New campaign: “Caught in the Debt Trap”

A new petition has launched overnight calling for stronger protections for people who use payday loans.

The petition is a reminder to the Federal Government that it’s been 1,000 days since they committed to strengthening protections for people who use payday loans – and there has been little action.

“Government needs to commit to the findings of the Financial Services Royal Commission and ensure all financial service providers play by the rules and put people before profits,” reads the petition.

High cost fast loans (also known as payday loans) are a multi-million-dollar industry that has a history of non-compliance with responsible lending guidelines.

The petition is driven by the Stop The Debt Trap Alliance, which is made up of financial experts and community organisations from around Australia.

Samaritans Financial Counsellor, Graham Smith, played an important role in the campaign as Chair of the Financial Counsellors Association of NSW (FCAN).

Learn more and add your name to the petition here: https://consumeraction.org.au/policy-campaigns/stop-the-debt-trap/

Instant cash loan machines 

Samaritans has been advocating for a change to legislation that governs payday loans as well as products like the instant cash loan machines (below).

Click here to see the Facebook article.

The article reads:

SAMARITANS WANT LAWS TIGHTENED AROUND INSTANT CASH MACHINES

Hunter based charity Samaritans says it’s seen a big increase in people seeking assistance after accessing money from instant cash machines.

The machines only require identification and bank details before users are approved for cash loans almost immediately.

The Samaritans are calling for the tightening of legislation surrounding federal credit protection laws.

CEO, Brad Webb says his organisation has written to the State Government urging it to pressure its federal counterparts.

“We really want to see some tightening up of some regulation and legislation that applies to these machines that slips through loopholes in the credit protection laws at the federal level,” he said.

“Our financial counsellors are seeing more and more people that come through the doors.

“We are now seeing clients increasingly put under pressure.”

Mr Webb says the state’s Better Regulation Minister, Kevin Anderson will discuss the issue at a forum this month.

“We’ve written to Minister Anderson and urged him to continue this advocacy for federal legislation changes,” he said.

“He sees this in his electorate of Tamworth and we shared with him some of the stories we see at the Samaritans that impact on people that are targeted by these insidious products.”