What are Community Finance loans?
The Community Finance scheme offers affordable loans for approved people on low incomes (wage earners or benefit recipients).
Loan applications are made through approved our Community Finance centres, which then work with you throughout the life of your loan, monitoring repayments and providing support and financial education.
What type of loans are there?
Two types of loans are available:
Low-interest StepUP loan from $1000 to $5000 at 6.99% for a maximum of 36 months.
Both loans are free of fees. They have different lending criteria, including what the money is for and the customer’s financial position. The BNZ is providing the loan capital.
Repayments are calculated to be affordable across the term of the loan for people on low incomes. High interest rates and unexpected penalty payments that can lead to unsustainable debt are not a feature of the Community Finance scheme.
If you find yourself struggling to repay your loan, please contact your Salvation Army Community Finance representative immediately to discuss your options.
What can the loans be used for?
- Depending on the type of loans, they can be used for essential household goods and services such as white goods, medical and health expenses, or higher cost assets such as motor vehicles. They can also be used for funeral costs.
- The loans cannot be used to fund fines, bills or non-essential items such as holidays.
- The loans cannot be used for debt consolidation.
- The loans will not duplicate or replace existing assistance available from Work and Income.
Am I eligible for a loan?
You may be eligible to apply for a loan if you fulfil the following criteria:
- have the ability to repay a loan
- be on a low income (from work or benefits)
- hold a Community Services Card
- have lived at your current address continuously for at least the past three months.
- be able to prove a willingness to repay.
Who runs the scheme?
The scheme is a partnership between The Salvation Army, the Ministry of Social Development, Bank of New Zealand and Good Shepherd NZ. For more information please visit www.stepuploan.org.nz