What is a Financial Wellbeing Coach?

October 20, 2021

We explore the variety of skills a Financial Wellbeing Coach uses to help clients take back control of their unmanageable debt and build their financial capabilities.

Financial Wellbeing Coaches on our DEBTsolve programme work with clients to support them to regain control of their unmanageable debt.

Our Financial Wellbeing Coaches combine their financial mentoring skills such as negotiating with lenders, with the ability to assess the suitability of a debt solution loan for a client’s situation.

The first step for a Financial Wellbeing Coach is to work with the client to achieve a good understanding of their financial situation.

Once they have a strong handle on the client’s situation and need, the Financial Wellbeing Coach will put their problem-solving cap on to explore every avenue available for the client.

Financial Wellbeing Coach need to:

What do we mean by unmanageable debt?

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Unmanageable debt is a debt that a person is struggling to repay while continuing to pay basic living costs such as rent, utilities, food and family essentials. DEBTsolve is available to individuals and whānau who are living on limited income and struggling with unmanageable debt.
Have a good understanding of the New Zealand credit landscape and its third-tier lenders
Identify a range of debt reduction and budget options to help the clients meet their goals
Work with the client to assess these and come up with a budget and a debt reduction plan
Work with the client to complete a debt solution loan application where applicable
Advocate and negotiate with lenders where necessary
Provide support as needed to clients as they implement their plans
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Taking back control of unmanageable debt isn’t a quick fix. Our Financial Wellbeing Coaches usually work with clients between three and 12 months – and sometimes it can be even longer than that.

Financial Wellbeing Coaches have a strong focus on proactively tackling debt.

They need to be able to identify the most suitable combination of solutions for each client from the wide range of options available. 

They need to be confident in negotiating with lenders to make manageable repayments, identifying when irresponsible lending has happened and in putting forward a hardship case.

This requires them to be confident and have a good understanding of CCCFA responsible lending requirements.

DEBTsolve can also include a low-interest debt solution loan of up to $15,000 to help consolidate any unmanageable debts – however, every client’s situation is unique, and a debt solution loan may not always be the best option.  Financial Wellbeing Coaches are trained to identify the difference.

What do we mean by unmanageable debt?

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Unmanageable debt is a debt that a person is struggling to repay while continuing to pay basic living costs such as rent, utilities, food and family essentials. DEBTsolve is available to individuals and whānau who are living on limited income and struggling with unmanageable debt.

Making a positive impact

Through the DEBTsolve programme, Financial Wellbeing Coaches can create a long-lasting difference for their clients.

Not only can they encourage clients to become hopeful about the future by helping them regain control of their debt (something most clients think is impossible), but they also support clients to develop the financial skills and knowledge they need to make more informed decisions in the future – preventing them from falling into unmanageable debt again.

Toni, a client on DEBTsolve, learnt how to bank online and set financial goals thanks to the help of her Financial Wellbeing Coach, Sandra, with who she remains in contact.

Sandra told us:

“Toni still gets in touch when she has a question about money. It’s nice to hear she is doing well and be able to support her on her journey from start to finish.”

Toni’s next goal is to have her work and personal expenses in separate bank accounts and to pay off her debts, including her student loan.

Prior to this Toni was living week-to-week and was constantly in overdraft.

Another DEBTsolve client, Hannah, shared with us:

“The stress of not having money is really really hard. The DEBTsolve programme gave me hope when I had none. 

“I feel fantastic. I still can’t believe it”.

Hannah lost her job and started receiving the benefit. She found it hard to get ahead with card payments. Even when Hannah was able to make an extra payment above the minimum, she still couldn’t get on top of her debt.

She told us it led to poor mental health. She became very stressed, depressed and started smoking.

When Hannah teamed up with her Financial Wellbeing Coach she said:

“My debt coach was so helpful and understanding. He made me feel a lot better about my financial situation and gave me a lot of hope.”

Conclusion

Financial Wellbeing Coaches need a range of skills to be able to help someone regain control of their unmanageable debt.

They need to be able to problem solve, negotiate, advocate, be empathetic and understanding.

The impact they can make to a person’s financial wellbeing is long-lasting and goes well beyond the DEBTsolve programme.

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