The largest provider of no-interest loans in NSW said it has issued more than $10m in microfinance loans in partnership with NAB and the NSW Office of Fair Trading.
BaptistCare said the total value of loans it has issued has grown by over $7.5m over the last two years, increasing from around $3.5m in June 2016 to more than $10m in December last year.
The non-profit organisation said it has issued more than 8,400 NILS or low-interest loans since it started its microfinance program ten years ago. This means it has been issuing 16 loans per week to people in significant financial distress.
BaptistCare, which operates under the auspicing body of Good Shepherd Microfinance, said the largest portion of its loan recipients has been single parents supporting children. It has lent to more than 4,100 single parents to date.
“Microfinance is a crucial part of our mission to serve those facing disadvantage in the community and hitting the $10million mark is a huge success for us,” said Ross Coleman, community services manager at BaptistCare.
Coleman said their borrowers struggle with the rising cost of living and deserve access to fair credit to help them stay on track.
“High-interest loans from pay-day lenders or pawnbrokers can be a matter of ‘one step forward, two steps back’ for people in financial distress,” he said.
More than 25% of the microfinance loans the organisation has provided went to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander borrowers.
Non-profit goes into lending with NAB's help