Paula’s story: “I was going to lose my home.”

Things were really tough for Paula* when she applied for a loan from Ngā Tāngata Microfinance. She had borrowed $3,000 from her bank and hadn’t been able to pay it back due to a change of circumstances, so the bank was planning to foreclose on her home of 23 years. “The bank wouldn’t let me pay the loan off over time – they were going to sell my house,” she says.

A single mum in her 40s, Paula had arranged an overdraft with her bank a couple of years ago when she was laid off from her job. There was a seven week stand-down period before she could get a benefit from WINZ and she was really stuck for money. She says she struggled for money before that, but once she lost her job, thing went from bad to worse. On top of that, she hasn’t been able to work since then due to poor health. “On the benefit, there is no extra money. You just can’t get rid of the debt,” she explains.

In desperation, and very stressed about losing her house, Paula turned to the Salvation Army. There she talked to a Financial Mentor, who recommended applying to Ngā Tāngata for a GetControl Debt Relief Loan. These loans are designed to help people pay off spiralling debts in small, manageable payments – with no interest and no fees.

The loan was approved, and Paula was able to pay back the bank and save her home. She says she feels “huge stress relief” and is able to cope with paying off the loan. “I pay off $20 a week, which is manageable,” she says. “I would totally recommend applying for a Ngā Tāngata loan to others in a similar situation. A lot of people just don’t know these options are out there – but it’s changed my life.”

*Note: all names including those of the loan companies have been changed. Any re-publishing of these case studies need the permission of Ngā Tāngata Microfinance Ltd.