Revealed: Who we donate to and who we'll never work with

12 Jan 2021

Video transcript: 

In the age of covid-19, there’s a huge need for helping those less fortunate. Today I want to share one of the organisations we work with pro bono and also talk a little about their antidote and the clients we will never work with.

Shortly after level 4 lockdown, there was some media attention about the fact that kiwis were at greater risk of debt traps from loan sharks.

With layoffs, and lots of people down to 80% of their usual pay, many Kiwi families were in vulnerable situations and quite often, they end up turning to loan sharks - either the dodgy ones that operate in vulnerable areas or the big brand ones with friendly marketing and beautiful websites that make it very easy to access loans with crippling fees and interest rates.

Big loan sharks were spending 2020 and gearing up for growth - investing in infastructure and recruiting in anticipation of many Kiwis needing access to credit to get out of a tight spot.

I read an article about them gearing up for this growth and I thought “[email protected]!k that”.

I’ve seen the way these loan sharks do their marketing, the hypnotic techniques that they use and I see how the debt trap perpetuates social issues like child poverty, domestic violence, mental illness and suicide - and poor health outcomes.

And I thought, let’s use Mint Design’s marketing super powers and get ethical loan providers outranking these shitty loan sharks. I called Shayne - our chief exec straight away — and I pitched my idea - he said yes before I even laid out my case and we contacted Nga Tangata Microfinance.

They are a not-for-profit offering no interest loans and they are a pathway to eliminate high interest debt and to get out of the debt cycle.

So people can go to Nga tangata and get a zero interest debt relief loan to get rid of their debt with loan sharks.

Or people can get asset building loans which again are zero-interest and can be used for things like buying a laptop so you can study or so you can get reading glasses or get dental work done.

One thing that I have learned in my work with Nga Tangata is that everyone is entitled to credit and everyone needs credit at some stage in life. I know there have been times in my life, particularly when I was a student - when I’ve been in that boat. Nga Tangata isn’t about preventing access to credit, it’s about making sure that access to credit doesn’t result in a debt trap.

Not only does Nga Tangata offer these ethical loans, they also offer budget advisory services to everyone who uses their services so that they can avoid getting into financial trouble in the future.

I sincerely hope that our work with Nga Tangata causes some pain to loan sharks, particularly those who have such huge marketing budgets and who put messaging out there to make their loans seem easy breezy and friendly and accessible.

Mint has formed a stance on these companies and we will never work with them, regardless of how big their marketing budgets are.

If you want to check out more about Nga Tangata, you can check out their website.

If you like what they do, you can donate or you can spread the word about their work.

Being Kiwis, so many of us do know someone who is at risk of being in a situation where they need credit and Nga Tangata is the place for them to avoid turning a short term problem into a more permanent one.

Thanks for watching.