01 Sep 2014

More Victorian men accessing community finance

Latest data shows that more men on low incomes are accessing finance through the Good Money stores in Victoria, demonstrating the effectiveness of an innovative retail shop-front to deliver microfinance.

48% of all Good Money customers have been male since the stores opened in 2012, compared to around 32% of males who currently access no interest loans (NILS) through traditional community based finance channels*.  Male customers receiving a Newstart allowance are the most typical Good Money customer.

Michelle Crawford, Deputy CEO – Development & Innovation at Good Shepherd Microfinance said: “For many men, there can be a stigma around asking for help when it comes to their personal finances.  By creating an environment where someone can walk into a store and seek a product like any other customer, we are reaching more people who would otherwise be excluded from borrowing money from a bank.”

Corinne Proske, Head of Community Finance at the National Australia Bank said: “We know through our research that men and women are equally affected when it comes to being excluded from mainstream finance.
It’s encouraging to see that Good Money is providing men with a safe alternative to accessing predatory informal lenders, which may otherwise lead them to a cycle of debt.”

Backed by Good Shepherd Microfinance, National Australia Bank (NAB) and the Victorian Government, Good Money stores were opened in Victoria to help meet low income earners’ demand for affordable credit and low cost financial services.

The stores, located on main streets and competing directly alongside short term informal lenders, can be found in Geelong, Dandenong and Collingwood.

The Victorian Government recently committed an additional $1.7 million to the stores in the State Budget.

*”Life Changing Loans at No Interest: An Outcomes Evaluation of Good Shepherd Microfinance’s No Interest Loan Scheme”,  conducted by the Centre for Social Impact on behalf of Good Shepherd Microfinance.

NAB is celebrating MoneySmart Week with a series of articles about what we are doing to improve financial literacy and help Australians have a healthy relationship with money.

NAB is a Gold Partner of MoneySmart Week, a not-for-profit initiative that promotes the importance of financial literacy – http://moneysmartweek.org.au/.

NAB is the only bank in Australia to have a range of microfinance products that offer an affordable alternative for people experiencing financial exclusion. Together with Good Shepherd Microfinance, we manage one of the largest microfinance programs in the developed world.

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