Community Finance

Offering fee-free, low-interest, and no-interest loans to limited income families to help them manage debt.

About Community Finance

When you're in a tough situation, getting traditional bank loans can be difficult, which means you can be forced to take out loans with other providers at very high interest rates and fees.

To help people stay away from unscrupulous lenders, we’ve committed $60m in lending to a community finance programme, in partnership with Good Shepherd NZ, Ministry of Social Development and community partners like The Salvation ArmyAviva, and Vaka Tautua. We offer people on limited incomes fee-free, low-interest, and no-interest loans, called ‘StepUP’ loans and ‘NILS’ loans.

How to apply

For more information or to apply for a StepUP or NILS loan visit The Salvation Army,  Aviva or Vaka Tautua

Community Finance Les

See how we can help you

Since 2014, Community Finance has provided hundreds of loans to help people with a range of issues. Customers have used the money for everything from fixing their cars so they can get to work, to paying for unexpected medical or dental expenses.

See what else we’ve been doing in The Good Report.

How the programme operates

BNZ’s Community Finance programme began in 2014, operating from The Salvation Army Community Ministries sites in Manukau and Henderson.

In the 2016 New Zealand Budget, the New Zealand Government awarded Community Finance $4.2 million of operating funding over four years. The additional funding has allowed more Community Finance loan workers to be trained and the programme to be expanded.

Community Finance is now available in Whangarei, Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier, Palmerston North, Porirua, Wellington, Christchurch, Invercargill and Manukau, Mt Wellington and Henderson in Auckland.

As at September 2017, we estimate that the $1.5million of lending to date has saved Community Finance customers more than $835,000 when compared with borrowing the same amount through alternative lenders.

The scheme also builds on a wide range of other financial literacy initiatives, such as SavY, Baby Budget, Bamzonia, and our Whanau Financial Literacy Programme.