Residents of one of the most popular neighbourhoods in Melbourne’s CBD can now apply for a new loan from a national credit union.
Citizens One Loans says it is “providing a loan to those Australians who need it”.
Its website says the loan will be issued to “all Australians who live in Melbourne or any metropolitan area”.
CITIC’s website says residents are able to apply for the loan at any of its 28 credit unions.
It says there are currently 12 credit unions with 25,000 customers.
“It’s the latest way in which the Commonwealth Government is trying to attract more people to their local economy,” Citizens One Loans CEO Rob Wilson said.
Wilson said Citizens One had been running its own loan scheme in Victoria for some time.
In the past, it has been used to help small business owners who had not been able to get loans through their banks.
However, he said the Citizens One Loan was different because it was geared towards those who are currently living in Melbourne and the suburbs.
“The biggest challenge for us was to get people into that city who are really comfortable in their lifestyle and who have the time to invest in their community,” he said.
“So we thought, why not do something different and help those people?”
Citic, which also runs a credit union in the Northern Territory, said it was working with local credit unions to help those with mortgage or rent issues get into their local community.
He said the bank was in talks with a number of credit unions, and would be making a decision on whether or not to expand the scheme at a later date.
The credit union has been using the Citizens loan for three years and has received over $500,000 in repayments.
Mr Wilson said the scheme had been a success.
“[We] have had more than 100 applications,” he told the ABC.
But he said it had not helped all of those who were still struggling with debt, and the scheme was only available to those who had applied within the last two months.
“It will be for those who need the money now, who have not applied yet,” he added.
“We have been working with credit unions around the country to try and get them into the scheme.”
Mr Watson said Citizens would continue to work with credit union operators to help them apply.
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