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Financial support

If you’re not studying, in training, or working, you may need financial support to get you through. Depending on your situation, there are options for financial support through Work and Income (WINZ). Some situations include having to move out of home or working fewer than 30 hours a week.

Some examples of support include Jobseeker Support or support for living expenses from WINZ. There’s also financial aid information available on the Ministry of Social Development website.

If you’re pregnant or have a child, you may be eligible for specific kinds of support from Work and Income New Zealand.

Borrowing from banks and lenders

Banks and lenders generally offer a few different types of credit, and it’s worth researching what option is right for you. Below are some of the main types of credit:

Understanding interest rates

When taking out any loan, be aware of interest rates, terms and conditions and any fees — including fees that will be charged for starting the loan or paying it off early.

Sorted’s Debt Calculator can give you an idea of how much a loan will cost even before you apply, but keep in mind that some lenders charge interest in different ways.

This is important because higher interest rates and fees can escalate the cost of a loan and how much you eventually pay back. For example:

  • Borrowing $1,000 with an interest rate of 25% for 36 months will eventually cost you $1,431.
  • Borrowing $1,000 with an interest rate of 15% will eventually cost you $1,248.

Good and bad debt

There is good debt and bad debt. Good debt can improve your financial future or create long-term income, like a Student Loan. This is because Student Loans make tertiary study and upskilling possible, which improves chances for earning a higher income.

Bad debt is spending money on things that will lose their value and won't improve your income or financial position. An example of bad debt is a borrowing money for a phone that will quickly become outdated or damaged.

Getting help

Sometimes debt can become too much and you miss repayments. If you are finding your finances hard to manage, talk to the organisation you've got your loan from about your options. A conversation can sometimes result in a more manageable repayment schedule.

You can also get help with finances and budgeting. MoneyTalks is a free and confidential helpline available to provide advice to individuals and whānau.