All good loans will now be available without interest or fees – a significant change announced by Good Shepherd NZ and BNZ.
Through its partnership with Good Shepherd NZ, BNZ supports interest-free loan vouchers of up to $7,000 to eligible families and people on limited incomes to help them avoid predatory lenders and high-cost debt. These loans can be used to purchase essential items or services such as new appliances, computers, car repairs or medical expenses.
Additionally, BNZ is helping Good Shepherd NZ offer interest-free loan vouchers of up to $15,000 through its free DEBTsolve program. DEBTsolve combines debt coaching and advocacy with interest-free debt solution loans to help more New Zealanders overcome unmanageable debt.
Fleur Howard, Managing Director of Good Shepherd NZ, says: “Sometimes all it takes is one unexpected event, like a car breakdown, to tip people from simple money management to serious financial stress. .
“These households may have been forced to turn to high-cost lenders, compounding their financial difficulties and creating a spiral into further debt.
“Through Good Loans, we want to continue to reduce barriers and increase access to fair and affordable loans for essential services and products for the growing number of families and individuals who need this support.”
Interest-free loan vouchers are available to eligible New Zealanders on limited incomes, not just BNZ customers. Previously, interest-free loan vouchers were only available for amounts up to $2,000 and loan vouchers up to $15,000 attracted a low interest rate of 6.99%.
BNZ CEO Dan Huggins said: “We know there are families and people on limited incomes who need a helping hand to take some of the pressure off.”
“That’s why, together with Good Shepherd NZ, we’ve announced these changes to help families and individuals when they need it most.
“Supporting good interest-free loans is part of our commitment to supporting the long-term well-being of New Zealanders by helping them avoid predatory lenders and high-cost unmanageable debt.”
Since 2014, BNZ, Good Shepherd NZ and community partners have provided just under $12 million in no-cost or low-cost loans to over 4,000 families. This is estimated to have saved customers over $6 million in fees and interest if they had borrowed from other high-cost lenders.
BNZ has pledged to provide $50 million in interest-free or low-interest loans and advances. This is part of BNZ’s broader sustainability strategy aimed at increasing the long-term social and financial well-being of all New Zealanders.
Good loans are also supported by the Ministry of Social Development.
For more information on the Good Loans program visit: Good Loans – Good Shepherd NZ
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