There’s a strong tradition of giving to charities and thinking of those in need at Christmas, and long may it continue. As I look for international organisations to donate to this year, I thought I’d also support something closer to home by spotlighting microfinance here.

There are a number of brilliant efforts across the country that offer no-cost or low-cost borrowing solutions to those in need. This is called “microfinance” because of the small loan amounts involved (typically below $5,000, but some go much higher). These loans are specifically for certain circumstances, but they are undoubtedly a real opportunity for some.

Since most of us borrow so expensively on conventional cards and loans with nosebleed interest rates and fees, microfinance solutions are a true gift.

The word on the street, surprisingly, is that there’s a lot of microfinance money sloshing around looking for a home. So the funds are there, but providers at times struggle to find people to lend to. I wonder if it’s partly because folks have not heard of these options? Perhaps this post can be a bit of a remedy.

Do you know someone who could benefit?

Microfinance providers in New Zealand

As you’d expect, these microfinance providers only lend to some people, for some things and on certain conditions, so it makes sense to contact them directly to find out those details and how to apply. (Special thanks to the team at Good Shepherd for bringing these organisations together and sharing this list.)

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