MoneyMob’s ‘Loans and Phones’ project is finishing stage one! For the past nine months, Deanne Gibbs has been running the project to help Anangu get a better knowledge of their rights as a consumer of payday loans and phone contracts. This also included learning more about the language in contracts, how to make a complaint if you’re not happy or to find help if you have trouble with a loan or phone bill.
Clients have been learning about what a mobile plan is, what a phone contract really costs and how data and charges work on mobiles. Sadly, we have found Anangu with very big bills for their mobile phones, MoneyMob have been helping to talk up for these clients who didn’t understand this before and now have big bills. MoneyMob has also begun looking at ways to fix this for the future by talking to phone companies about better ways they sell mobile phone plans, including doing ‘affordability assessments’ which looks at how much each person can afford before selling them a phone contract.
The project also looked at ‘Payday Loans’, these types of loans help people get money fast, but they cost a lot more in the future and people can get in big debt that is hard to pay back. These debts can affect people’s credit rating and even land people in court, so it’s important the people in the APY Lands are aware of other options.
We spoke to Anangu about payday loans and one of the biggest reasons for needing a loan was for the holiday season. Christmas is an expensive time and a lot of people travel to see family. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for this time of year:
- Christmas club – some banks have a Christmas account that can be used to keep money safe until November.
- Savings – Ask MoneyMob for help to make a plan to save money
- Centrepay – if you are going to travel you can set up a Centrepay to Bush Bus or Bush Bee at the start of the year. This will help pay for your tickets by Christmas
Don’t forget about our NILS program, Mervyn is our NILS worker and he can help with applying for a NILS loan for things like; furniture, white goods or even a car with Step-Up loans.
Look out for some of the deadly loans and phones posters in your community. Stage 2 will begin in March 2019, we can’t wait to have Deanne back next year!
If you are having problems with a phone bill or a loan debt, MoneyMob can help, bring your papers and talk to one of our staff.