AN office has been set up on the Mornington Peninsula to help low income earners buy household necessities.
The StepUp project is run by not-for-profit Good Shepherd Microfinance, part of the Good Shepherd network.
The group will provide loans for those with a Centrelink health care card or pension card or who qualify for family tax benefit A and can prove they have lived at their current address for more than three months.
There are no fees, but a low-interest rate is charged.
“We have been providing loans around Australia for 12 years,” financial security manager Sally Edwards said. “We’re thrilled to be extending this program to peninsula residents.”
The small loans provide an alternative to pay-day lending, where people can get trapped in a cycle of debt, she said. “Loans have been used for items such as fridges, washing machines, furniture, computers, medical expenses, vocational education and second-hand car repairs.”
Good Shepherd staffers help applicants collect documents for assessment and completion of their application for finance from the National Australia Bank.
Borrowers can access $800-$3000 on terms of up to three years.
Details: Stacey Correa 5970 7008.