A massive funding injection will allow Ngā Tangata Microfinance to help hundreds more vulnerable Kiwis to escape the punishing cycle of debt caused by predatory lending practices.
Kiwibank has more than doubled the loan capital it provides to Ngā Tangata Microfinance (NTM) to $500,000 – a boost NTM Executive Officer Robert Choy says is huge for the social lending trust and the people it helps.
“It allows us to provide more loans to more people, and to grow in direct response to what is a worrying proliferation of payday and predatory lenders in New Zealand.”
NTM provides no-interest loans to qualifying clients for family well-being and relief from high-interest debt.
Partnering with local budgeting advisors, NTM has disbursed more than $700,000 in no-interest loans to more than 300 clients, with 70% of the support being for relief from high-interest debt.
But requests for help continue to trend up – 30% more NTM loans were approved in the past 12 months compared to the previous year.
“That’s why our partnership with Kiwibank and the increased capital support is so crucial,” says Mr Choy.
“We’re still relatively small but having more loan capital means we can help more people in more areas throughout Aotearoa. It’ll go some way toward countering the explosion in predatory and ‘fringe’ lending, particularly through online channels.”
Mark Wilkshire, Kiwibank Group Manager Marketing, says NTM is making a massive difference to help Kiwis create stronger financial futures.
“We’ve seen the extraordinary success Ngā Tangata has had in helping people break free of the cycle of debt. Coupled with support from budgeting services and their advisors, Ngā Tangata is building long-term financial inclusion, capability and independence.
“For those NTM has worked with, it’s life-changing stuff. That’s why we’re increasing our support – to change the lives of even more people for the better.”
NTM will celebrate seven years in operation at a special event hosted in west Auckland on February 23. Special guest at the event will be Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Social Development and Disability Issues.