For generations, it’s been the Aussie dream: grow up, get a trade or a career, work hard, earn enough for a house, a couple of cars, put food on the table and send your kids to a decent school. Sounds simple, and perhaps it should be. Unfortunately, for a growing number of people in this country, this ideal is drifting ever further out of their reach.

For many, no matter hard they try, there is little or no hope of extricating themselves from the fiscal hole. With limited opportunities to work their way out of their station, access to credit becomes a crucial lifeline for many. Whether it’s to even out a short-term cash flow crisis, to finance the purchase of essential items or productive capital to help start or grow a business; without reserves to draw on, most of us have few options but to look to a third party for credit.

 

The Problem of Financial Exclusion

This is where the problem of financial exclusion rears its decidedly ugly head. Since the dark days of the GFC, access to credit has become significantly more challenging for many of the more vulnerable in our communities who need it most. The inability to access capital when it is required effectively excludes far too many from participating fully on the economy and from enjoying the level of economic freedom and flexibility that others take for granted.

This can impact people in a range of ways. Imagine your car breaking down, but you just don’t have the cash to get it fixed, yet you need a car for your job? What if an aged parent or child suddenly fell ill or were incapacitated due to an accident, requiring you to take an extended period of leave without pay to care for them? Without savings, how would to scrape together enough for rent? Consider what would happen if the company you were working for went bankrupt and had to lay off all its workers. Sure, you might be able to get a job within a couple of months, but without reserve funds to draw on,, how do you put food on the table for your family in the meantime?

 

The Causes of Financial Exclusion

There are as many potential causes of financial exclusion as there are people suffering from this scourge. At Speckle, we’ve learned that every individual’s story is unique. Nevertheless, many fall into a few general categories:

1. Socially Disadvantaged:

According to some studies, as few as 4% of people born into poverty will make it out of poverty. This leads to an inter-generational cycle of a life spent without tangible wealth and financial security. For those on the lowest rungs of the socio-economic ladder, this invariably poses insurmountable challenges in obtaining credit through mainstream institutions.

2. Recent Immigrants/Residents:

A large proportion of new Australians and residents are from developing countries, and many arrive with little in the way of capital or assets. Many have limited English language skills and some may even lack sufficient personal identification to get a loan. Even those with higher education often find that their qualifications are not recognised in this country, and it can be a long and arduous process to get on their feet. Without significant savings,and frequently limited to lower-wage work, new arrivals can often face difficulty in accessing capital for productive purposes.

3. Financial Abuse:

It is an unfortunately all too common phenomenon in our society that many women, and some men, are rendered economically powerless by abusive partners that use financial control as a form of abuse. Sufferers find themselves disempowered and unable to exercise any level of financial independence.

4. Physical or Mental Illness:

Restrictions in the capacity to earn sufficient income can leave some of the most vulnerable people in Australia without the means to support the basics of life and little ability to obtain supplementary funds to manage day-to-day. In many cases, people with physical or psychological challenges require additional money for treatment and medications, which further compounds the problem.

5. Geographical Isolation:

For people living in remote rural locations, the physical distance to the nearest bank branch can be a significant barrier to accessing finance. This is particularly the case for Indigenous Australians. While some might find this a surprising inclusion, in one landmark study, almost 4% of people suffering from financial exclusion cited geographical isolation as the primary cause of their predicament.

Fighting Back

The good news for those struggling to find their place in the national economy, is that there is help at hand. Speckle was created with a mission to provide a lifeline to as many people as possible through fast, easy access to a modest level of finance that can help make life more manageable and open opportunities to those people in Australia who aspire to a better life for themselves and their families. Speckle is part of the Good Shepherd Microfinance family of initiatives that includes schemes such as the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS), StepUP Loans, affordable insurance and financial counseling services to help empower people in Australia to regain control of their financial futures.  A small, fast loan from Speckle can empower individuals and families to achieve their goals. For some people, that might mean the chance to pay educational expenses to gain qualifications that will lead to a higher income. Others might simply need a helping hand with vehicle or household expenses. Whatever their reason for seeking an instant cash loan, Speckle is here to provide an empowering hand without saddling customers with unmanageable levels of debt that will serve only to perpetuate and exacerbate their circumstances.

To find out whether you are eligible and how to apply for a fast cash loan with Speckle that can help you or a loved one achieve financial inclusion and independence, contact Speckle today.

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