Lismore Neighbourhood Centre now has a funded StepUp Loans Program which has been made possible by a partnership between Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service, National Australia Bank.
The StepUP Microfinance Loan Program (StepUP) is a microfinance program offered through a partnership between National Australia Bank and Good Shepherd Youth and Family Services ('GSYFS') and delivered through various Partner Agencies across Australia on a not for profit basis. StepUP is a community initiative which aims to provide access to safe and affordable credit to individuals and households on low incomes.
StepUP loans are personal loans between $800-$3,000 for terms up to 3 years with a concessionary fixed interest rate (3.99%) and no fees. The loans are available to individuals and families on low incomes holding a current Health Care Card, Pension Card or eligible Family Tax Benefit Part A.
StepUP was first launched in October 2004 and has expanded to sites in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania. The program has been recognised as one of the leading microfinance programs in Australia winning Money Magazine's 'Best of the Best Awards' for the Best Socially Responsible Product in the low-income loans section in 2007 and 2008.
StepUP fills a gap in access to credit in Australia and has been designed to help individuals 'step up' from the No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS).