NAB & Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service write 1,800th not-for-profit, low-interest community loan

Thursday 26 November 2009

StepUP, the award-winning not-for-profit low-interest loans program designed by NAB and Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service is celebrating its fifth birthday and 1800th loan.

The Hon. Peter Batchelor, MP, Minister for Community Development joined community development workers and teams from NAB and Good Shepherd to acknowledge the program's achievements to help financially excluded Australians access fair and affordable credit.

Since its launch in 2004, StepUP has lent almost $5 million; held over 9000 conversations about budgeting and financial wellbeing; and provided loans to nearly 1800 low-income Australians.

"StepUP is a remarkable story of how community, corporate and governments can work together to achieve life-changing outcomes for people often excluded from mainstream financial services," explained Corinne Proske, Senior Manager in NAB's Community Finance & Development team.

"People living on low incomes often have great difficulty accessing mainstream financial institutions. StepUP was developed to address this issue and provide safe and affordable lending options," Ms Proske said.

"In 2009, StepUP has a lot to celebrate. It has established a bridge between community and mainstream finance; it has attracted Federal Government funding to double its capacity and most importantly, it has remained a community program run by and for local communities," said Michelle Sainsbery, National Manager Microfinance, Good Shepherd Youth & Family Services.

"The commitment from the StepUP community workers who deliver this program where it's needed most are the key to the success story we are celebrating today," added Michelle.

StepUP loans are personal, unsecured loans between $800 and $3000 for individuals and families living on a low income, and are offered at a basic interest rate of 3.99%p.a. (comparison rate 3.99% p.a.)*. The loans provide affordable credit for the purchase of essential personal, household and domestic goods and services (eg. refrigerators, washing machines, medical expenses, cars and car repairs, computers). StepUP recipients are mentored by a community development worker throughout the loan process and repayment period, a process that supports entry into the mainstream credit system.

Since 2003, NAB in collaboration with Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service, has worked with local community agencies and government, providing innovative microfinance solutions to help low income Australians access fair and affordable financial services. NAB's microfinance commitment includes a pledge of $130 million in capital ($30 million announced in April 2006 and $100 million announced in October 2008) to support lending to low income groups.

Media - For further information contact:

George Wright Head of Group Communications National Australia Bank M: 0419 556 616 Richard Peters Head of Community Finance and Development National Australia Bank T: 02 9237 9827 M: 0438 582 919

* Comparison rates are based on a loan of $2500 over a term of 2 years. A comparison rate schedule is available from the community microcredit worker when you go for an interview. WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.