To the Australian Government:
Every day our organisations deal with Australians who have been trapped in crippling debt due to high cost fast loans and harmful consumer leases.
It has been 1,000 days since the government accepted the recommendations of its own review into these harmful products. Now is the time for the government to pass the findings of this review into law.
Government needs to commit to the findings of the Financial Services Royal Commission and ensure all financial service providers play by the rules and put people before profits.
High cost fast loans (also known as payday loans) are a multi-million-dollar industry that has a history of non-compliance with responsible lending guidelines. They profit by entrenching Australians in a cycle of debt, limiting their ability to participate actively in the economy and use their money to pay rent, feed their kids or keep the lights on.
Despite responsible lending obligations, there is evidence that lenders continue to offer loans to people who can’t afford to pay them. The independent Review of Small Amount Credit Contracts (SACC Review) found that the current laws are not effective at ensuring lenders don’t overburden borrowers.
The recommendations put forward by the SACC Review would be a critical first step to improving protections for people who use payday loans and consumer leases. They would ensure people have enough money for essential living expenses by capping the amount of a person’s income lenders can take.
It’s time the government took decisive action to protect hard working Australians from being gouged by reckless lenders.
We urge you to immediately enact the recommendations of the SACC review, abolish the exemption from the cost cap that applies to small and medium amount loans and commit to more funding for support services such as financial counselling and legal assistance.