When Joanie* and her young daughter, Mia* fled a violent relationship perpetuated by mental illness, they navigated women’s shelters while searching for a place to call home over the sweltering Sydney summer.

It was during those six months of homelessness that Joanie had a car accident, and her trusted transport was no longer.

At BaptistCare HopeStreet, Joanie discovered housing support and accessed an affordable and safe loan to purchase another vehicle.

“Access to fair finance has allowed my daughter and I to move forward what seems like a trillion years from where we were,” said Joanie.

“My number one priority, after securing my daughter’s and my own safety, was trying to get a car. Those were my big stresses, not having a car, and not knowing where I’d get money from to get one,” she said.

“I’d look at my little girl and just want to cry, thinking Mummy can’t help us. We endured hours of public transport in the heat. You’re exposed to the weather every day relying on public transport and it’s a lot for a little person.”

StepUP low interest loans are a fair and affordable option for families and individuals on low incomes who require funds for personal and household expenses up to the value of $3000.

For Joanie, it meant so much more than a loan, it meant freedom.

“I’ve got a car now, it’s like my second baby. It gives us the freedom of time and saves me so much stress. I’m so grateful. The car means I can take Mia to the day care she has settled into. She has a good connection there.”

Joanie and Mia have more opportunity and stability moving forward. “It really helps me with the budget, I can budget wisely. And knowing that it’s there to use again once I’ve paid it off, it gives me more options to get the material things we need to re-establish our lives.”

Payday lending (highcost, short-term loans) is growing, and the predatory practice leaves people with spiralling debt. Our no and low interest loans are a safe and affordable alternative to payday lenders and loan sharks. Learn more about BaptistCare HopeStreet's commitment to fair finance, including options for women who have experienced domestic violence.

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* Names changed. Images for illustration only.