“They wouldn’t give me the opportunity … nobody would. And I was thinking ‘why on earth won’t somebody give me a loan?’ I get a regular payment through the Disability Support Pension, but they couldn’t give a continental.”
Malcom had a steady income and a long standing relationship with his credit union, but he couldn’t get a loan anywhere … he’d previously been bankrupted over a $1,100 debt and, ever since, no one was willing to give him a chance, or as he says they “didn’t want to touch me.”
But what do you do when no one will give you a loan and your fridge is on the blink? More to the point, what do you do when you’re a diabetic, you need to refrigerate your insulin and your fridge is on the blink? That was the daunting scenario facing Malcom.
Thankfully, in his search for a loan, Malcom walked into NAB in Northland Shopping Centre where teller Melanie gave him a simple piece of advice that would make the world of difference.
“Melanie at NAB in Northland she said ‘why don’t you try the Good Money in Collingwood?’ I said what’s that?”
Melanie explained that Good Money provided no and low interest loans to people on low incomes and people who are unable to access credit cards or bank loans. That these loans could be used to purchase essential items like a fridge.
“I applied for the loan over the phone … I went down, taking all my details and bank statements, centre link statements and all this.
“I got off the tram and straight through the door. I couldn’t speak too highly of them … they made me so welcome when I walked in the door … They made it feel so homely and welcome.
“Wow, low and behold they gave me a loan to get a refrigerator … there was no interest put on it or anything. I couldn’t believe they gave me the loan. I think they wanted something like $30 a month but I said ‘take $50’ because I could afford it. So I was getting $50 taken out and I paid that off before the time was due.”
“So helpful, so beautiful, so pleasant. It was so easy!”
For Malcom the loan had an obvious practical benefit – a working fridge was a necessity. But the flow on effects were also significant.
“You’ve given me the opportunity to prove myself as far as paying back this loan … you’ve given me the opportunity to get on top of everything … It’s given me self confidence and self-esteem. I just feel fantastic.”
“Thank God that Good Money was there and NAB bank at Northland. Mel was the person to give the information I needed.”
“I’m happy, I’ve got money in my pocket, I’m healthy. I’ve got everything going in my favour.”
Good Money stores offer safe and affordable financial services for people on low incomes in Victoria and South Australia. Good Money is a joint initiative of Good Shepherd Microfinance, NAB, and the Victorian and South Australian Governments.