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    Case studies

    Brotherhood of St Laurence - Progress Loans

    Jenny is a recently divorced mother in her late thirties living alone with her with three school-aged children. She is unemployed and studying to become a teacher. She recently moved into a new house with her children but had almost no furniture. She used her Progress Loan to purchase a dining room table, a lounge suite, and furniture for her children's bedrooms including desks for them to study on.

    "We use to sit on the floor with the cat, all together. I just wanted a fresh start and to be comfortable, have a nice home particularly for the children."

    "I have always had second hand furniture, mainly hand-me-downs from the family and things we have been given."

    Jenny says the things she bought with her Progress Loan were basic needs. They have helped her create a more comfortable home and her children feel more normal like other families.

    "Like the table was necessary. We had nothing to eat off. I could have got something from the hard rubbish but it is nice to set up properly for the kids."

    "The kids love their bedrooms and are excited to sit at the table to eat. Having their rooms set up has helped them feel normal like other families. It's been a pretty hard adjustment for them."

    Jenny found the loans application and approval process easy and straightforward. She was particularly impressed with the help provided by the loans officer. She finds the repayments easy to afford without any financial stress.

    "XXX [loans officer] was lovely. He was so helpful, non judgemental, open. He basically filled out the forms, held your hand through the process, explained everything. He was so thoughtful."

    "It's great for me now because my income is so low. The forty-five dollars a month is manageable without ending up under pressure."

    Jenny believes the Progress Loan has helped her become more independent because she is doing it on her own. She feels better about herself as a result.

    "I like to be independent and do things myself. I have been good at receiving handouts over the years. This has made me feel better in myself because I have got it together on my own. I see a need and I can resolve it myself."

    Good Shepherd - No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS)

    The client read about North West NILS scheme in a local paper advertisement and contacted Good Shepherd to find out if she could get help with her car registration, pink slip etc., as she was short of funds and the due date was fast approaching.

    As a single mother of 6 children, 5 of whom are of school age, and due to her ill health, she needed her car as this was her only transport option. At her initial interview she was not quite sure how the loan scheme worked, so when we explained the procedure and most importantly, that there was no interest charged, she was happy to apply for the loan. She had tried to apply for a Centrelink advance but as she's paying off a debt to Centrelink she was not eligible for an advance payment. She had already received loans from family members and didn't have any luck with them this time. She didn't have a credit card hence NILS was her last resort.

    The Good Shepherd Assessment Committee agreed that a NILS loan would help the client and her family and approved the loan. The loan was for $1,078, with a fortnightly repayment of $40.00. This will enable the client to complete the loan within 13 months.