However, far from being a quick financial fix, the fee can mean that the equivalent interest rate you pay on the loan can be as high as 400%. The thing is, there is no real interest rate, so these products fall through the cracks. National Credit Code.
Although the federal government announced a crackdown on these lenders years ago, Election Day was 2,000 days late. So during the panicked days of the pandemic, these dodgy outfits thrived.
Ahead of any potential move from the new Labor government, they are about to pounce again with their glossy ads promising to bail you out. You must beware.
Services “Your immediate payment”
Realize that services that promise you early access to your payment package – again, no matter how simple they seem – are trying to make money from you instead. Otherwise, why would they care?
If you are unable to wait for your weekly, semi-monthly or monthly paycheck and are instead tempted to access as you earn, you have a financial problem that you are threatening to make worse. Continue reading.
If you have multiple Buy Now, Pay Later open transactions, or use multiple BNPL services, you should also consider the following.
Interest-free loan scheme
Now, this one looks suspicious, but it’s over the edge.
Issued by a non-profit organization Good Shepherd Microfinance Through a network of hundreds of charities across the country, low-income people can get loans for things like broken appliances or emergency repairs, like your car, as well as medical bills or even essential education expenses.
These loans – up to $1,500 – are available to health card or pension card holders, or single people with less than $45,000 a year after tax, or $60,000 for couples.
Repayments are set at an affordable amount and you must prove that you can make them over 12 to 18 months.
There’s also a way to immediately lighten household expenses, if you’re doing it hard.
Financial Hardship Provisions
Soaring energy prices, combined with a cold spell, are expected to strain the budgets of many households.
As counter-intuitive as it is, if you don’t think you can pay a bill, let your supplier know in advance. This goes for utility companies, telecom operators and credit providers, including mortgage lenders.
All are required to have dedicated financial hardship services, and pandemic conditions have helped them become more efficient and understanding.
Ask for leniency or even repayment holidays.
Free Financial Advisors
If you’re having trouble or fear you might be soon, you don’t have to deal with it alone. There is help at hand.
Through the National Debt Helpline (1800 007 007) you can get free financial help today. The confidential advice you’ll get there includes a sustainable plan to help you rebuild your finances.
You can also get help with an interest-free loan and/or access hardship provisions from service providers, or they can advocate for you with Centrelink.
- The advice given in this article is of a general nature and is not intended to influence readers’ decisions regarding investments or financial products. They should always seek professional advice that takes their personal circumstances into account before making financial decisions.