Improving the support available to people experiencing financial hardship.
Australians who fall into debt often struggle to pull themselves out of it. With very high interest rates offered by debt consolidator and payday lenders, people can end up in even greater financial hardship.
SVA Consulting worked with the Australian Banking Association (ABA), the four major banks, and consumer and community organisations to develop a feasibility study and business plan for a new not-for-profit social enterprise. It would offer a fairer way for people to consolidate and pay off their debts. We then worked with these representatives to agree to a common approach to implementing the business plan and helped them secure the initial funding for the enterprise.
The new organisation, Way Forward, was launched in 2018. It provides a free service to people struggling under the pressures of long term debts to consolidate and then clear their debts. Way Forward is jointly governed by the consumer sector and the banking industry.
Since being established, Way Forward has grown and now actively supports over 850 individuals, with an additional 82 clients debts totally resolved. Many clients are referred to Way Forward from the community sector, such as from financial counsellors. Support from the corporate community continues to grow, with 16 industry members including banks, finance companies, collection businesses and Buy Now Pay Later providers.