TWEED Shire low-income earners are now able to access no-interest loans of up $1200 thanks to a local church.
Loan repayments will be from as little as $20 a fortnight and enable recipients to buy items like whitegoods, furniture, and computers as well as pay for car repairs and registration, medical bills or education-related costs.
Women escaping domestic violence, who are receiving personal support from a local agency, may also be eligible for a loan of up to $2000 to assist with transition and re-settlement costs.
NSW not-for-profit aged and home care provider BaptistCare launched the No Interest Loans Service (NILS) locally this week in partnership with the Banora Point Community Baptist Church.
BaptistCare North West Group Manager Scott Pilgrim said NILS was a proven program that had provided more than $5million in loans over the past six years at 10 locations across NSW.
He said one of the goals was to keep clients away from fringe lenders.
"Many of our clients do not qualify for mainstream finance and are often targeted by fringe lenders offering loans that come with extremely high interest rates and many other hidden traps."
Mr Pilgrim said there were hundreds of wonderful stories of how these small loans had helped people get closer to financial independence.
They included a pensioner who financed her long-overdue dental work.
Another woman who had escaped from domestic violence bought a laptop with the loan and has set up her own home business.
Mr Pilgrim said University of Sydney research showed that the dignity afforded to loan recipients was just as important as the money itself.
He said it was also a great way for clients to get a good credit reference.
Find out more about the loan process by calling the Banora Point Community Church office on (07) 5523 1122.
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