Interim report confirms positive impact of Community Finance

May 1, 2018

An interim report by Malatest International confirms that Community Finance loans can have a range of positive impacts for people accessing them.

A little over half the loans are used to purchase vehicles, and a number of participants in the research described the benefits of owning a car.

“I’m not a spring chicken anymore and New Zealand’s public transport compared to other countries is not very good. And also, we have friends who live further afield… So, to go and see them, it would give me the ability to go places.”

“My manager will give me extra hours because, like in the past I couldn’t stay more than 9:30pm [due to the bus timetable] because I have to go home, but now I can stay until 12 o’clock in my work so they increase my hours.”

The loans can also be used for essential items such as laptops.

“[The reason I wanted the loan] was a laptop for my studies ‘cause I’m doing a …. course now, but I didn’t have my own place or a quiet place to do it, I would have had to do it at the public library which is so noisy with everyone coming in and it’s so public, I just wanted my own space so I could concentrate.”

The evaluation also found evidence of increased financial capability for Community Finance clients, including for those whose loan application was not approved.

“Just going through the whole budget and making sure that you weren’t going to get yourself into more trouble than you already are. Other loan places don’t do that, they just give you the loan and then you have all these high interest rates you’re stuck with. So going through my budget with them was really helpful.”

Read the report here: Outcomes evaluation of the Community Finance initiative – May 2018