Queensland Government media release
Gold Coasters can steer clear of dodgy payday lenders with the official opening of Queensland’s first Good Money store at Southport, last week.
Minister for Communities Shannon Fentiman said the state’s first Good Money store was a lifeline for cash-strapped Queenslanders, who through the shop can access no or low-interest loans and get budgeting advice from dedicated financial counsellors.
“The Good Money store at Southport is great news for people doing it tough on the Gold Coast and means we can help them keep their distance from unscrupulous payday lenders or consumer lease companies,” Ms Fentiman said.
“Payday lenders are a dime a dozen on the Gold Coast and there’s too many vulnerable Queenslanders who feel they have no other option but to sign up to high-interest loan schemes that will leave them worse-off.
“Good Money Stores offer low and no-interest loans so that clients can buy a new fridge or washing machine, or pay for repairs to their car, without being saddled with crushing debt and crippling interest payments.”
Ms Fentiman said she was pleased the Palaszczuk Government partnered with Good Shepherd Microfinance and the National Australia Bank to bring two Good Money stores to Queensland, including one in Cairns.
“It’s a great example of what can be achieved when the corporate sector, a not-for-profit and the government all work together,” she said.
“The Gold Coast Good Money store is located at Nerang Street, Southport and there will be a second store opening in Cairns very soon.”
Good Shepherd Microfinance’s Chief Executive Officer Adam Mooney said the organisation was delighted to bring the Good Money concept to Queensland for the first time.
“We know that there’s a huge demand for safe and affordable finance in Queensland,” he said.
“Good Money provides access to the award-winning No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) which offers small loans up to $1200 for essential goods and services such as fridges, washing machines and car repairs.
“I’d like to congratulate the Queensland Government on this significant investment which is part of their Financial Inclusion Action Plan – an investment that will strengthen the NILS footprint across the state through life-changing small loans.
“More than 90 per cent of customers feel they’re better able to budget after speaking with Good Money and 50 per cent of clients who had previously used high cost payday loans said they’d avoid them in the future.”
NAB’s general manager retail Queensland Paul Collins said it can be a difficult time of year for families on low incomes who are still recovering from the costs of the Easter break.
“The Good Money store will make it easier for thousands of individuals and families to meet their needs for education, medical, transport and other necessities,” he said.
“NAB is very proud to play our part in helping Australia’s most vulnerable with small loans and other financial help so they can get ahead.”
Ms Fentiman called on the Federal Government to fast-track changes to lending criteria that lowers the cap on payday lender repayments from 20 per cent to 10 per cent of a person’s income.
“While we are fighting to make sure ordinary Queenslanders have access to responsible lending and fair financial advice, the LNP in Canberra are dragging their heels and making it easier for shonky lenders to lock more people into spiralling debt,” she said.
Ms Fentiman said the Good Money Stores are part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $25 million Better Budgeting program, including 27 financial counsellors.