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Review of Small Amount Credit Contracts

  • Written by Debbie Bradley



VITAL NEW RESEARCH LAUNCHED INTO AUSTRALIAN SMALL LOANS INDUSTRY

The National Credit Providers Association (NCPA) has commissioned an update to the largest review of Small Amount Credit Contracts (SACCs), sometimes incorrectly referred to as ‘payday loans’, to provide the real facts and data on small loans in Australia.

NCPA has appointed specialists in financial services research CoreData, to conduct a second wave project to build upon last year’s groundbreaking review of the industry.

The first wave, covering the period 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2015, conducted in October last year, was the most comprehensive statistical review of SACCs, consumers, and ASIC licensed providers ever undertaken in Australia. The NCPA campaign Small Loans Big Need helped to demonstrate why SACCs are an important and successful credit option for so many Australians.

The work recently commissioned will cover the financial period from July 2015 – June 2016.  Findings from this next wave of research will provide a deeper understanding of how small loans are used; the role they play in Australians managing their finances; and the success of small loans as a financial product - especially for those who are not able to access traditional forms of credit from the banks.

Mr Phil Johns, CEO of NCPA remains concerned that while the recent Government Review of SACCs deemed small loans a much needed financial services product with highly successful repayment rates (9 out of 10 repayments are successfully met), the industry is still being targeted by some groups intent on shutting the industry down.

“It is highly important for the whole industry that we have up-to-date data, so not only can we demonstrate the need for small loans, but also combat the ignorance in the community about the role SACCs play.

“The new research will seek to demonstrate the highly compliant nature of the small loans product. It’s not just those who can’t or don’t want to access credit from traditional sources that use SACCs, it’s also those on higher incomes who want to access a loan quickly and out of working hours.

“A SACC has the highest level of consumer protection of any personal loan on the market and NCPA believes consumers need be aware of the responsible lending obligations lenders must go through. Despite some negative media small loans may receive, NCPA hopes the new data will help to educate individuals, the media, government, the banks and the wider credit industry about the differences between SACCs and illegal payday loans,” said Mr Johns.

SACCs are a small loan repaid between sixteen days and one year, up to $2,000, with set government fees and caps, including a debt spiral cap to give consumers ultimate protection. The majority of those borrowing these small loans are employed and trust this highly regulated government product.

For more information about small loans and the wider credit industry, please visit www.smallloansbigneed.com.au 

Key Statistics: 2014 -15

  • Completed applications received from new and existing customers: 2 million
  • Contracts entered into: 1.3 million
  • Credit advanced to consumers: $667 million
  • Number of consumers: 988,000
  • Average loan amount: $502
  • Average loan length: 117 days
  • Average male age: 37 years old
  • Average female age: 36 years old
  • The CoreData research project of over 2.4 million SACCs showed that in the quarter ending June 2015, 64.5% of SACCs were taken out by consumers whose main source of income was employment, up from 59.7% in the quarter ending September 2013. Conversely, in the quarter ending June 2015, 35.5% of SACCs were taken out by consumers who received 50% or more of their income from government benefits, down from 40.3% in the quarter ending September 2013.
  • Nine in 10 expected repayments were met, with a continued repayment uptrend. Matched by declining approval rates and increased loan completion success rates.
  • Multiple contracts are not a problem. Only 6.8% of contracts were written where the consumer had an existing SACC. 95% of lenders, as a matter of policy, do not loan to a consumer with a SACC in default.

For more information about Small Loans, Big Need visit: www.smallloansbigneed.com.au
The National Credit Providers Association (NCPA) is a mutual not-for-profit industry association, governed by a board of industry leaders. The NCPA represents the non-deposit-taking Australian Credit License holders, operating from nearly 300 retail locations or from dedicated online platforms.

  • NCPA’s diverse membership covers franchisors, franchisees, private and ASX listed companies, independent operators, small and large entities, who offer consumer credit under the NCCP Act. They all hold the same Australia Credit License as a bank and are also regulated by ASIC. The amounts lent range from $50 to $50,000, for terms from a number of weeks to several years. Some members provide just the one type of loan, some provide a range of loan services and other financial products, such as brokerage for commercial and home loans.
  • For more information visit:  www.ncpa.net.au

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