The Palaszczuk Government has today announced the first two locations for interest-free loans in Cairns and the Gold Coast, designed to keep loan-sharks at bay and sustain tenancies.
Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said that in an Australian first the Palaszczuk Government would be partnering with the corporate and community sector to offer loans to help eligible Queenslanders secure a private tenancy and avoid spiralling debt associated with payday lending.
“For too long, people from low-income or financially disadvantaged backgrounds have resorted to dodgy payday lenders in order to avoid eviction,” he said.
“Our Set-up and Rent Sustainment loans will help Queenslanders in need of a helping hand access interest-free loans to help cover initial set-up costs of a private market tenancy – relocation costs, key deposits and other fees – and help them pay the rent during difficult times.
“These are the first locations for this service and will help guide our planning for making our new no interest loans accessible to more Queensland communities,” Mr de Brenni said.
“This support comes in addition to the $480 million allocated in the Palaszczuk Government Budget designed to build new homes or help Queenslanders sustain private tenancies.”
Minister for Communities Coralee O'Rourke said the new rental relief products were a welcomed addition to existing no interest and low interest loans offered through the Good Money Stores.
“It’s important for low-income and financially disadvantaged households to be able to borrow money for essential purchases from a reputable source that won't charge them an arm and a leg in interest payments,” said Mrs O'Rourke.
“This is where Good Money comes into the equation, offering no-interest or low-interest loans to eligible households so they can make these essential purchases.”
Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said that it was welcome news that Gold Coasters would be some of the first Queenslanders to access these financial services.
“For low income families in my electorate struggling to make ends meet, I know just how much of a difference a helping hand can make to keep families in their homes.
“These loans are available up to the value of $2000, are interest and fee-free and repayable over 18 months.”
Good Shepherd Microfinance’s General Manager NILS Jenny Hardy said store personnel would help clients with safe and affordable financial products, services and budgeting advice.
“We're especially interested in helping people with net incomes less than $45,000; young people leaving care; women escaping domestic violence; people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; Indigenous people; homeless people; seniors and women in general who are experiencing financial stress,” Ms Hardy said.
“Fast money does not always equate to good money, so please come in and have a chat – we're here to help.”
Dedicated staff at the Good Money Stores will work with applicants referred to them by Department of Housing and Public Works Housing Service Centre personnel on the Gold Coast and in Cairns.
Both the Cairns and Southport stores are funded by the Palaszczuk Government through the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors under the Queensland Financial Inclusion Plan.
The new loans will be offered through Good Shepherd Microfinance’s (GSM’s) No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS), with support from the National Australia Bank (NAB). Good Money is a partnership between GSM, NAB and state governments.
The loans will only be available through the initial Queensland Good Money Stores located in Cairns and Southport with a planned future rollout across the state.
For more information, go to https://goodmoney.com.au/loans-services/.
Minister for Housing and Public Works, Minister for Digital Technology and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Mick de Brenni
Minister for Communities and Minister for Disability Services and Seniors
The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke