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Nga Tangata Microfinance Welcomes New Initiative To Relieve Debt Burden

Nga Tangata Microfinance welcomes the Government's initiative to relieve debt burden and increase access to specialist debt services for those vulnerable people and particularly those financially impacted by COVID-19.

Natalie Vincent, General Manager for NTM says: "Too many people are suffering from high levels of debt and this initiative provides a way for people to escape the crippling consequences of unmanageable debt."

The Government has announced it will provide $4.3 million over two years to support expansion of existing specialist debt services, including access to Building Financial Capability services for debt support and access to debt consolidation and microfinance loans.

This is in addition to the $35 million announced at the end of May.

Working in partnership with Kiwibank and Financial Mentors, Nga Tangata Microfinance offers safe, fair loans, with no interest or fees, to low income families.

The purpose of Nga Tangata Microfinance's loan products is twofold: to provide the prevention and alleviation of unmanageable and unproductive high interest debt and stop the debt spiral that these loans create.

Also, the ‘well being’ loans can, for example, fund the technology that enables children to engage in remote learning, and families to connect with their bank when no bank branches are in their vicinity.

"This Government’s recognition of the need for a safer consumer credit environment was signaled by the changes made to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act. The pandemic has taught us that more is needed to protect the team of five million," says Vincent.

"Aotearoa needs more socially responsible lending options, such as those provided by Nga Tangata Microfinance that protect families from the adverse impacts of high interest debt.

"More education is also needed around safe investment and safe credit, so we can have a more financially capable and inclusive society."

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