Over 40,000 Australians supported with interest-free loans
NAB announced today that a record $27 million has been provided in interest-free loans to more than 40,000 low-income Australians since January this year. This figure compares to $23 million in the same period last year.
To help low-income Australians with the cost of basic necessities, NAB is partnering with good shepherd, state and federal governments, and a network of over 30 community organizations across Australia, to provide interest-free loans. This supports the purchase of basic necessities such as refrigerators, medical bills, cars or computers, with customers repaying only the borrowed amount in small, regular installments.
NAB’s customer vulnerability manager Mike Chambers said “interest-free loans” were vital for people in financial difficulty.
“Interest-free loans are specifically designed for people who earn less than $70,000 or who have a health or retirement card,” Chambers said.
“They allow customers to borrow money for essentials without having to pay fees or interest.
“We also just launched interest-free vehicle loans, which allow people to borrow up to $5,000 for a car. This has transformed customers who need a means of transport they can rely on on a daily basis.
“The current cost of living challenge has certainly made initiatives like our interest-free loans even more essential for those on low incomes.”
Recent data from NAB revealed that one in 10 Australians have turned to a payday lender when under financial pressure.
“Often, in desperate times, people feel like they have no options and turn to payday lenders to help them solve their financial problems quickly,” Chambers said.
“An interest-free loan, on the other hand, is a more durable solution that won’t leave someone in a potentially worse situation.
“It’s important for anyone in financial difficulty to know that there is help available, whether through their bank or organizations like Good Shepherd.”
Rosetta Ianchello, a single mother of two, said she was thrilled when she found there were no interest-bearing loans available and it was the boost she needed to get back on her feet.
“I took out an interest-free loan earlier this year and it was easy for me to manage due to the lack of interest,” Ms Ianchello said.
“I also liked having someone walk me through the process.”
Although no interest-bearing loans are available for home loan repayments, customers who are concerned about their financial situation are encouraged to speak to NAB-Assist. Through NAB Assist, clients can access repayment breaks, debt consolidation, financial counseling and other counseling services.
Clients can apply for financial support here.