Sydney, Australia -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/16/2013 -- In August this year Fair Loans Foundation welcomed the federal government’s further commitment to financial inclusion in Australia by extending its Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) pilot funding until June 30 2014.
This extension enables the program to continue to assist disadvantaged people excluded from mainstream banking with small loans and financial literacy training
‘With over half the Australian adult population classified as financially excluded, there is a compelling argument for affordable financial services that assist people to fully participate in society.’
CEO, Justin Hatfield said.
‘While there is no quick fix to financial exclusion, it is good to see that the government agrees that further development of the CDFI sector in Australia may have the greatest potential for a lasting solution.' Mr Hatfield continued. ‘Since our inception in 2007 we found there is great demand for accessible microfinance to pay for essential big ticket items, such as fixing the car or the washing ma
chine. But we also found that most people, even those on very low incomes, are diligent about repaying the loan. Our default rate during this period has always been below 5% and is currently hovering around 1%’ says Mr Hatfield.
‘Fair Loans has maintained its commitment to its microcredit and financial literacy programs, however this funding injection means we can ramp up and refocus our program, concentrating on those we know need it the most.’ Mr Hatfield stated.
Over the past 18 months Fair Loans has been directing focus towards microfinance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in urban and remote areas in Western Sydney and NSW.
'Early on in the CDFI Pilot we analysed client profiles and discovered that participation and opportunity to make financial services available to the indigenous community was limited.' Mr Hatfield said, 'so we established an indigenous based website and portal - Fair Loans Pathway and we employed an Indigenous Money Mentor who has been offering an outreach service in Western Sydney.'
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