The pressure to cope means making difficult choices to get through

November 3, 2023

Having a reliable car is very important for Lagi and her large extended family. Two members of her family are dependent on her, so a car means being able to get them to specialist appointments. When Lagi’s car stopped working, she knew her life was going to be more challenging.

After taking her car to the mechanic and learning it wasn’t worth repairing, Lagi began looking around for options. She found vehicles but struggled to find something she could afford and had several rejections from finance companies.

Based on recommendations from her community, Lagi decided to get a car from a local car dealership. They offered her a loan through their in-house finance and as Lagi went through the loan process, she says she felt pressured into putting down a deposit for the car.

Lagi knew about good financial decisions, as she had herself worked in education and financial services. But she tells us that her circumstances overshadowed her good financial knowledge as she was out of options and was desperate.

“I knew deep down I was putting myself in a hole”

The pressure continued as the loan got closer to being finalised, and Lagi was told on the spot that she would need to put down a deposit while she was there. Feeling like she had no other option, Lagi borrowed the money from family and signed the contract.

After a few days of feeling uneasy, Lagi decided to cancel the contract, and was told she wouldn’t get her deposit, however, Lagi fought hard to get it back.

Lagi knew she needed help to get her finances sorted and had been waiting to talk to one of Good Shepherd NZ’s team about her situation. Good Shepherd NZ provides Good Loans with no fees or interest, for people to purchase essential items like second-hand cars or appliances, and to provide debt solutions for people struggling with unmanageable debt.

She was not immediately able to get a Good Loan to buy a new car because her existing debt was putting her further into deficit, and there was nothing left to make loan repayments. Her Good Loans Coach, Rosh, helped her talk through her options.

“Some of the process was challenging but Good Shepherd were professional and warm and believed in me.”

Over the phone they talked through a plan to make changes to her budget to pay off some high-cost debt, negotiate a plan with her creditors and free up some money to repay a loan for a car, as well as to consolidate the larger debt she was struggling to get on top of. The plan was for Lagi to reduce her debt over a month, but she managed to clear it within 2 weeks.

After making these changes, Lagi had enough surplus in her budget and had a car loan confirmed. This enabled her to purchase a car and get back to supporting her family to get where they needed to be.

“I can’t find words to express my gratitude for Good Shepherd, I have already started spreading the word to my community.”