong in 2012 with the support of the Victorian Government followed by stores in Collingwood and Dandenong. Good Money Salisbury is the first store to open in South Australia and is supported by the State Government in partnership with Good Shepherd Microfinance and NAB.
Good Shepherd Microfinance is Australia’s largest microfinance organisation. It enables people to define and then to realise their own economic wellbeing and to feel valued and in control of their finances and lives.